University of Toronto Scarborough

CSC D03: Social Impact of Information Technology

Why this course?

A computer professional needs to understand not only the technical aspects of computing but also the larger picture of how computing and information technology fits into the world, including the problems that technology causes even as it tries to solve other problems. These problems include loss of privacy, Internet addiction, computer crime, and environmental effects. CSC D03 studies and discusses the benefits and risks to society of computer systems, the trade-offs between the two, and the issues that arise in ethics and public policy.

The course gives senior undergraduates in computer science programs some perspective on their studies: insight into the social consequences of the field, and the ethical dilemmas that computer professionals may face, and it helps students prepare for their transition from computer science student to computer professional. Because of its social relevance, the course is also of interest to many students in other programs. In addition, CSC D03 helps computer science students practice their skills in researching issues, in critical thinking about complex issues, and in writing and presentation.

Last modified, 21 June 2019.
Copyright © 2019 Graeme Hirst, University of Toronto.