Miami, June 21, 2019 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed School of Engineering + Technology (EnTec) has been selected to receive part of $2.4 million awarded to 17 initiatives nationwide that integrate ethics into undergraduate computer science courses. The Responsible Computer Science Challenge is an ambitious initiative by Omidyar Network, Mozilla, Schmidt Futures, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and aims to integrate ethics and responsibility into undergraduate computer science curricula and pedagogy at U.S. colleges and universities.
Challenge winners are receiving up to $150,000. MDC will use the funds to integrate ethics content into core computer science courses and develop social impact projects in collaboration with industry, nonprofits and government agencies with the objective of increasing students’ awareness of ethics and social impact. MDC has integrated social responsibility competencies across the curriculum since launching its award-winning student learning outcomes initiative in 2007. As stated in learning outcome 7: Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of ethical thinking and its application to issues in society.
The RCS Challenge provides MDC the ability to leverage its existing resources creating a rich platform for collaboration and learning among students, faculty, and community-based organizations making an impact in our community while preparing students for a more complex marketplace.
“This opportunity will provide incentivized avenues for technology students to develop and apply social consciousness and ethical practices embedded within their day-to-day course work as well as extracurricular activities,” said George Gabb, EnTec professor and principal investigator in charge of the project. “We are preparing students to participate in today’s tech economy. That market requires more than a traditional product development approach focused only on innovation, market share and profit margins.”
The Responsible Computer Science Challenge is part of Mozilla’s mission to empower the people and projects on the front lines of internet health work.
“Today’s computer scientists write code with the potential to affect billions of people’s privacy, security, equality, and well-being. Technology today can influence what journalism we read and what political discussions we engage with; whether or not we qualify for a mortgage or insurance policy; how results about us come up in an online search; whether we are released on bail or have to stay; and so much more,” added Kathy Pham, computer scientist and Mozilla Fellow co-leading the Challenge. “These 17 winners recognize that power, and take crucial steps to integrate ethics and responsibility into core courses like algorithms, compilers, computer architecture, neural networks, and data structures.”
Launched in October 2018, the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, incubated at Omidyar Network’s Tech and Society Solutions Lab, is part of Omidyar Network’s growing efforts to mitigate the unintended consequences of technology on our social fabric, and ensure products are responsibly designed and brought to market. Learn more about at www.omidyar.com.