Five Years Teaching Ethics and Computing

Deciding how best to teach ethics to computer science, data science, and engineering students remains a challenge. Broadly, two approaches are suggested: embedding ethics into courses throughout the curriculum or placing most of the ethics education into a free-standing course. Both approaches have strengths and weaknesses. In this article we describe our experience teaching a free-standing course that is placed in the university core curriculum and is a joint effort between the Philosophy and Computer Science departments. We suggest that material from Philosophy beyond moral theory has played a key role in making our course a success and that students are deeply interested in applying themes from moral theory and philosophy more generally to both life and career.