Difference, Power and Descrimination (DPD) and

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

The materials below were used in a 10-hour pilot course to test out teaching Difference, Power and Discrimination and Ethics to our graduate students. We are now proposing a 30-hour course that would also encorporate GTA training and allow more time for discussion. Some details on this proposal can be found in this short presentationupload. Detailed accounts of the pilot course can be found in these blog posts.

This is an introductory course that will familiarize yourself with your classmates and fulfill two learning outcomes:

  1. Recognize difference, power and discrimination within social systems and their influence on people of diverse backgrounds both inside and outside their discipline.
  2. Identify how to conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner.

The first learning outcome is being piloted as a requirement for all graduate students by the Graduate School; the second learning outcome is required for all graduate students. A passing grade in this course can be used to indicate that you have met this learning outcome on your program of study. A passing grade will be given to students who:

  • participate in the weekly seminar (Fridays, 4-5PM in Kearney 305) and complete the before-class readings or activities, and
  • complete 4 assignments. (One of these assignments is to complete the online Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training, accessed here: for instructions, go here, register for the course Responsible Conduct of Research for Engineers.)

Deadlines are firm; if you need an extension, it must be approved before the assignment's deadline.

Your instructor, Prof. Glencora Borradaile, will be available after class for questions in lieu of office hours. You may email Prof. Glencora Borradaile for other questions.

You may check to see if your assignment submissions have been recorded by visiting this webpage (log in with your OSU username & password).

Week-by-week readings and activities

This is subject to small changes; check this web-page weekly.

Week 0 (Friday September 25): History and Identities

Summary of and thoughts on Week 0.

Week 1 (Friday October 2): Vocabulary for Diversity

Before class:

affirmative actionbiasdiscriminationdominant group
gender identityhegemonyideologyimposter syndrome
institutional discriminationinternalized oppressionintersectionalityminoritized group
positionalityprivilegeracismstructural discrimination

Other materials:

Summary of and thoughts on Week 1.

Assignment due Friday October 9: Find a contemporary example of discrimination resulting from research, development or technology in ECE or CS. This can be either a news article, blog post, or a piece of research. Write a paragraph summarizing the discrimination that occurred (or is occurring). Write a paragraph of your reaction to this discrimination. (Submission link will be emailed.)

Week 2 (Friday October 9): Competition and Mutual Aid

Before class:

  • listen to Computer or Human? (starting at 8:45)
  • complete online RCR modules on authorship, peer review, plagiarism
  • examine OSU's Student Conduct Code (you should be familiar with the entire code, but make note of section 2 on Academic or Scholarly Dishonesty)

Summary of and thoughts on Week 2 and above assignment.

Week 3 (Friday October 16): Ethics of Research Choice

Before class:

Summary of and thoughts on Week 3

Week 4 (Friday October 23): Research Misconduct

Before class:

Summary of and thoughts on Week 4

Assignment due Friday October 30: Complete the remaining online RCR modules and email your completion certificate to Prof. Borradaile.

Week 5 (Friday October 30): The Production of Knowledge

  • discussion questions will be emailed before class

Summary of and thoughts on Week 5

Week 6 (Friday November 6): Sexism in the Sciences

Before class:

Summary of and thoughts on Week 6

Assignment due Friday November 20: Read Never Meant to Survive (handout in class) and annotate (underline, comment) with the vocabulary for diversity.

Week 7 (Friday November 13): Being an Ally

Summary of and thoughts on Week 7

Week 8 (Friday November 20): Implicit Bias

Before class:

Summary of and thoughts on Week 8 and above assignment

Assignment due Tuesday December 8: For instructions, go here

Week 10 (Friday December 4): Evaluation

In class you will participate in individual and group evaluation of the course.

Other Resources

If you would like to learn more about human subject research, take CS519 Research methods in HCI (offered this fall).

To report an incident of harassment, bullying or discrimination at OSU: go here.

To report an incident of bias (e.g. due to racism or bigotry): go here.

To report an ethics violation at OSU: go here.

If you are an instructor, to report a student conduct violation, go here.