Responsible CS graphic

Mozilla challenge winners will demonstrate their ethical CS curricula at global forum

In 2018, Mozilla and its allies launched the Responsible Computer Science Challenge: an ambitious, $3.5 million initiative to integrate ethics into undergraduate computer science curricula across the U.S.

Now, on March 11-12, select challenge winners will participate at SIGCSE (Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) in Portland to demonstrate their award-winning curricula and build their community of like-minded thinkers.

In a world where software is entwined with all aspects of life, it is not enough to simply know what software can do. We must also know what software should and shouldn’t do — and train computer scientists to think critically about how their code is used. We’re excited to spotlight this ethos at the world’s leading event for CS educators.

Specifically, Mozilla will host a session on March 11. Here are the details:

What: Integrating Ethics and Social Responsibility in Computing Curricula Symposium

When: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: D136

Sign up: Register here

Summary: Ethics and social responsibility has existed in computer science curricula for decades, and have become even more critical in recent years due to the many ways technology affects individuals and societies. This symposium aims to bring together those who are interested in integrating ethics and social responsibility into Computer Science curricula. The attendees will observe current lessons, and then discuss in breakout groups. The symposium will cover strategies for teaching ethics and how to incorporate ethics at multiple points throughout a computing curriculum. It also aims to build new collaborations across fields and across institutions, critical for doing this work.

During this symposium, awardees from the Responsible Computer Science Challenge will showcase their lessons. The presenting educators were awarded grants for developing novel ways to integrate ethics into undergraduate computer science education.

Presenters include Mozilla’s Kathy Pham and Jenn Beard, and educators:

Miami Dade College, George Gabb

The college will integrate social impact projects and collaborations with local nonprofits and government agencies into the computer science curriculum. Computer science syllabi will also be updated to include ethics exercises and assignments.

Santa Clara University, Sukanya Manna

This initiative will help CS students develop a deliberative ethical analysis framework that complements their technical learning. It will develop software engineering ethics, cybersecurity ethics, and data ethics modules, with integration of case studies and projects. These modules will also be adapted into free MOOC materials, so other institutions worldwide can benefit from the curriculum.

University at Buffalo, Atri Rudra, Matthew Hertz

In this initiative, freshmen studying computer science will discuss ethics in the first-year seminar "How the internet works." Sophomores will study responsible algorithmic development for real-world problems. Juniors will study the ethical implications of machine learning. And seniors will incorporate ethical thinking into their capstone course.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Helena Mentis

This presentation will focus on the benefits and challenges with peer-led integration of ethics into first year computing curriculum. Specifically, it will present the "red teams" activity that engaged project teams in peer-critiques of another team's semester-long programming project. In this role-playing activity, students were forced to think of themselves in responsible positions to vet and assess the suitability of a software system for a vulnerable population.

Interested in attending? Sign up here.

Want to learn more about the Responsible Computer Science Challenge? Visit

Learn more about our previous curricula showcase at MozFest 2019.

Other Responsible Computer Science Challenge programming at SIGCSE includes: