EG 44175 is the an elective course provided by the Computer Science and Engineering program at the University of Notre Dame. The purpose of this course is to develop a solid foundation for reasoning about ethical, professional, and social issues that arise in the engineering professions. Emphasis is placed on applying sound critical-thinking skills to a problem and identifying appropriate legal, professional and moral contexts. Topics covered include engineering disasters, safety-critical systems, professional codes of ethics, whistle-blowing, privacy and surveillance and intellectual property. This course relies heavily on real-world case studies.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Communicate effectively about a wide range of ethical, professional, and social issues regarding engineering in a variety of mediums and platforms.

  2. Analyze complex moral and technical issues by identifying stakeholders, exploring opposing positions, and considering short and long-term consequences.

  3. Discuss the impact of engineering and technology in the past, the issues and obstacles facing society in the present, and the opportunities for the future.

  4. Evaluate different ethical, professional, and social issues in the context of computer science and engineering and in terms of Catholic social teaching.

Class Information

M-F 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Rome Global Gateway
Mailing List


Peter Bui (

Help Protocol

  1. Think
  2. Slack
  3. Think
  4. Email

Unit Date Topics Assignment
Week 1
Responsibility Mon 06/27 No Class: Orientation at RGG
Tue 06/28 Syllabus, Talents, Ethics Slides Reading 00
Wed 06/29 Professional Engineer, Code of Ethics, Contracts Slides Reading 01
Thu 06/30 Diversity, Codes of Conduct Slides Reading 02
Fri 07/01 No Class
Week 2
Disasters Mon 07/04 Disasters I Slides Reading 03
Tue 07/05 Disasters II Slides Reading 04
Wed 07/06 No Class: St. Peter's Bascilica & Excavations
Thu 07/07 Whistleblowing I Slides Reading 05
Fri 07/08 Whistleblowing II Slides Reading 06
Week 3
Regulation Mon 07/11 Corporate Conscience Slides Reading 07
Tue 07/12 No Class: Vatican Museums
Wed 07/13 Antitrust Slides Reading 08
Thu 07/14 Environment Slides Reading 09
Fri 07/15 No Class Project 01
Week 4
Intellectual Property Mon 07/18 No Class
Tue 07/19 Patents Slides Reading 10
Wed 07/20 Copyright - Open Source Slides Reading 11
Thu 07/21 Copyright - DMCA Slides Reading 12
Fri 07/22 No Class
Week 5
Public Interest Mon 07/25 No Class
Tue 07/26 Privacy, Cloud, Online Advertising Slides Reading 13
Wed 07/27 Censorship, Freedom of Speech, Fake News, Cyberbullying Slides Reading 14
Thu 07/28 Immigration, Automation Slides Reading 15
Fri 07/29 Artificial Intelligence Reading 16
Week 6
Presentations Mon 08/01 Project 02 Presentations Project 02
Tue 08/02 Project 02 Presentations
Wed 08/03 Final Exam


All Readings are due at 11:59 PM on the night before they are assigned in the schedule above (unless specified otherwise).

All Projects are due at 11:59 PM on the day they are assigned in the schedule above (unless specified otherwise).


Component Points
Readings Daily reading quizzes. 15 × 3
Projects Tri-weekly group projects. 2 × 30
Participation Regular class attendation and contribution to course community. 15
Final Final exam. 30
Total 150


Grade Points Grade Points Grade Points
A 140-150 A- 135-139
B+ 130-134 B 125-130 B- 120-124
C+ 115-119 C 110-114 C- 105-109
D 100-104 F 0-99



Students are expected to attend and contribute regularly in class. This means answering questions in class, participating in discussions, and helping other students.

Foreseeable absences should be discussed with the instructor ahead of time.


Recalling one of the tenets of the Hacker Ethic:

Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not criteria such as degrees, age, race, sex, or position.

Students are expected to be respectful of their fellow classmates and the instructional staff.

Students with Disabilities

Any student who has a documented disability and is registered with Disability Services should speak with the professor as soon as possible regarding accommodations. Students who are not registered should contact the Office of Disabilities.

Late Work

In the case of a serious illness or other excused absence, as defined by university policies, coursework submissions will be accepted late by the same number of days as the excused absence.

Otherwise, a late penalty, as determined by the instructor, will be assessed to any late submission of an assignment. In general, the late penality is 25% off for less than a week and 50% off for more than a week. The instructor reserves the right to refuse any unexcused late work.

Honor Code

All work that you submit must be your own. Collaboration is encouraged but must be disclosed by all parties. Print or online resources are allowed, but must be disclosed. However, you may not look at solutions from other current or past students, or any other source.

CSE Guide to the Honor Code

For the assignments in this class, you may discuss with other students and consult printed and online resources. You may quote from books and online sources as long as you cite them properly. However, you may not look at another student's solution, and you may not copy any significant portions of other's solutions.

The following table summarizes how you may work with other students and use print/online sources:

Resources Solutions
Consulting Allowed Not Allowed
Copying Cite Not Allowed

See the CSE Guide to the Honor Code for definitions of the above terms.

If an instructor sees behavior that is, in his judgment, academically dishonest, he is required to file either an Honor Code Violation Report or a formal report to the College of Engineering Honesty Committee.