Credits: 3

Description

What makes a technology socially responsible? At UMD, the Fearless Ideas campaign asks us to aim our enthusiasm for technology at big real problems. At the same time, we are coming to appreciate the increasingly complex nature of technological systems as they become integrated into all forms of infrastructure, we realize they may be unpredictable, interdependent on social and biological systems, and have unintended consequences. In this midst of this complexity, people make decisions with far reaching impacts. How then do we follow our passion for technology and innovation but also stay skeptical in a way that allows us to consider the potential and shortcomings of technology? Designed for both engineering and non-engineering students wishing to explore and assess the impact of engineering technology on society and the role of society in generating that technology.

Semesters Offered

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019

Learning Objectives

  • Ensure students can clearly articulate and effectively explain the relation between engineering and society; specifically, how electrical and computer engineering technologies impact society and the ways in which society influences engineering practice
  • Ensure students can draw on material from diverse disciplines such as history, ethics, politics, economics, law, psychology, sociology, etc. in explaining the practice and impact of engineering in both a societal and global context
  • Ensure students can make informed, ethical choices through recognizing and critically analyzing the ethical problems confronting those involved in developing, implementing, and using engineering technologies
  • Ensure students can effectively present sustained, critical analyses through both oral and written communication

Topics Covered

  • Professions and codes of ethics
  • Responsibility in engineering
  • Ethical concepts, methods, theories, and their application
  • Problem resolution
  • Technology and society
  • The disciplines of electrical and computer engineering
  • Trust and reliability
  • Risk analysis and liability
  • Ethics and institutions
  • Environmental engineering
  • Other issues in professional ethics
  • International engineering

Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to function on a multi-disciplinary team (Moderate)
  • Ability to to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (Moderate)
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities (Signficant)
  • Ability to communicate effectively (Moderate)
  • Broad education necessary to understand impace of engineering solution (Significant)
  • Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning (Significant)
  • Knowledge of contemporary issues (Significant)