Is Engineering A Profession

  • Subfields
  • Problem Solving
  • Maths and Science

Ethics vs Conduct

  • Both a Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct serve to be make a positive impact on humanity

  • Code of Ethics - "moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity"

    • Values rather than hard-set rules
    • Varies per individual, depending on their personal experiences and background
  • Code of Conduct - "A set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party of an organisation"

    • Specific rules and actions
    • Has consequences that allow the enforcement and upkeep

Ford Pinto

Sub $2000 car designed to compete with other companies.

  • Style
  • Comfort
  • But no safety!

There was a bolt very close to the fuel tank, which was a recipe for disaster if a collision occurred at around 25 mph.

However the 'standard' testing regulation was at a speed of 20 mph - so it was legally allowed

Was in the top 14 for hit-rate


Scenario 1

A worm is paralysing the whole Internet. You code and send out another worm that follows in the tracks of the first worm and deletes it, restores the system to its previous state, removes itself and moves on to clean up other infected computers.

  • Writing a virus to fix people's computers
  • Even with good intentions, no consent/disclosure to the owner of the computer
  • No guarantee that your virus will work on other computers
  • Notify a user, or another anti-virus/malware company

Scenario 2

Your university has just signed up to a commercial online learning system where you will be able to complete online courses for credit towards your degree. All instruction and assessment will be carried out online. Your school will conduct a trial in which some students take the current course and some the online course.

  • How are students assigned to the course
    • Is it voluntary or randomised
  • Online cheating
    • In-person assessments

Scenario 3

You are the lecturer in charge/student of a course and have just received an unsolicited e-mail saying that your course has been added to a commercial "social learning" site where you can share course materials and track progress; you need to provide your CSE e-mail address and list of courses in order to register and login.

  • Permission to post
  • Monetisation of intellectual property
  • Ownership of data on the site
  • Integrity of data on the site

Scenario 4

You are a staff member/student who has just received an e-mail from the faculty IT service stating that torrent sites will henceforth be blocked, due to the "high security risks" associated with those sites, which "expose systems and users to unacceptably high risks related to malware, copyright infringement, and provision of unauthorized access by third parties". Further, if you have legitimate requirements to access a torrent site, you must outline these requirements and obtain written approval from your Head of School.

  • Transition plan - when will it be implemented
  • Censorship issues
  • Copyright infringements
  • Whitelist or blacklist? - Torrents aren't illegal
  • What are the 'high security risks'

Scenario 5

You are a second year student who, just before the exam, posts your "possibly incomplete/incorrect" lab solutions to the course Facebook group. Other students memorize those solutions, but do poorly on the exam because the solutions are wrong. You answer the questions better using modified code.

  • As the poster - Sharing solutions in an exam solution (even if wrong)
  • As the poster - Malicious intent
  • Use of the solutions - xD
  • Should notify authorities

Scenario 6

You are a (male) student in a project group and two of your (male) team members are discussing, in lewd terms, in a private Facebook group set up for project communication, a female student who might (or might not) join your team. When the female student does later join the team, she is added to the Facebook group and sees all the comments. Consider this question in relation to the broader issue of the university's policy on sexual harassment in light of the Australian Human Rights Commission survey on university sexual assault.

  • What you post on the internet stays on the internet
  • Report for sexual harassment