CS489 Computer Ethics and Social Issues (Autumn 2020)


Time: 13:00-14:30, Mondays and Wednesdays Location: N1, Room 102


Shin Yoo shin.yoo@kaist.ac.kr Office: E3-1 Room 2405


All class announcements, as well as Q&A, will take place using a dedicated Slack workspace. You are required to join if you want to continue this course. It is strongly recommended that you install either a desktop or a mobile client, to get notifications. Actual workspace link will be provided soon.


This course is concerned with a broad range of ethical issues that are closely related to, or have their origins at, computing technology and their uses. The aim of the course is not to find the answer to these problems. Rather, we will examine them from various angles together and discuss what we can do.

Another very important apsect of this course is that we will go through concrete technology that can help us while dealing with these issues. For example, instead of just saying that privacy is important, we will also look at techniques that allow you to effetively hide your data. Instead of just saying that a society should be fair, we will look at techniques that test large software systems for fairness.


  • Active Class Participation: a non-trivial part of this course is in-class presentation and discussion. If you just sit quietly, you will not gain much from this course. Also, note that class participation is 30% of the whole grade.
  • Strong programming skills: you are required to develop an individual course project. There will be also a number of hands-on sessions where we will program together during the class.
  • Unix/Linux-savvy: you should be familiar with the usual build tools and Unix/Linux command line environments.
  • Git-aware: you will be required to submit a github repository as part of your project deliverables.
  • Ideally, a laptop you can bring to the classroom. If this becomes a problem, let me know.


  • 30% Course Participation
  • 40% Courseworks
  • 30% Course Project

Teaching Assistant

  • Jinhan Kim, jinhankim@kaist.ac.kr
  • Office hour: Tuesday 14:30-17:30 @ E3-1, Room 2443.

Lecture Schedule

These dates and topics are tentative.


To be announced.

To be announced.

This list is not an obligation, but contains highly recommended readings if you want to widen your views around the issues we will handle throughout the course.