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Methods in Undergraduate Computer Ethics Education

The field of computer ethics examines the applied philosophy of best practices, guidelines, and values in the use of computers. This includes anything that can be done with a computer, like machine learning, language processing, writing algorithms, or how those are applied. The application and use of these programs can have detrimental real-world consequences. Already there have been major concerns raised about the risk new technologies pose by worsening inequality, reinforcing bias, and spreading misinformation. However, these potential ethical consequences are not always obvious or easy to see when complex systems are developed. It is therefore crucial that computer scientists learn early how to recognize and evaluate their work through an ethical lens. Towards this end it is essential to integrate ethics in the computer science curriculum. Computer science students, especially those at the university level, represent the future of computer science work and will undoubtedly help shape the future of the technological world. My work is a review of current methods in undergraduate computer ethics education that investigates best practices of integrating ethics into the computer science curriculum, examines how current students learn computer ethics, explores student perspectives, and suggests practical use cases on how ethics can be integrated within the computer science program at the University of Denver.