CSE 275 Homepage - Fall 1999
Social Aspects of Technology and Science
This course explores issues on the interfaces among technology, science,
and society, with a special focus on information technology. Topics include
privacy, the internet and the web, spam, electronic commerce, chat rooms,
ethics, requirements engineering, public policy, actor-network theory, Kuhn's
theory of paradigms, post-modernism, neo-classical economics, virtual reality,
For more detail, see the course outline. Be
sure to read the notes on lectures as they are posted on this website; they
are linked to the outline page, and they will evolve as the course develops.
All webpages are subject to frequent and/or unannounced updates.
Prerequesites are CSE 9, 10 or 11, and the ability to read basic works in
the humanities, especially sociology. Open to undergraduates with permission
of the instructor. You will need to write short homework essays and a final
paper in reasonably good English.
Wednesday, 2:30-5:20 pm, Room APM 5218
Section ID 347282
There are no required books for this course. All of the recommended
books should soon be on reserve at the Science and Engineering Library. We
will not be using these books very much in class, but they may be relevant to
some of your projects.
- Social Science, Technical Systems, and Cooperative Work, edited
by Geoffrey Bowker, Susan Leigh Star, William Turner and les Gasser (Lawrence
- High Wired, edited by Cynthia Haynes and Jan Rune Holvevik
- The Cultures of Computing, edited by Susan Leigh Star
- Computers, Minds and Conduct, Graham Button, Jeff Coulter, John
Lee and Wes Sharrock (Polity 1995).
- Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues, edited by
Marina Jirotka and Joseph Goguen (Academic Press, 1994).
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn (Chicago,
- The Scientific Revolution, Steven Shapin (Chicago, 1996).
- Aramis, or the Love of Technology, Bruno Latour (Harvard, 1996).
- Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcer, Michael White (Addison-Wesley,
- Sorting Things Out, Geoffrey Bowker and Leigh Star (MIT, 1999).
- The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance
at NASA, Diane Vaughan (Chicago, 1996).
- Consilience, Edward O. Wilson (Vintage, 1998).
- Computation and Human Experience, Philip Agre (Cambridge, 1997).
Grades will be based on the last three items below, especially item 5;
obviously your class participation and homework should reflect your
familiarity with the readings.
- Course notes
- Reading assignments
- Homework assignments
- Class discussion
- Projects - due the last day of class.
Warning: Although this is not a technical course in the usual
sense, it is also not a touchy-feely mumbo-jumbo course; it will carefully
explore significant issues on the interfaces among technology, science and
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Maintained by Joseph Goguen
last modified 14 October 1999