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ENEE200 Social and Ethical Dimension of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology

Credit & Contact Hours:

3 credits (3 hours lecture, 1 hours recitation, 0 hours laboratory)

Course Description:

Students will explore and assess the impact of electrical and computer engineering technology on society and the role of society in generating that technology. Special emphasis is placed on the interplay of diverse and often conflicting personal and collective values in both the development and implementation of new technologies. These subjects touch on many areas of interest including ethics, politics, business, the law, and sociology. Students will learn what the areas of electrical and computer engineering encompass, how engineers work among themselves and interact with non-engineers to meet specific societal needs, and how engineering and its technological artifacts impact society both locally and globally. Students will also develop critical thinking skills to assist them in identifying and analyzing relevant conceptual concerns and ethical dilemmas as they arise and pertain to the practices of electrical and computer engineering and adoption of specific technologies. As such, students will become proficient in applying the concepts and theories necessary for making informed ethical choices.


Sophomore standing or higher.



Course 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)