Ethics for Nerds Kevin Baum, Sarah Sterz, Holger Hermanns

News

20.09.2020

Important Re Exam Information No. 2

Hello everybody!

The re-exam of Ethics for Nerds will take place tomorrow, on September 21, 2020. Please be at the GHH at 14:00. The exam time will take 120 minutes. We plan to start at 14:15. However, keeping distance to each other and following the safety... Read more

Hello everybody!

The re-exam of Ethics for Nerds will take place tomorrow, on September 21, 2020. Please be at the GHH at 14:00. The exam time will take 120 minutes. We plan to start at 14:15. However, keeping distance to each other and following the safety instructions has priority, so we may start and finish later.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are several university-wide safety instructions that you have to follow in order to be allowed to write the exam. Please carefully read all of the following as well as the first page of the exam, that you can find in the materials section of the dcms. Before the exam, you will have to sign the first page, and we think that you should know beforehand what you are signing there. As a special gift from us to you, it also already contains the table of all issues including how many points each issue is worth.

What to do before the exam

  • Thoroughly read the first page of the exam (see Materials in the dcms)
  • Look up your seat number on your personal status page
  • Monitor your symptoms – you are not allowed to take the exam if you have any Corona-symptoms (for more information, see section “exclusion from the exam”).

What to bring to the exam

  • A face mask that properly covers both your nose and your mouth
  • Pens (non-erasable pens in dark blue or black)
  • Your student ID card
  • Your cheat sheet (single, handwritten DIN-A4 sheet of paper, writings on both sides are allowed)
  • Something to drink if you want to
  • Something to eat if you want to (but no noisy food or packaging, please)
  • Your mobile phone with the Corona app, if you want to

What to do when you come to the exam room

  • Wear your face mask (covering both your nose and your mouth!) at all times until the staff allows you to take it off. It is strongly recommended to keep you face mask on during the whole exam.
  • Make sure to keep your distance at all times.
  • Take all your belongings (including your bag and any electronic devices that you carry) with you to your seat.
  • Everything else that you will need to know will be said by the staff in the lecture hall.

Exclusion from the exam

If your answer is "yes" to one or more of the following questions, then you are not allowed to attend the exam. If you provide a doctor’s certificate to the examination office later on, the examination attempt will be cancelled and will not count.

  • Did you have definite contact with a Covid-19 patient, who was tested positive, in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • Cough / Husten
    • Sore throat / Halsschmerzen
    • Nasal congestion / runny nose / Schnupfen
    • Diarrhoea /Durchfall
    • Fever /Fieber
    • Aches and pains / Gliederschmerzen
    • Loss of smell (e.g. no longer able to smell burnt food) / Geruchsverlust
    • Loss of taste (e.g. unable to distinguish when food is burnt) / Geschmacksverlust”

Please take this seriously, both for your own safety and the safety of others. Also, you always must follow the instructions of the staff members in the lecture hall. Otherwise, you can be excluded from the exam.

If you have any more question, get in touch with Sarah.

See you tomorrow!

18.09.2020

Important Re Exam Information No. 1

Hello everybody!

The Ethics for Nerds re-exam of the summer semester 2020 will take place in the Günter-Hotz-Hörsaal on September 21, 2020 from 14:15 to 16:15. Please make sure to be there at 14:00 at the latest.

Note: You can only participate if you were... Read more

Hello everybody!

The Ethics for Nerds re-exam of the summer semester 2020 will take place in the Günter-Hotz-Hörsaal on September 21, 2020 from 14:15 to 16:15. Please make sure to be there at 14:00 at the latest.

Note: You can only participate if you were assigned a seat in the lecture hall (see your Personal Status page). If you do not have a seat but think that you should have one, please write an email to Sarah as soon as possible.

Writing an exam during a pandemic is quite a bit more complicated than writing an exam under normal conditions. So, you will also get a little more information than usual. This is the first part of the relevant information for you. The rest will follow one day before the exam.

1. You have to wear a mask.

Please note that it is absolutely necessary for you to bring your own protection mask with you. Students who have a doctor’s certificate that they cannot wear protection masks have to bring their own face shields and wear these instead of a mask.

2. You must not participate in the exam if you are to suspect that you are infected with SARS-CoV-2.

If your answer is "yes" to one or more of the following questions, then you are not allowed to attend the exam. If you provide a doctor’s certificate to the examination office later on, the examination attempt will be cancelled and will not count.

