Talk:Soctech seminar, Winter 2005

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cmbenner: I'll start a discussion here so we have a place to throw out ideas on structuring the seminar.


Following up on topics to pursue at this 590, starting from the idea of identifying CS topics that have social/policy/legal implications. One thing I've been wondering about: would the class work better as (a) an overview of several issues (like 3) or (b) a tight focus on one interdisciplinary issue and cover the relevant tech, policy, law, econ thoroughly? On (a), we might attract wider participation but it could be scattered and less fruitful. On (b) the reverse would be true: maybe less attractive but more focused and could make more progress. Funding for the course (to buy out faculty time perhaps or to fly in guest speakers) may be possible if we have a really good well-focused proposal and the course makes sure to cover econ and law issues which is, of course, what we're trying to do.

Possible issues we discussed at last meeting:

1. We tossed around software quality/security/reliability and options for improving it, specifically looking at legal--vendor liability. There are also technical, economic and policy options for providing the world with better software which we could look at. I've been thinking about this issue, specifically focused on security, since I think it has good potential, and will paste below how I'd break down the various issues from different disciplines the course could look at.

2. Also tossed around disk drive and content storage in the future, touching on the social and policy and legal implications of storing intellectual property here. Keunwoo, have you had a chance to look further into this as a topic?

3. I raised reverse engineering at the meeting and then investigated afterward: not much here yet. The prof at Law hasn't really started his research so I'm not sure we'd have enough material to go. Also, Keunwoo mentioned the CS issues here might be uncertain?