ICS 131--Social Analysis of Computerization

Winter 2000

Julian Feldman and Christine Salazar

Course Numbers, Rooms, and Meeting Times

Lecture A (36160) SSL 248 MW 2:00- 3:20

Discus 1 (36161) ET 204 M 9:00- 9:50

Discus 2 (36162) ET 204 M 10:00-10:50


Instructor: Julian Feldman, 430D CS, 949-824-7078, feldman@ics.uci.edu, office hours: 2-3 T


Assistant: Christine Salazar, csalazar@ics.uci.edu

Librarian: Julia Gelfand, 228 Science Library, 824-4971, jgelfand@uci.edu

Lectures, Discussions, Library briefing

Lecture periods will be used for presentation of material by the instructor, and for discussions. Discussion sections will be used primarily to work on term projects and to present term projects .

Library briefing. 24 Jan 2000 in discussion sections

Reading material

The primary source of reading material will be Kling, Computerization and Controversy, 2d ed, 1996.


Term project (100 points). The principal deliverable will be a term project. The term project is a group project. The preferred group size is five. Each project will be designed to provide some lasting value to ICS students, e.g., an ICS undergraduate curriculum for the first decade of the new millenium, a proposal for a course in the history of computing, a proposal for a distance learning version of 131, a presentation on computer health and safety. A list of other possible projects will be available.

Selection of topics. During Week 1 in discussion sections, we will try to answer your questions about the various topics . On Wednesday of Week 2 please hand in a written list of three project topics of interest to you and the names of people you want to work with. Final selection of topics and groups on Monday of Week 3. Presentations will take place in discussion in weeks 9 and 10.

Schedule of partial deliverables and their value. TBA

Final exam (50 points). Probably four or five essay questions covering required readings and lectures Evidence of additional readings or other relevant information will be considered favorably. Answers must be legible. The answer to each question should not exceed two 8.5íí x 11" pages. Paper will be supplied. Sample questions will be distributed before the exam.


Quizzes (48 points). You will have six opportunities to show that you are keeping up with the readings and lectures by answering questions in the quizzes. The quizzes will be given at the end of the Monday lecture on the days indicated in the schedule. The quiz on a given Monday will cover the material in all of the readings and lectures through the previous Wednesday.


Guaranteed cut points: 180/200 is an A; 170/200 is a B; 160/200 is a C.

Three things to be careful of

Academic Dishonesty-- Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, dishonest conduct, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities erode the Universityís educational and social roles. These behaviors cheapen the learning experience and its legitimacy not only for the perpetrators but for the entire community. It is essential that you subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity and accept individual responsibility for your work. [Adapted from a statement by the Office of the Dean of Students]

Additional material on academic dishonesty is available from the lecturer, the Dean of Students, and the UCI Winter 2000 Schedule of Classes, pp 135-137.

Sexual harassment. We have had some problems with sexual harassment in previous offerings of ICS courses. We urge you to read the campus brochure on sexual harassment (a copy will be provided at the end of the first lecture) and report any instances of sexual harassment.

VDT health and safety. Computing equipment is not always benign nor is the computing environment always benign. We will discuss this problem in greater detail during the course. In the meantime, here are a few helpful hints:

ēYou should take a break for 5 or 10 minutes after each hour of continuous use of a workstation/pc/computer terminal. Get up and stretch, look around the room, work on the plan for your project, etc.

ēYou should adjust your chair so that your forearms and thighs are parallel to the floor. This may require a foot rest or reasonable facsimile. Keep your wrists straight. You may want to purchase a wrist rest. If you can't keep this recommended position, don't keep any other position for very long.

ēIf you have not had your vision checked in the past twelve months, you might want to do that; and tell your vision care specialist that you will be spending several hours a day in front of a display.

ēTo avoid unnecessary radiation, you should stay 20-24" away from the front of a screen and about 48" away from the back and sides of a display. This advice is based on old displays and is reasonably conservative. Newer monitors like those in the ICS undergraduate labs give off less radiation. Laptops and notebooks are even better.

How to get in touch with the lecturer

Trying to talk to the lecturer at the beginning or end of the lecture are not usually the best times. Before the lecture, he is nervous getting ready to talk to a group of critical students. After the lecture, heís tired. Three better ways of talking to the lecturer are the following:

Office hours. JF will have non-appointment office hours in 430D CS from 2-3 PM on Tuesdays. At least one other office hours will be arranged. If you canít make these hours or want to make sure JF will be there, call at 949-824-7078 to make an appointment . If JF is not in to take your call, please leave a message and he will get back to you.

Lunches.The best feedback I ever had from teaching was when two of my children took ICS 1A. Because my children have long since graduated, I need you to give me some feedback on how the course is going. You can do this by coming to office hours, or you can take advantage of the Student-Faculty meal program and join me for lunch. Sign-up sheets will be available next week.

Electronic mail. E-mail is an alternative communication option for the course, i.e., a way of sending messages to the lecturer and TA. JFís e-mail address is feldman@ics.uci.edu. I donít promise to read my electronic mail every day, but I will check it two or three times a week.

Ms. Salazar will provide you with information on how to contact her.

Adds, Drops, and Change of Grade Options

You can drop the course during the first two weeks of the quarter--no questions asked. You will be able to add the course during the first two weeks as space becomes available. If you donít come to either of the first two lectures and either of the first two discussions, we will assume you will drop the course, and we will fill your seat. However, you must file a signed drop card to actually drop the course.

The only opportunity to drop after the end of week 2 will be during week 7. And if you drop during week 7, you get a W. Why? We have a waiting list of people who want to get into the course, but we have a cap on enrollment. If you drop late, you are taking up a place somebody else could have used.

I have had one recent case of drop card forgery, please donít create another one for me.

Grade options canít be changed after the end of week 2.

Incompletes. JF does not give incompletes. In more than thirty years of teaching, I can count the number of incompletes I have given on the fingers on one hand. Donít count on me to start counting on my other hand at my advanced age.

What is this course about?

The answer to this question can be approached by comparing this course to other ICS courses. With your help, we will try to answer the following questions for this course and for other ICS courses: What is the goal of the course? What is the content of the course? What are the deliverables--from the students? from the staff? What do students have to do to prepare deliverables?

Review of deliverables for first two weeks


Schedule of deliverables for term project

Will be announced soon.