  • Did you have definite contact with a Covid-19 patient, who was tested positive, in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • Cough / Husten
    • Sore throat / Halsschmerzen
    • Nasal congestion / runny nose / Schnupfen
    • Diarrhoea /Durchfall
    • Fever /Fieber
    • Aches and pains / Gliederschmerzen
    • Loss of smell (e.g. no longer able to smell burnt food) / Geruchsverlust
    • Loss of taste (e.g. unable to distinguish when food is burnt) / Geschmacksverlust”

3. Please make sure to read and understand the cover sheet of the re-exam that you can find in the Materials section of the dcms.

Take care!

15.09.2020

Re Exam Seating

Hello everyone!

The re-exam will take place on September 21, 2 to 4 pm in the Günter-Hotz-Hörsaal. You were given a specific seat, which you can see at your personal status page. If you think that you should have a seat in the exam but were not allocated one,... Read more

Hello everyone!

The re-exam will take place on September 21, 2 to 4 pm in the Günter-Hotz-Hörsaal. You were given a specific seat, which you can see at your personal status page. If you think that you should have a seat in the exam but were not allocated one, then please write an email to Sarah as soon as possible.

Best wishes,
Your Ethics for Nerds Team

14.09.2020

LSF Registration Reminder

Dear everyone,

I just wanted to remind you that today is the last day for the lsf registrations. If you are not registered in the lsf, we cannot allow you to write the exam. So please make sure that you are properly registered. If you want to take the exam but... Read more

Dear everyone,

I just wanted to remind you that today is the last day for the lsf registrations. If you are not registered in the lsf, we cannot allow you to write the exam. So please make sure that you are properly registered. If you want to take the exam but cannot register for any reason (like your course of study does not allow you to register or you have technical difficulties), then please write me an email as soon as you can and we will figure something out for you.

Best wishes,
Sarah

10.09.2020

Essay Results and Re-Exam

Hello everybody,

The essay results are out now! You can see your results along with some feedback on your personal status page. If you have any questions regarding you essay, please get in contact with Sarah.

 

You also should be able to register in the LSF... Read more

Hello everybody,

The essay results are out now! You can see your results along with some feedback on your personal status page. If you have any questions regarding you essay, please get in contact with Sarah.

 

You also should be able to register in the LSF now.

If you want to participate in the re-exam:

  • Register in the LSF until Sunday (September 13), and
  • register in the dcms until Sunday (September 13).

If you want to participate in the re-exam, but do not know whether you can do so due to pandemic related issues, please

  • write Sarah an email as soon as possible (even if you are not yet sure whether you can attend or not), and
  • register for “The pandemic likely keeps me from taking the re-exam!” on your personal status page before Saturday (September 12). 
19.08.2020

Deadline Reminder

Hello everybody!

I just wanted to give you a quick reminder that the essay deadline is today at noon (not midnight!) in German time. Don't forget to hand your essay in by then!

Best wishes,
Sarah

13.08.2020

Exam Results and Exam Inspection

Hello everybody!

You can see the result of your exam on your personal status page.

As you know, we will have our exam inspection on Monday, August 17. In order to make everything pandemic-compliant, you will have to register for a specific slot on your... Read more

Hello everybody!

You can see the result of your exam on your personal status page.

As you know, we will have our exam inspection on Monday, August 17. In order to make everything pandemic-compliant, you will have to register for a specific slot on your personal status page. Only then will you be able to attend the exam inspection. The inspection will take place in HS002 in E1 3.

Also, the same that held during the exam will hold again here.

1. You have to wear a mask.

Please note that it is absolutely necessary for you to bring your own protection mask with you. Students who have a doctor’s certificate that they cannot wear protection masks have to bring their own face shields and wear these instead of a mask. You will have to wear your mask during the entire exam inspection.

2. You must not participate in the exam inspection if you are to suspect that you are infected with SARS-CoV-2.

If your answer is "yes" to one or more of the following questions, then you are not allowed to attend the exam inspection. If you provide a doctor’s certificate to the examination office later on, the examination attempt will be cancelled and will not count.

  • Did you have definite contact with a Covid-19 patient, who was tested positive, in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • Cough / Husten
    • Sore throat / Halsschmerzen
    • Nasal congestion / runny nose / Schnupfen
    • Diarrhoea /Durchfall
    • Fever /Fieber
    • Aches and pains / Gliederschmerzen
    • Loss of smell (e.g. no longer able to smell burnt food) / Geruchsverlust
    • Loss of taste (e.g. unable to distinguish when food is burnt) / Geschmacksverlust”

Also, you cannot take part if you have to be in quarantine according to a German or a Saarland regulation at the time of the exam inspection.

