CSE5323 Professional issues - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Gopal Gupta


Clayton : Gopal Gupta


A brief overview of the history of various aspects of computing technology and the related development of aspects of the computrer industry is presented. Then issues relevant to computing professionals are covered, including:

  • risks of computer usage, and the professional, legal and ethical implications thereof;
  • issues relating to privacy and the professional, legal and ethical implications thereof
  • technical legal issues including software copyright, patent protection, and licensing;
  • other aspects of protection and control of intellectual property;
  • legal, ethical and professional issues relating to computerized system development, including tendering, contracts, acceptance testing, adequate specifcation, risk analysis, etc;
  • problems arising from the nature of large-scale software development within large organisations and managerial, ethical and professional responsibilities.


    Knowledge and Understanding

    Students should at the end of this unit have:

    Knowledge of: business, research and professional ethics; intellectual property rights, laws and protection; privacy laws; contracts, rights and obligations; historical bases of computer science and the computing profession; professional bodies and societies relating to the computing profession;

    Understanding of: the concepts of various kinds of intellectual property and their corresponding protection mechanisms; the practical issues of privacy and the legal obligations imposed by various national laws; practical and pragmatic issues relating to contractual arrangements to supply computer systems and services;

    Abilities to analyse realistic problems likely to be encountered by computing professionals in terms of the above;

    Abilities to suggest and evaluate solutions to professional problems and conflicts of interest that meet the legal and ethical obligations of a computing professional.

    Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

    Students should have acquired:

    An appreciation of the importance of computer and business etrhics in the practise of the computing profession; An understanding of the importance of the organizational structure in achieving professional outcomes; An appreciation of the ways computer professional activities can affect others and society in general;

    Practical Skills

    After doing this unit studentrs should have acquired skills in analysing situations in which computing professionals might find themselves, identifying the key issues; and devising legally and morally acceptable ways of dealing with the situation.

    Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

    After completing this unit students should have developed an appreciation of the importance of the computing professional's role as part of a problem solving team. The student should also have developed some understanding of how such teams can be structured.


    Before attempting this unit you must have secured admission to an IT Masters course, or equivalent. You should have knowledge typical of a computer science graduate or technical computing professional. It is expected that masters level students will be more mature than undergraduate students and many of the issues dealt with in this unit will benefit from this maturity and experience.

    Unit relationships

    CSE5323 is a unit for Masters students.

    Texts and software

    Required text(s)

    No text specified.

    Textbook availability

    Not applicable.

    Software requirements


    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 need to allocate up to 3 hours on the average per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

    Recommended reading

    Will be placed 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 CSE5323 are:

    Resources will be placed on the Web.

    Unit website


    Structure and organisation

    Week Topics Study Guide References/Readings
    1 General information about CSE3323 and CSE5323 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 How to 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

    Test: 30%; Assignments: 70%

    Assessment Policy

    To pass this unit you must:

    You must pass the test and the assignments.

    Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

    Marks of the assignments and the test will be added to achieve the final mark.

    Assessment Requirements

    Assessment Due Date Weighting
    Assignment 1 14 August 2006 35%
    Assignment 2 18 September 2006 35 %
    Test TBA 30 %
    There is no exam Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 0 %

    Assignment specifications will be made available Will be placed on the Web..

    Assignment Submission

    Assignments will be submitted by electronic and paper submission. Other details to be announced.

    Extensions and late submissions

    Late submission of assignments

    No assignment accepted more than two weeks late. Penalties for late submission will apply.

    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 by 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. There are no tutors.


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

    Consultation Times

    Wed 2-5PM and 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:

    This person's profile is not available.Image of this person is not available.

    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 13, 2006