A Brief Introduction..

Hello! My name is Katie and I am a senior computer science major at the University of Notre Dame. I was born in Portland but I have spent the majority of my life in South Bend, Indiana. I am a captain of the Notre Dame Women’s Rugby club. We are a competitive club and travel around the Midwest to compete in the Big Ten conference. Our main season is in the fall, but we in the past year we have worked hard to start a complementary 7’s program in the spring. Our 7’s team travels around playing in tournaments, culminating in our participation in the 7’s Collegiate Rugby Championship in June. I also spend a couple hours a week working with the City of South Bend in an office called the Office of Innovation. When I am not doing school work, playing rugby,or working with the City, I enjoy spending time exploring and listening to music.

My first exposure to any variation of programming was learning Matlab in high school, in conjunction with my calculus and physics courses. I was struck by the power of using programming to combine knowledge of math and physics and visualize things in a new way that improved my understanding of both. What I did not realize then was that computer science is not only a cool tool to help understand other schools of thought. It is a school of thought itself. I enjoy learning about the theory behind computation as well as the data structures and algorithms that allow computer scientists to solve problems.

As computer science majors, we have been equipped with a powerful toolset. This means there is a lot we can do, but what should we do? I believe we all have a responsibility to be generally informed of the climate in our field and have given thought to what is and is not ethical. I am excited to look at my studies from an ethical perspective in addition to a technical one. By the end of this course I would like to have thought about the ethics of a wide variety of topics and to have a base of opinions I can grow and develop as I start my career.

Specifically, I am interested in privacy. With the upward trends in big data collection and data analytics, what types of information should be public or private, who can we share data with, and how much information should we compute and store about other people? And who should have access? These are really pressing questions in a lot of industries. How can we use these cool technologies that information scientists are developing without infringing on the rights and dignity of other humans?

In addition, I am looking forward to studying the moral issues surrounding security. If I have data that I am entitled to, what is my moral obligation to protect it? At what point does risk mitigation find its balance in order to avoid negligence?

I am looking forward to discussing these types of questions and more. They are all quite pressing and interesting.