CS 4873C Spring'21


Computing, Society, & Professionalism


Schedule and Readings


Term Paper

View the Site on GitHub blairmacintyre/cs4873-s21


There are three sorts of homework assignments: a series of written homeworks, weekly reading commentaries, and a proposal and outline for the term paper.

Homework Due Date Weight Toward Grade
HW1: Therac and the Boeing 737 MAX Feb 1 3%
HW2: The Politics of Computing Feb 8 3%
HW3: Applying Ethical Frameworks to a Dilemma Feb 24 3%
Term Paper Proposal Mar 3 5%
HW4: Fair Use Mar 10 3%
Term paper Outline Mar 31 5%
HW5: New ACM Code Apr 7 3%

Reading commentaries

The goal of reading commentaries are twofold: to give you an opportunity to practice (i) thinking critically about readings; and, (ii) communicating your thoughts about how to apply what you’ve learned in this class. The goal is not to summarize the readings.

Some examples of appropriate topics to address in a commentary are:

Deliverable for Commentaries

Each week, there will be a reading commentary assignment on Canvas. You should write a commentary for the specified assigned reading(s).

Each reading commentary should be a short paragraph (~4 sentences) for each reading, and should end with a question or discussion prompt, related to the reading, that you would like to have covered in your discussion section. The TA will try to look through the commentaries before the discussion section. You should be prepared to discuss your question during your discussion section, even if the reading(s) in question are not part of the planned discussion (i.e.., if there is extra time, in that case).

Commentaries are due an hour before the scheduled class time on the day the reading is scheduled to be discussed; this will be the deadline on canvas, even if the class is not synchronous/live.


Commentaries will be graded either as a check, check-plus or check-minus, according to the following rubric:

If you only get “checks”, you will end up with a 90 (9/10 on the “commentaries” part of the class grade). The more “check pluses” you get, the higher your grade. Likewise, the more “check minuses”, the lower your grade.

Reference Format

Please use APA format for all references in all homeworks and submissions. APA format is described here.