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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Computer Science and Society (Pilot)

Course Policies

Discussion Guidelines

A central vehicle for delivering information in this course is small-group discussion. The structure of these discussions has been considered in detail to ensure that discussions remain a safe and inclusive space for everyone. The Discussion Guide is the central resource for students and moderators describing details of this structure. It includes the community guidelines for discussion, a list of ways in which students can participate, strategies to use in the case of various contingencies and potential issues, a guide to writing and asking rich discussion questions, and how-tos for all Zoom features that will be used in class.

Disability Accommodations

This course is hosted on Zoom, and will require speaking and typing in the chat window. Homework will require reading materials and writing short responses online. If you have a disability and need accommodations to participate in these activities, please contact the course instructors by no later than Feb 5, 2020, a week before class starts, so that we can work with you to ensure you can fully participate.

Academic Integrity

Cheating or plagiarism can result in a failing grade. Any work you turn in must be your own. In your short responses, if you wish to use text written or spoken by someone else, quote them if possible, and always cite your source. When completing asynchronous work for which you are instructed not to use outside sources, please follow these instructions. This is not only important for your own integrity; this is also to uphold the integrity of the data we collect on the efficacy of the course.

Health and Well-Being

One of our goals in developing this course is that you will enjoy taking it. Therefore, to the extent we can with the teaching resources we have, we want to work with you to accommodate your needs. While we are assigning some amount of work, we hope that you find this work as well-motivated and intellectually stimulating as we do, and that you enjoy engaging with the crucial topics it explores.

Being a graduate student can be stressful, and your mental health is important. We strongly encourage you to seek support throughout your PhD via Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) (to contact, call 412-268-2922 and/or visit their website). If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, either in general or about a specific problem, you can contact the student ombudsperson, Alex Wang, talk with your advisor or another friend or faculty member you trust, or ask the course instructors about further resources.

Diversity Statement

Our goal in this course is not just to teach about diversity, equity, and inclusion, but to be inclusive in the delivery of this material to the entire diversity of students who take it. Crucial to both the enjoyment and the learning of the students who take this course is that within it, all students’ diverse perspectives are shared. This course handles sensitive information, and we have taken great care to ensure that triggers are avoided in the delivered information and that discussion groups are safe spaces for everyone. That being said, if you feel that you are experiencing any form of discrimination, being triggered by the material, or in other ways being marginalized in this course due to your identity or experiences, you have a few options:

  • Set up an appointment via email with a course instructor or any moderator
  • We have set up an anonymous portal (see syllabus for link), where you can submit any of the following information: (a) An issue you’ve seen arising that you think we should be looking out for, (b) a specific issue and how you want us to help, (c) any concerns you have in general, and don’t know what to do about.

We care immensely about creating a space where all students have an equal opportunity to engage with the material, and we will take care to address your concerns with humility and sensitivity.