Take care! :)

04.08.2020

Important Exam Information No. 3 (Seating)

In case that you did not get your email with your seating information, you can see your seating here, too. (But please make sure to only come to the exam if you are admitted and properly registered!)

Matriculation numbers between 0 and 2569000:

In case that you did not get your email with your seating information, you can see your seating here, too. (But please make sure to only come to the exam if you are admitted and properly registered!)

Matriculation numbers between 0 and 2569000:

  • Exam Room: Günther-Hotz-Hörsaal (E2.2)
  • Entrance: upper doors of the lecture hall and not the doors that lead to the foyer

Matriculation numbers between 2569000 and 2578000:

  • Exam Room: HS II in E2.5
  • Entrance: You will have to use an entrance to the lecture hall that you probably have never used before. At the back of the building (next to the library), there is a door that directly leads into the lecture hall from the outside. It is a little hidden under some stairs, so you should plan for enough time to find this entrance. But don't worry, we will clearly mark this door to make sure that you find it.

Matriculaton numbers between 2578000 and ∞ :

  • Exam Room: HS I in E2.5
  • Entrance: Please use the door that is opposite of the Günther-Hotz-Hörsaal, and not the main doors upstairs or any other entrances to the building.

Those of you who have extra time as part of a Nachteilsausgleich are writing in the Günther-Hotz-Hörsaal.

 

04.08.2020

Important Exam Information No. 2

Hello everybody!

The first Ethics for Nerds exam of the summer semester 2020 will take place tomorrow, on August 5, 2020. Please be at your lecture hall at 14:00. The exam time will be 120 minutes for everybody. We plan to start at 14:15. However, keeping... Read more

Hello everybody!

The first Ethics for Nerds exam of the summer semester 2020 will take place tomorrow, on August 5, 2020. Please be at your lecture hall at 14:00. The exam time will be 120 minutes for everybody. We plan to start at 14:15. However, keeping distance to each other and following the safety instructions has priority, so we may start and finish later.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are several university-wide safety instructions that you have to follow in order to be allowed to write the exam. Please carefully read all of the following as well as the first page of the exam, that you can find in the materials section of the dcms. Before the exam, you will have to sign the first page, and we think that you should know beforehand what you are signing there. As a special gift from us to you, it also already contains the table of all issues including how many points each issue is worth.

What to do before the exam

  • Thoroughly read the first page of the exam (see Materials in the dcms)
  • Memorize which exam room you are in and the way to get to your exam room. (You will get a separate email with this information.)
  • Monitor your symptoms – you are not allowed to take the exam if you have any Corona-symptoms (for more information, see section “exclusion from the exam”).

What to bring to the exam

  • A face mask that properly covers both your nose and your mouth
  • Pens (non-erasable pens in dark blue or black)
  • Your student ID card
  • Your cheat sheet
  • Something to drink if you want to
  • Something to eat if you want to (but no noisy food or packaging, please)
  • Your mobile phone with the Corona app, if you want to (we recommend you to do so!)

What to do when you come to the exam room

  • Make sure that you use the correct entrance to the lecture hall. You will be told which entrance to use in a separate email.
  • Wear your face mask (covering both your nose and your mouth!) at all times until the staff allows you to take it off. It is strongly recommended to keep you face mask on during the whole exam.
  • Make sure to keep your distance at all times.
  • When you enter the exam hall, you will get a seating ticket with a row and a seat number. Go to this seat immediately.
  • Take all your belongings (including your bag and any electronic devices that you carry) with you to your seat.
  • Everything else that you will need to know will be said by the staff in the lecture hall.

Exclusion from the exam

If your answer is "yes" to one or more of the following questions, then you are not allowed to attend the exam. If you provide a doctor’s certificate to the examination office later on, the examination attempt will be cancelled and will not count.

  • Did you have definite contact with a Covid-19 patient, who was tested positive, in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • Cough / Husten
    • Sore throat / Halsschmerzen
    • Nasal congestion / runny nose / Schnupfen
    • Diarrhoea /Durchfall
    • Fever /Fieber
    • Aches and pains / Gliederschmerzen
    • Loss of smell (e.g. no longer able to smell burnt food) / Geruchsverlust
    • Loss of taste (e.g. unable to distinguish when food is burnt) / Geschmacksverlust”

Please take this seriously, both for your own safety and the safety of others. Also, you always must follow the instructions of the staff members in the lecture hall. Otherwise, you can be excluded from the exam.

