Brown CS News

Kathi Fisler Talks Socially Responsible Computing At The Inaugural Embedded Ethics Conference

Click the links that follow for more news about Kathi Fisler, socially responsible computing, and other recent accomplishments by Brown CS faculty.

Last week, Brown CS faculty member Kathi Fisler was an invited panelist at Stanford University's inaugural Embedded Ethics Conference, which offered broad discussions applicable to creating effective ethics education programs, covering the full life cycle of program creation, development, and implementation. Panelists from different universities addressed creating new ethics initiatives and how to structure a successful program once this is done, while instructors presented live teaching demonstrations and ethics curricula.

Invited to serve on a panel regarding getting buy-in from stakeholders for including ethical and responsible content in CS courses, Kathi drew on her experience as faculty advisor for the Brown CS Socially Responsible Computing (SRC) program, which places these issues at the heart of the department's undergraduate experience. SRC reimagines CS education not only to familiarize future computer professionals with the ethical and political challenges and social impacts of modern digital technology, but to provide them with the tools to reason critically about those challenges.

"We frame our work,” Kathi tells us, “as 'Responsible Computing' and not merely ethics. Many other efforts involve presenting case studies in the same general area as the course topic. We’re trying to go deeper, helping students understand how the technical design decisions that they are making in their own code have societal impacts. Focusing on these details is a key part of the shift from ethical computing to responsible computing. We also engage our undergraduates in generating ideas and strategies for presenting this content to other students. We’re doing things in line with our culture, and we think that’ll have better results.”

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communications Manager Jesse C. Polhemus.