Charles Knutson
2214 TMCB
Twitter: @cdknutson
(801) 422-5319
Hours: By appointment

Teaching Assistants

Kelsey Allan, Kyra Nelson
TA Cubicle 13, Dungeon
   (1058 TMCB)
Twitter: @cs404ta
Hours: By appointment

Meeting Time & Place

1:35–2:50 p.m., Tue & Thurs
3106 JKB

See the Schedule for lecture
topics, dates, and deadlines.

Course Goals

Overall Objective:

To write about and discuss matters that impact each student's future professional life as well as society as a whole, in the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Specific Objectives:

  1. To help students understand the connection between the gospel of Jesus Christ and their professional life.
  2. To analyze, write about, and discuss issues and ethical problems related to computing and the application of evolving technologies in society.
  3. To gain appreciation for the history of computing in order to sharpen the students' sense of their own future.
  4. To help students understand the need to engage in continuing professional development.

Books & Readings

  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White
  • The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll
  • Your choice of a book from the Booklist, OR another book, related to technology and society, selected by student with instructor approval
  • A number of additional articles and papers are linked to on the Schedule page.


Grades are computed according to the following distribution:

   Smallish Posts
   Current Events
   Book-Inspired Posts
   Blog Comments
   Personal Writing Workshop
   Daily Readings
   Elements of Style
   The Cuckoo's Egg
   Book of Your Choice
Social Networking
    Internet Safety Wiki
Surveys and Grade Checks
    Evidence of Learning Surveys
    Midterm and Final Grade Checks
Position Vlog
Literary Extravaganza
Articles of Personal Ethics

Grade scale:

  • 94% — A
  • 90% — A-
  • 87% — B+
  • 84% — B
  • 80% — B-
  • 77% — C+
  • 74% — C
  • 70% — C-

Any student who attends all classes and puts forth something resembling a sincere effort is guaranteed at least a C- in this course.

I will not assign grades any lower than this scale, but reserve the right to be more generous.

See the Coursework page for details about the course workload and how assignments are to be completed.


The primary vehicles for communication are:

  1. Class time
  2. The course website
  3. Correspondence with the professor or TA
  4. Office hours with the professor or TA

You should be in class on time if at all possible. If you miss any part of any class, it is your responsibility to get full information from a classmate concerning any information communicated in your absence. You are responsible and accountable for this information whether you are there or not.

WARNING: Deadlines and policies may be subject to change during the semester as deemed necessary by the instructor. All changes will be reported in class as well as clearly posted on the class web site. It is the student's responsibility to stay current and check the website and their email regularly during the week.

Please come see us or email us if you have any problems, concerns or feedback.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity involves the honesty and energy with which you pursue knowledge and learning. There are really two kinds of cheating. The one we hear most about involves dishonesty toward others. This is reflected in the honor code:

"BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct."

In particular I'm most concerned with two specific problems that have occasionally arisen in this course:

"Intentional Plagiarism is the deliberate act of representing the words, ideas, or data of another as one's own without providing proper attribution to the author through quotation, reference, or footnote."
"Inadvertent Plagiarism involves the inappropriate, but nondeliberate, use of another's words, ideas, or data without proper attribution. Inadvertent plagiarism usually results from an ignorant failure to follow established rules for documenting sources or from simply being insufficiently careful in research and writing. Although not a violation of the Honor Code, inadvertent plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct for which an instructor can impose appropriate academic sanctions. Students who are in doubt as to whether they are providing proper attribution have the responsibility to consult with their instructor and obtain guidance."

It is also important to practice integrity in the way you pursue learning, or in other words, the eagerness with which you seek to improve yourself. When you attempt to skate through a class with a minimal effort, you cheat yourself. The punishment that tends to result from such "cheating" is a lower grade. But the negative impacts are really much deeper than that.

"Life gives to all the choice. You can satisfy yourself with mediocrity if you wish. You can be common, ordinary, dull, colorless, or you can channel your life so that it will be clean, vibrant, progressive, rich. You can soil your record, defile your soul, trample underfoot virtue, honor, and goodness, and thus forfeit an exaltation in the kingdom of God. Or you can be righteous, commanding the respect and admiration of your associates in all walks of life, and enjoying the love of the Lord. Your destiny is in your hands and your all important decisions are your own to make."
    — Spencer W. Kimball

Bottom line… Be honest with your teacher and with your fellow students. Also be honest with yourself. Dive in and get the most out of this class experience. This is a class in which you'll get out of it largely what you put in.

Preventing Sexual Harassment

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education. Title IX covers discrimination in programs, admissions, activities, and student-to-student sexual harassment.

BYU's policy against sexual harassment extends not only to employees of the university, but to students as well. If you encounter sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, or other inappropriate behavior, please talk to your professor or department chair, or contact the BYU Equal Employment Opportunity Office at 422-5895, or contact the Honor Code Office at 422-2847.

Students With Disabilities

Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability that may impair your completing this course successfully, please contact the University Accessibility Center (422-2767). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the UAC. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures. You may contact the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895, D-282 ASB.