CSE3323 The computer industry: historical social and professional issues - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Gopal Gupta


Clayton : Gopal Gupta


The unit will survey the history of computing, development of electronic digital computers and their subsequent architectural evolution, history of software (compilers, operating systems, network technology) and how these developments have been played out in the computer industry. Risks of computer usage, and the legal and ethical implications of computer failures will be examined. Technical legal issues will also be considered, including software copyright, patent protection, and licensing. Problems arising from the nature of large-scale software development within large organisations - including software and quality management, scheduling software development, software modularity and reusability - and managerial, ethical and professional responsibilities involved will be treated.


Knowledge and Understanding

Students should develop:

Knowledge of professional ethics; professional and industry bodies, intellectual property rights, laws and protection; privacy laws; contracts, rights and obligations; historical development of computing, the industry and profession; Understanding of the various forms of intellectual property and their corresponding protection schemes; the practical issues of privacy and its legal obligatiions; issues relating to the specification, supply and evaluation of computing systems from both the vendor's and the client's viewpoints.

Attitudes, Values and Beliefs:

On completion students should have developed an appreciation of the importance of computer and business ethics in the practise of the computing profession and an appreciation of the impact that they as computer professionals can have on society. They should also have an understanding of the importance of the organizational structure in achieving professional outcomes. Practical Skills

Following this unit students should have abilities to analyse realistic problems likely to be encountered in their professional lives in terms of legal, social and cultural issues. They should also be able to suggest and evaluate solutions to professional problems and deal with conflicts of interest in ways that meet the legal and ethical obligations of computing professionals.

Relationships, Communication and TeamWork:

On completion students should have developed an appreciation of the importance of the computing professional's role as part of a problem solving team. They should also have an understanding of the ways such teams can be structured and the communications required within such teams and with the clients and employers.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed

At least 36 points of level 2 or level 3 units or equivalent. The main issue is one of maturity since this unit deals with fairly abstract concepts rather than specific technical details, hence the non-specific prerequisites.

Unit relationships

CSE3323 is a core unit of the Bachelor of Software Engineering. It is an elective unit of the Bachelor of Computer Science.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Students will be expected to use the World-Wide-Web, current newspapers and trade magazines, and other material as appropriate. A list of references will be provided.

There is no particular textbook.

Textbook availability

This unit has no textbook.

Software requirements

There is no software requirement.

Hardware requirements

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will on the average need to allocate up to 3 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Students will be expected to use the World-Wide-Web, current newspapers and trade magazines, and other material as appropriate. A list of references will be put on the Web.

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for CSE3323 are:

To be announced.

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics Study Guide References/Readings
1 General information about CSE3323 and CSE5323 will be presented. None On the Unit Website
2 important ideas in computing languages and compilers. None On the Unit Website
3 important ideas in networking. None On the Unit Website
4 implications of computer failures. None On the Unit Website
5 software protection and piracy. None On the Unit Website
6 information privacy None On the Unit Website
7 impact of new technologies on privacy None On the Unit Website
8 employment and outsourcing. None On the Unit Website
9 start a computing business None On the Unit Website
10 how to be a manager ? None On the Unit Website
Non teaching week
11 a selected topic (e.g. computer security) None On the Unit Website
12 impact of Microsoft, Google, Amazon None On the Unit Website
13 Review None On the Unit Website


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of 40% for the final 3-hour examination and 60% for two essay assignments.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

You must obtain a satisfactory mark in the final examination and pass the two essay assignments.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Addition of the two essay assignment marks and the final examination marks.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment 1 14 August 2006 30%
Assignment 2 18 September 2006 30 %
The exam is 3 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 40 %

Assignment specifications will be made available TBA.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by electronic as well as paper submission.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty. Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made in writing or email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Unit improvements

Not applicable

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

Feel free to contact the lecturer after the lecture or tutorial and also by email.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Wednesday 2-5PM. Also feel free to contact me any other time I am in my office.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

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All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Jul 24, 2006