CMSC 121-01
Fall 2017
08/21/2017
Technology and Society assignment
Due:  see below

Assignment:   (10% of COURSE grade)

Research a topic on computing history and its impact on society, and write a short paper on it.

Possible topics:
  • How has computing helped or hurt local or local governments?
  • How has the medical field been impacted by computing?
  • How has the arts and arts organizations been impacted by computing?
  • The impact of computing on social service organizations (eg food banks, homeless shelters, etc)
  • Biographical study of a person in computing and how his/her contributions to the field of computing affected society.  EG  
    • Alan Turing 
    • John von Neumann 
    • Grace Hopper
    • Herman Hollerith
    • Presper Eckert
    • (Note:  Charles Babbage; Ada, Countess of Lovelace; Bill Gates; and Steve Jobs will not be allowed as topics for your writing.)
  • If you have other ideas, come talk to me about them.   

Abstract and Source List  (worth 10% of the ASSIGNMENT grade) - due Friday, October 6, beginning of class  CHANGED TO FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 beginning of class

Abstract:
You are to write an abstract for your paper, outlining what your paper will be about.  This abstract will likely be between 150 and 200 words.      Yes, this is a very loose description of what the abstract should be.  Some thoughts:
  • It should be written in complete sentences.
  • After reading it, one should know what the "topic" is.    I will be looking to see that the topic is not too broad, and that there is some substantive content possible.  
  • It should contain at least two sentences giving some details of the type of information a reader should expect from the paper.
  • You may consider this a "proposal", being submitted for approval.  Thus, it should be neat and presentable.   (eg.  Typed)
  • Any substantive changes between submission of your abstract and submission of your final paper should be discussed with me ahead of time.
Source List:
You need to find 3 sources to support your work.     Turn in a list of these sources that includes for each source:
  • the name/citation of the source
  • a statement of the kind of information contained in the source (obviously, should support your abstract)
  • a statement as to why you believe this source to contain trustworthy information.   This is especially important for online sources.   
  • For online sources, be certaint that your citation style includes:
    • The URL (web address) of the actual document.
    • The date when you found that document at that URL.
    • The "author" or "owner" of the content.   (It may be a single person, like Jane Jones, PhD, or it may be an entity like "The Timbuktu Museum".)
Handin:
A printout of your abstract and source list is due at the beginning of class on Friday, October 6, as well as an electronic version via Canvas.

The actual paper - due Friday, December 1, beginning of class

Paper length:  
  • at least 4 pages (not including "bibliography")
Abstract:

The paper should contain an abstract at the beginning.   This MAY be the same as you submitted earlier, or you may make minor changes to it.   Major content changes should be discussed with me ahead of time.

Format requirements:  
  • Typed/Word Processed and printed
  • non-fancy font  (e.g.   Helvetica, Times, or Courier families are fine)
  • Title page with title, date, and your name
  • 12 point font, double spaced, one-inch margins
"Bibliography":  (in this class, a "bibliography" is a list of sources with supporting information as given above)
You should have at least 3 sources in your bibliography. The exact citation style is unimportant for this assignment.  Choose whichever you prefer (e.g.   MLA)
These sources MAY be different than the ones you submitted with your abstract.

Each source should include: 
  • the name/citation of the reference
  • a statement of the kind of information contained in the reference
  • a statement as to why you believe this reference to contain trustworthy information.   This is especially important for online references.   
  • See above (the section on the abstract above) regarding citing online resources.
Handin:

A printout of your paper is due at the beginning of class on Friday, December 1, as well as an electronic version via Canvas.