If you have any more question, get in touch with Sarah.

See you tomorrow!

02.08.2020

Important Exam Information No. 1

Hello everybody!

The first Ethics for Nerds exam of the summer semester 2020 will take place on August 5, 2020 from 14:15 to 16:15.

Writing an exam during a pandemic is quite a bit more complicated than writing an exam under normal conditions. So, you will... Read more

Hello everybody!

The first Ethics for Nerds exam of the summer semester 2020 will take place on August 5, 2020 from 14:15 to 16:15.

Writing an exam during a pandemic is quite a bit more complicated than writing an exam under normal conditions. So, you will also get a little more information than usual. This is the first part of our information pack for you, that contains the two most crucial bits of information, which hold for all exams in the department. More course specific information (like in which lecture hall you will be writing) will be send to you later.

1. You have to wear a mask.

Please note that it is absolutely necessary for you to bring your own protection mask with you. Students who have a doctor’s certificate that they cannot wear protection masks have to bring their own face shields and wear these instead of a mask.

2. You must not participate in the exam if you are to suspect that you are infected with SARS-CoV-2.

If your answer is "yes" to one or more of the following questions, then you are not allowed to attend the exam. If you provide a doctor’s certificate to the examination office later on, the examination attempt will be cancelled and will not count.

  • Did you have definite contact with a Covid-19 patient, who was tested positive, in the last 14 days?
  • Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • Cough / Husten
    • Sore throat / Halsschmerzen
    • Nasal congestion / runny nose / Schnupfen
    • Diarrhoea /Durchfall
    • Fever /Fieber
    • Aches and pains / Gliederschmerzen
    • Loss of smell (e.g. no longer able to smell burnt food) / Geruchsverlust
    • Loss of taste (e.g. unable to distinguish when food is burnt) / Geschmacksverlust”

Take care!

23.07.2020

Exam Cheat Sheet

Dear everybody!

More detailed information on the exam will follow (especially what you have to know for exams during the pandemic), but just to avoid any confusion: You are allowed to bring one handwritten DIN A4 ‚cheat sheet‘ to the exam. You are allowed to... Read more

Dear everybody!

More detailed information on the exam will follow (especially what you have to know for exams during the pandemic), but just to avoid any confusion: You are allowed to bring one handwritten DIN A4 ‚cheat sheet‘ to the exam. You are allowed to write on both sides. Though you will have to know the basics, the exam is a lot more about applying skills you have acquired throughout the semester than about reproducing facts, as you probably know already if you looked at the mock exam. The best kind of exam prep is to practice (both the training exercises and the mock exam), and not to learn things by heart. 
 

We wish you a good exam phase!

 

PS: The mock exam only contains real exam questions from last year, and this year’s exam won‘t dramatically change in style (though probably a bit).

 

20.07.2020

Assignment Results (Again) and Sample Solution

Dear everybody,

Upon your request, I made a sample solution for the assignment. Also, a fellow student of yours send me a very persuasive argument that led me to re-correct all the assignments with less than 5 points and be super-duper pandemic-worthy nice in the... Read more

Dear everybody,

Upon your request, I made a sample solution for the assignment. Also, a fellow student of yours send me a very persuasive argument that led me to re-correct all the assignments with less than 5 points and be super-duper pandemic-worthy nice in the correction. For some of you, this makes a difference. Those of you who did not pass before can now see your updated points in the dcms along with a new feedback pdf (the new corrections are in blue).

But I again want to stress that this assignment is not representative of the exam. Please take a look at the mock exam in the materials and compare the difficulty there. You will see that it is much harder than the assignment. So, please, study well for the exam, especially if you struggled with the assignment!

Best wishes,
Sarah

20.07.2020

Assignment Results

Hello everybody,

The results for the assignment is online. You can see your results and can also download the correction as a pdf on your Personal Status page. Remember that the re-assignment is due on July 25.

Each exercise (except for Issue 2h) asked for... Read more

Hello everybody,

The results for the assignment is online. You can see your results and can also download the correction as a pdf on your Personal Status page. Remember that the re-assignment is due on July 25.

Each exercise (except for Issue 2h) asked for something very crucial. Please carefully look at the exercises where you lost points, even if you achieved many points on the assignment.

Best wishes!

