Tuesday, September 11, 2001 saw four airliner hijackings, an attack on the Pentagon, and the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Several people have suggested ways to address these events in class. I am currently teaching CS4233: Object-Oriented Analysis & Design, and after talking with my students I decided to devote a class period to some of the software engineering issues which these tragic events raised. On Friday, September 14, I conducted a full-period discussion with the 38 members of the class, specifically on the ethics of situations where computing intersects with terrorism and the military.
The only ground rules I gave, other than keeping to the schedule, were: No name-calling. No demonizing.
I divided the 38 students into six groups and gave each group one of the four topics. I think it went pretty well. Here are the materials I passed out:
Before class, I asked all students to go to www.acm.org/serving/, then print out, read, and bring the ACM Code of Ethics and the ACM/IEEE-CS Software Engineering Code of Ethics.