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Incorporating Ethics Education into an Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Program

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30645

Download Count

23

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Paper Authors

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Mahsa Ghorbani Colorado State University

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Mahsa Ghorbani is a PhD student in Program of Systems Engineering at Colorado State University. She received her BSc in Industrial Engineering from University of Yazd, Yazd, Iran in 2009 and her MSc degree in Industrial Management from University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran in 2012.

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Anthony A. Maciejewski Colorado State University

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Anthony A. Maciejewski received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Ohio State University, Columbus
in 1982, 1984, and 1987, respectively. From 1988 to 2001, he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette. He is currently a professor
and head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University. He is a fellow of IEEE. A complete vita is available at: http://www.engr.colostate.edu/ ~aam.

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Thomas J. Siller Colorado State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0567-0631

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Tom Siller is an associate professor in civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University. He has been a faculty member at CSU for 30 years.

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Edwin K. P. Chong Ph.D. Colorado State University

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Edwin K. P. Chong received his B.E.(First Class Honors) from the
University of Adelaide, South Australia, in 1987; and his M.A. and Ph.D.
in 1989 and 1991, respectively, both from Princeton, where he held an
IBM Fellowship. He joined the School of Electrical and Computer
Engineering at Purdue University in 1991, where he was named a
University Faculty Scholar in 1999. Since August 2001, he has been a
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and of Mathematics at
Colorado State University. He coauthored the best-selling book, An
Introduction to Optimization (4th Edition, Wiley-Interscience, 2013).
He is an IEEE Fellow and was President of the IEEE Control Systems
Society in 2017.

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Pinar Omur-Ozbek Colorado State University

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Dr. Pinar Omur-Ozbek is a faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Colorado State University since 2009. She is involved with the College of Engineering's ethics education efforts through sessions and discussions on engineering ethics concepts and case studies.

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Rebecca A. Atadero Colorado State University

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Rebecca Atadero is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University, specializing in structural engineering. She conducts research on the inspection, management and renewal of existing structures, and on ways to promote diverse, inclusive, and equitable engineering degree programs.

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Abstract

Instruction in ethical considerations is an important part of every engineering discipline. In many cases, a student’s exposure to ethical issues is delayed until the capstone senior design experience. For example, we have included lectures devoted to ethics in our Electrical and Computer Engineering senior design program that start with an introduction to the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) codes of ethics, and is then followed by a discussion of various ethical case studies. While this is common in many programs, surveys of our students have revealed that they do not value this instruction to the same level as the technical content that they acquire. To address this issue, our department is exploring ways of integrating ethics education throughout the curriculum as part of our NSF-sponsored RED (Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments) project. The core goal of our RED framework is to provide a holistic education, where we view our program as an integrated system that is a collaboration among faculty and students. Our new organizational model emphasizes knowledge integration at many levels and includes three key threads that extend throughout the curriculum, namely, foundations, creativity, and professionalism. The professional formation thread is designed to convey the importance of professional skills in the development of engineers, so that they are prepared to enter the workplace. One critical component of this thread is exposing students to ethical considerations that they may encounter in their professional careers and preparing them to deal with them. This paper discusses the process by which we have identified how to deconstruct the components of a traditional delivery of ethics education and integrate them throughout the instruction of technical content. By crafting case studies to the technical material that the students are currently studying, we hope to have students make the explicit connection that ethical considerations are part of the engineering design process and not a component that is tacked on at the end. In addition, because the same faculty who are presenting the technical material are also involved in the discussion of the ethical issues that arise, we believe students will make the implicit correlation that these issues should be valued as much as the technical material. Finally, by reinforcing the ethical content at multiple touch points throughout the curriculum, we hope to see an increased sophistication of ethical analysis as the students move through our program.

Ghorbani, M., & Maciejewski, A. A., & Siller, T. J., & Chong, E. K. P., & Omur-Ozbek, P., & Atadero, R. A. (2018, June), Incorporating Ethics Education into an Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30645

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