13.07.2020

Assignment Hint

Hello everybody,

Just a very quick comment on the assignment:
In issue 2, the question says "Why is Alice wrong?" and so on. This of course is meant as "Why is Alice mistaken?" and not as "Why is Alice morally wrong?".

Good luck with your... Read more

Hello everybody,

Just a very quick comment on the assignment:
In issue 2, the question says "Why is Alice wrong?" and so on. This of course is meant as "Why is Alice mistaken?" and not as "Why is Alice morally wrong?".

Good luck with your assignments!

09.07.2020

Reminders

Hello everybody,

A few reminders of upcoming deadlines:

tomorrow: our course evaluation closes
You’d do us a great favour if you took part in it!

July 15: the assignment is due
Remember that you can only take part in the re-assignment if you handed... Read more

Hello everybody,

A few reminders of upcoming deadlines:

tomorrow: our course evaluation closes
You’d do us a great favour if you took part in it!

July 15: the assignment is due
Remember that you can only take part in the re-assignment if you handed something in for the main assignment.

July 17: the dcms registration for the essay and the main exam closes
If you are not sure yet whether you want or can take part, please register in the dcms anyway; you will be able to deregister in the dcms even after July 17. Also, do not confuse the dcms registration with the LSF registration. You need to register in the LSF separately.

Also, the essay was released yesterday. We recommend to take a look at it soon.
Have a nice last week of Vorlesungszeit!

Best,
The Ethics for Nerds team

30.06.2020

Q&A Sessions on Wednesday

Hello everybody,

Due to low attendance, we decided to cancel the Q&A sessions on Wednesdays. If you want to attent a Q&A, but you are unable to make it on Mondays for a good reason, then please get in touch with us.

Best,
The Ethics for Nerds team

29.06.2020

Dates and Registrations

Dear everyone,

We have some information that we want to share with you:

First, the calendar has been updated. The most important dates are:

1.7. Release of Assignment
8.7. Release of Essay
15.7. Assignment Deadline (end of day)
5.8. Exam
17.8. Exam... Read more

Dear everyone,

We have some information that we want to share with you:

First, the calendar has been updated. The most important dates are:

1.7. Release of Assignment
8.7. Release of Essay
15.7. Assignment Deadline (end of day)
5.8. Exam
17.8. Exam Inspection
19.8. Essay Deadline (at noon!)
21.9. Re-Exam
2.10. Re-Exam Inspection

All deadlines are in German time.

Second, please make sure to register in the LSF in time. If you are not registered in time, you will not be able to write the exam. You can see the registration deadline in the LSF. Usually, it is a week before the exam. There is no way of registering, if you miss this deadline. Certain students, like Erasmus students and students from certain subjects, might not be required and able to register in the LSF. They can take part in the exam without a registration and will receive a ‘Schein’ (paper certificate) from us after the course.

Third, please register in the dcms for the essay and the main exam until July 17. If you are not yet sure, you can register now and de-register even after July 17 without any consequences.

Finally, please fill in the evaluation that is linked in the Materials section. This would help us a lot.

Best,
the Ethics for Nerds team

29.06.2020

Course Evaluation

Hello everybody,

Under Materials, you will now find a link for the course evaluation. Please take the time to fill it in and thereby provide us valuable insight in how you like the course. It would be especially great if you also used the text boxes and write... Read more

Hello everybody,

Under Materials, you will now find a link for the course evaluation. Please take the time to fill it in and thereby provide us valuable insight in how you like the course. It would be especially great if you also used the text boxes and write something about your personal experience. The evaluation will be open until July 10.

Best,
your Ethics for Nerds team

22.06.2020

Exams and LSF registration

Hello everybody!

You should now all be able to register for the main exam in the LSF (if you were not able to do so before). The main exam is going to be on August 5 from approx. 14:00 to 16:00, and the re-exam will be on September 21 in the same time slot. It... Read more

Hello everybody!

You should now all be able to register for the main exam in the LSF (if you were not able to do so before). The main exam is going to be on August 5 from approx. 14:00 to 16:00, and the re-exam will be on September 21 in the same time slot. It will be a written exam and it will take place at the university. You can take any of the two exams, or both of them.

Please make sure that your university credentials in the dcms are up to date until then, especially your matriculation number. If your matriculation number, your name, or your email-address are wrong, e.g. because you had to register with mock-credentials, then please write an email to Sarah. If your term of study or your study subject are wrong, you do not have to update those, as those are for statistical purposes only.

