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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Engineering Ethics

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics explores ethical issues in engineering.

What is Engineering Ethics?

Focusing on ethical issues confronting professionals, the Center offers materials to help engineers identify and respond to dilemmas they face. Offering case studies, curriculum, and commentary for engineering students, educators, and practitioners.

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Engineering Ethics Commentary

Juliana Shihadeh ’19, M.A. ’21, Ph.D. '24, left, with mentor Maya Ackerman, assistant professor of computer science and engineering. Shihadeh led the writing on a new SCU study about

Santa Clara team identifies male “brilliance bias” in world's top AI robowriter. Next step: Solving the problem.

Healy works on equation at the classroom whiteboard.

Set to retire this summer, the founder of three major SCU electrical engineering labs reflects on six decades of teaching.

Photo of Betty Hou '22

“Coming to Santa Clara was one of the best things that has happened to me.”

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    Embedding Ethics in Computing Curricula

    Our Responsible Computer Science (RCS) project is a collaboration between computer science and software engineering faculty as well as staff members of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. This page offers a variety of teaching resources for faculty in computer science or computer engineering looking to integrate coverage of ethics into curricula and student-focused events.

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    What We Are Doing With #EthicalCS at Santa Clara University

    Santa Clara University was awarded a grant in April 2019 as one of the winners of the Mozilla Responsible Computer Science Challenge. The grant is aimed at promoting innovation and experimentation in the integration of ethics into undergraduate Computer Science curricula. This is a summary of what we have been doing, and some of the plans ahead.

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    Navigate here to View Module Introduction to Cybersecurity Ethics
    Introduction to Cybersecurity Ethics

    This ethics module for cybersecurity-related courses includes a reading, homework assignments, and case studies, all designed to spark a conversation about ethical issues that students will face in their role as cybersecurity professionals.


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    Navigate here to View Module Introduction to Data Ethics
    Introduction to Data Ethics

    Designed to be incorporated in data science courses, this module includes a reading, homework assignments, and case studies to spark a conversation about ethical issues that students will face in their role as data practitioners.


    Navigate here to View Module Introduction to Data EthicsView Module
    Navigate here to View Module Introduction to Software Engineering Ethics
    Introduction to Software Engineering Ethics

    Designed for use in software engineering courses, this module includes a reading, homework assignments, case studies, and classroom exercises that will prompt conversation about ethical issues that students will face in their role as software engineers.


    Navigate here to View Module Introduction to Software Engineering EthicsView Module
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    Occidental Engineering Case Study

    This story of Occidental Engineering is provided by Michael McFarland, visiting scholar at the Ethics Center and former president of College of the Holy Cross. It is a fictional case study designed to illustrate several important points about the complexity and responsibilities involved in day-to-day ethical judgments for engineers.

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    Navigate here to Read Cases Engineering Case Studies
    Engineering Case Studies

    Find ethics case studies on topics in Engineering ethics including intersections in bioengineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, and pressures in the public and private sectors.


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    Navigate here to Read Cases Internet Ethics Case Studies
    Internet Ethics Case Studies

    Find ethics case studies on topics in Internet ethics including privacy, hacking, social media, the right to be forgotten, and hashtag activism.


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    Navigate here to Read Cases Technology Case Studies
    Technology Case Studies

    Find case studies illustrating real-world dilemmas in technology and ethics including artificial intelligence, data, virtual reality, and encryption.


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    Navigate here to Browse Readings Engineering Ethics Readings
    Engineering Ethics Readings

    Articles and research addressing the ethics of artificial intelligence, the following selection of readings aims to highlight some key issues.


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    Navigate here to Browse Practice Ethics in Tech Practice
    Ethics in Tech Practice

    Free materials to encourage and support ethics training workshops for designers and engineers in technology companies. Supported by a grant from Omidyar Network’s Tech and Society Solutions Lab.


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    Navigate here to Browse Resources Ethical Considerations in the Senior Design Project
    Ethical Considerations in the Senior Design Project

    A resource to assist senior mechanical engineering students at Santa Clara University in identifying and navigating ethical considerations that arise over the course of the senior design project.


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