CS 492/692 - Winter 2018 - Assignment 5

The Impact of Computerization on a Subgroup of Society


Assignment 5 is due in class on Friday Mar 23. Bring TWO copies of your essay. We will conduct assignment 5B in class that day, with each student reading the assignment of another classmate and completing a review sheet.

In this assignment, students will select a particular segment of society that is currently using computers in some way, to study where computers introduce benefits and drawbacks to the members of the subgroup and to offer some specific recommendations for the future. One option is to consider a particular industry (e.g. the music industry, professional sports, banking, healthcare professionals, organized religion, the film industry, civil engineering, etc.). Another acceptable viewpoint is to consider the clients affected by that industry (e.g. consumers of music, patients, drivers). You are urged to focus on a significant segment of society (so avoid simply restricting yourself to a case study of a particular company, though it is certainly acceptable to be discussing what has happened in specific cases as part of your overall investigation).

Whatever focus you choose for the essay, you must find research papers that can be introduced as part of your commentary on the benefits and drawbacks. CS692 students are also required to complete primary research for this essay: interviewing people (with an appendix that also clarifies what was done during the interviews). CS492 students are welcome to include primary research as well, if they wish.

Be sure that your report includes a proper introduction and conclusion, as well as a list of references.

The assignment should be roughly 2000 words and is worth 15 marks. Note that Assignment 5B will count towards your participation grade.


The purpose of this assignment is to draw together some of the various subtopics that were investigated in the course (e.g. security, privacy, work, communications, etc.) in the context of a more targeted study. Students will have one more opportunity to successfully blend research and original thought and will be somewhat more challenged, with the overall focus of the essay being less precisely specified.