Best,
The Ethics for Nerds team

12.05.2020

Q&As and Youtube

Hello everyone!

Our Q&A session is moved to 9am once again on both Mondays and Wednesdays until the demand form them increases. If you have a question, please be there until 9:20. We will stay until all your questions are answered and end the session then. If you... Read more

Hello everyone!

Our Q&A session is moved to 9am once again on both Mondays and Wednesdays until the demand form them increases. If you have a question, please be there until 9:20. We will stay until all your questions are answered and end the session then. If you cannot attend in this time slot, but would like to, please post us an email.

Also, we now have a Youtube channel. You can find links to continuously updated playlists in the materials. :)

Best wishes
The Ethics for Nerds team
 

04.05.2020

Welcome (Back)!

Hello everyone,
 

Welcome to Ethics for Nerds if you are new, and welcome back if you already participated in the Optional Preparation phase.

The official start of the course will be on Wednesday, May 6 at 1pm with a kick-off meeting in our Big Blue Button... Read more

Hello everyone,
 

Welcome to Ethics for Nerds if you are new, and welcome back if you already participated in the Optional Preparation phase.

The official start of the course will be on Wednesday, May 6 at 1pm with a kick-off meeting in our Big Blue Button room. It is linked both in the materials in the dcms and in the forum (it's the same that we also use for the Q&As). There, we will talk about some organizational matters of the course. But first and foremost, we will use the opportunity to get to know you and to introduce ourselves, such that you know who is behind the disembodies voices from the videos. But don’t worry: if you cannot attend this for some reason, you can also watch a video of the event later.

Before Wednesday, you do not have to do anything for the course yet. You especially do not need to come to any of the Q&As, if you do not have any specific questions. Also, if you feel a little overwhelmed by the Materials section of the dcms, that's ok. You do not have to look into any of that until after our kick-off. But if you are curious, there already are some materials online which you are invited to take a look at already.

There are quite a few more registrations than we had anticipated – which we are very happy about! But this also means that we might need to make some changes to our initial plans in order to accommodate so many participants. By the end of the week, there will also be an up-to-date version of the Manual, which will explain all the relevant course elements and what you can expect during the semester. Until then, the current version of the Manual will be deprecated. Instead, all your organizational questions will be answered during the kick-off, or (in case you cannot wait that long) in the forum or if you post us an email.
 

Best,
the Ethics for Nerds team

PS: For everyone who is waiting to hand in their training exercises, we have to ask you to be patient for a little longer. The organization that resolves around the training exercises is one of the things that might need some tweaking in order to account for so many participants. If you do not want to wait, feel free to post any solutions to the forum and get the feedback of your fellow students (and probably from us)!

15.04.2020

New times for Q&As

Hello everybody,

We adjusted the times of the Q&As as we got through with your questions very fast today. If the demand increases, we will have longer Q&A sessions again.Q&As are Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am until everyone’s questions are answered. If you want... Read more

Hello everybody,

We adjusted the times of the Q&As as we got through with your questions very fast today. If the demand increases, we will have longer Q&A sessions again.Q&As are Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am until everyone’s questions are answered. If you want to join, please be there before 9:30 am. Remember that you can use the Q&A to ask anything about the course and its content or just anything you want to discuss with us.

Stay healthy!
The Ethics for Nerds team

13.04.2020

The Manual, the Q&A Session, and more

Dear everyone,

Just a quick update on some important things:

The Manual

We uploaded a document called “Manual” in which you can find all kinds of helpful information on the course. It especially contains a growing diagram of our recommendation of how to... Read more

Dear everyone,

Just a quick update on some important things:

The Manual

We uploaded a document called “Manual” in which you can find all kinds of helpful information on the course. It especially contains a growing diagram of our recommendation of how to work your way through the material of the course. It will be updated at least weekly.

The Q&A Session

Q&A sessions take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 to 10:00 in the dlirium, the chair’s BigBlueButton instance. The link will be published in the forum in time. You will also find a thread where we invite you to post any questions you plan on asking in the Q&A the night before the Q&A. You are very much welcome to the Q&A even if you did not post anything in the forum, but you can very much help us to structure the Q&A better if you post your questions ahead of time.

The Timetable

The timetable now contains all relevant dates.

Study Groups

The forum contains a subforum where you can search for other students that are interested in forming study groups. As of now, there are more then 120 students registered. So, if you are looking for someone you can share you learning experience with, you will most likely find someone there.

Stay healthy and see you on Wednesday!
The Ethics for Nerds team

08.04.2020

Optional Preparation

Hello everyone,

last night the university has communicated new rules regarding online instruction taking place before May 4. The following induces some changes and some clarifications regarding the organization of our course.

  1. Participation before May 4 is... Read more

Hello everyone,

last night the university has communicated new rules regarding online instruction taking place before May 4. The following induces some changes and some clarifications regarding the organization of our course.

  1. Participation before May 4 is entirely optional. (We call this  “Optional Preparation” in the sequel.)
  2. What we offer during Optional Preparation is  a selection of the contents from the regular course.
  3. Everything offered in Optional Preparation will again be presented as part of the regular course starting May 4.
  4. Participating now in Optional Preparation will make you acquainted with the course matter, and thus be of help (which is our intention). Not participating will not be a disadvantage for the upcoming regular course, since the course matter will unfold in the regular pace then.

During Optional Preparation, you will get new videos and accompanying materials offered every week, we offer Q&A sessions where you can ask us anything, and you can use the forum for all kinds of questions.

You will, however, not be able to hand in your solutions to feedback exercises during Optional Preparation.

New materials will be uploaded every Wednesday at 2:15 pm (starting today).

Stay healthy!
The Ethics for Nerds Team

04.04.2020

Our Lecture Mode

Things change fast, and some of the below only holds for the main course that starts on May 4. Before this, we are in Optional Preparation.

 

Dear everyone,

What would have been the start of the semester is approaching very fast. So, we want to update you... Read more

Things change fast, and some of the below only holds for the main course that starts on May 4. Before this, we are in Optional Preparation.

 

Dear everyone,

What would have been the start of the semester is approaching very fast. So, we want to update you on what will for now be our mode of operation.

Basically, you will get access to some videos which are lecture-like and additional exercises that accompany the video to practice what you learned. Each week, you will get new videos and exercises. You will have different formats of getting feedback. In detail, all the building blocks of the lecture are:

Videos. Those videos are basically what a lecture would be like, but oftentimes we split the videos up into multiple parts for your convenience. New videos are released on Wednesdays (when our lecture would have been).

Exercise Sheets. Exercise sheets contain, you guessed it, exercises.  Most of them are voluntary training exercises. For many of those you will get a sample solution. Some exercises from the exercise sheet are marked as feedback exercises. Those you can hand in via the dcms and receive feedback on them. There are no deadlines for these exercises. You can hand them in whenever you want to and we will give you feedback on your work within the next week (given at least that all of us are available, i.e. not ill).

Forum. The dcms forum is a place where you can ask questions, discuss with your fellow students as well as with us. It will be moderated, and we try to answer any questions within at most 24 hours. We will also occasionally open threads with additional exercises or discussion questions that you can discuss as a group. Discussing with others, be via text or via voice or video chat, is very crucial to succeeding in this course. So please try to actively participate in forum discussions.

Q&A Sessions. Starting with the second week, we will have virtual Office Hours in BigBlueButton, a conference platform. We will tell you in time when those will be and how you can access the platform. There, you can discuss with your fellow students in small groups or work on the exercises and it also is your opportunity to ask us questions. You can especially discuss solutions on training exercises with us, that are not feedback exercises. Besides this, you basically can ask us anything on the content of the course you want to know. Because the course is asynchronous and you can work on whatever topic interests you most right now, there is no fixed topic for any of the Q&A sessions. There will be a thread in the forum where we kindly ask you to post any questions at least a day earlier such that we can cluster the questions and answer them in a more efficient manner.

ATTENTION: the following information on admission and grading is preliminary and will be fixed only when the semester officially starts. It also is subject to change depending on incoming university or state regulations. However, we will try everything such that it will not get more demanding than the following (e.g. we will not suddenly announce additional admission criteria).

Admission. For admission, you have to hand in a single assignment mid June. You will have the opportunity to re-submit two weeks later if it turns out that you failed the first time.

Grading. You will be graded on two things: an exam (or re-exam, depending on where you performed better) and an essay. You will have the opportunity to hand in a mock essay for prior training and feedback. The essay deadline as well as the exam will be in late July or in August.

 

If it becomes justifiable again to meet in person, we will transform this lecture mode into a regular lecture mode with presence time. We will, of course, notify you of any operational changes.

Even though we have plenty of teaching experience, nobody from the team has ever given a remote course before. So, this is as new to us as it is to you. We try our best in making the new situation work. If it turns out not to work the way we wanted to, the above is subject to change. In the case of any alterations to the course format, you will of course be notified. We also very much encourage you to give us feedback – both positive and negative. Write us, what you like about the course, what you do not like, what you struggle with and what you think we could do better. We can improve only if we know what you like and what you do not like. To give us feedback, you can write us an email, talk to us in the Q&A, or use the anonymous feedback function in the dcms. (And yes, the feedback function really is anonymous. So, if you have any request of which you want an answer form us, please choose some other way of communication.)

And last but not least: Welcome to Ethics for Nerds! :)

Stay healthy,
The Ethics for Nerds Team

19.02.2020

Hochschulperle

We recently were awarded the Hochschulperle 2019. Thanks for your support and your votes!

Show all
 

Ethics for Nerds

Wednesdays, 14-16, HS001 in E1 3 
Time: whenever you want
Place: online

The impact of computer science and related fields on our society and everyday life has increased tremendously over the last decade. There is no evidence that this process will end anytime soon. We thus believe that computer scientists should be aware of the societal and morally relevant impact of the artifacts they build and of the systems they contribute to. This awareness can be trained and sharpened. Furthermore, computer scientists ought to have the necessary competences for making morally acceptable and professional decisions in the development processes they are participating in. However, the thoughts and insights of academic ethics – i.e. the field professionally concerned with ethics and morals – are a necessary precondition for these competences, but usually not part of computer scientists' studies and education.

This course aims at bridging this gap. It will introduce both, relevant knowledge from the field of academic moral philosophy and soft skills needed to argue clearly, precisely, and convincingly (i.e. beyond the level of everyday discussions at bars and parties). We will teach you how to apply these skills to problems most likely just lurking around the corner in your career – be it in research, be in industry. After all, we will explain and train these skills by discussing several current issues live and in color – from filter bubbles over predictive ML-algorithms to autonomous cars.

This course is a Vertiefungsvorlesung and worth 6 CP.

Contents

This course covers: 

  • an introduction to the methods of philosophy, argumentation theory, and the basics of normative as well as applied ethics;
  • starting points to evaluate practices and technologies already in use or not that far away, like for instance: Filter Bubble Effects/Echo Chambers, ML-algorithms as predictive tools, GPS-tracking, CCTV and other tools from surveillance, fitness trackers, big data analysis, autonomous vehicles, lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) and so on;
  • a guide through the jungle of moral codices of professional associations, enabling and encouraging you to distinguish convincing and coherent codices from bad and incoherent ones;
  • an outlook on more futuristic fields like machine ethics (longing for implementing and ensuring ethical behavior into software and robots, e.g. autonomous vehicles) and roboethics (concerned with the morally adequate behavior of humans toward technical systems),
  • and more.

Presuppositions

Even though this is an Advanced Course, we expect hardly any previous knowledge except for basic knowledge about propositional and first-order logic. What nevertheless is a vital precondition is an open mind and an interest to look at computer science in a way you are not used to.
The lecture and all its materials obviously are in English, but if you feel more comfortable to write assignments and exams in German, you are invited to do so. Nevertheless, for this course you should have a level of either German or English that is equivalent to a strong B2 or better a C1 level (see here for further details). We do not need any formal proof that you fulfil the requirements, but we strongly recommend taking them seriously. If you are in any doubt whether this course is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Literature

Upon request, you will find some literature that may be interesting to read before the course. Reading this, however, is not mandatory! We will cover everything that you will need to know during the course (except for the presuppositions above). You will not have a disadvantage if you do not read any of the literature that follows:

  1. Moor, J. H. (1985). What is computer ethics?. Metaphilosophy, 16(4), 266-275.
    A rather old paper that is nevertheless still very relevant today. Available here.
  2. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    This is the wikipedia of philosophy with lots of high-quality articles. Among others, the following articles are relevant for Ethics for Nerds and are relatively easy to understand without a philosophical background:
  3. Another resourse of material can be the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, in particular the following articles:
  4. Rosenberg, J. F. (1984). The practice of philosophy: A handbook for beginners.
    If you are very much into philosophy, you can also dive a little deeper into the daily business of philosophers by having a look at this all-time-classic introduction to being a philosopher. Sadly, the English edition of this book is usually very expensive, but you will find the book in the SULB and in the philosophy library.
     

Earlier editions of this lecture series have been made possible by support from the Excellence Cluster MMCI and the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science. The lecture takes place annually in the summer term.



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