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Engineering and Society:

Getting Started

Dr. Gershon Weltman


Engineering 183EW, UCLA SEAS
Lecture 1

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

Engr 183EW Course Objectives


n

Prepare students to help address societys critical technical


issues as highly qualified engineering professionals,

Help students build a Personal Ethical Framework to identify the


moral and ethical principles affecting these issues,

Provide an understanding of how technology and society have


interacted up to now and will likely do so in the future,

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

Incoming Dean Dr. Murthy Says..


Engineering schools must give
students hard technical skills.
But also breadth. Students must
be able to appreciate the social,
historical and political contexts
in which they practice their
profession so that they can make
real impact

Engr 183EW helps meet future HSSEAS Dean Dr. Jayathi Murthys
vision of what a world-class engineering education should include.

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2015

The Importance of Historical Context


1.

2.

Knowing how technology has influenced society in the


past, and vice versa, gives us the perspective with
which to better analyze current socio-technical issues
Even more important, in order to understand where we
are now, and where we should be going, it is essential
to know how we got here

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana
Spanish and American Philosopher
1863-1952
3.

But there are also some periods in the past that we


might like to repeat, and those are worth knowing

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

Engr 183EW Course Objectives


n

Prepare students to help address the worlds critical sociotechnical issues as engineering professionals,

Help students build a Personal Ethical Framework to identify the


moral and ethical principles affecting these problems,

Provide an understanding of how technology and society have


interacted up to now and will likely do so in the future,

Examine important contemporary societal issues that involve both


technological and ethical factors

Provide guidelines and methodology for making ethical


engineering decisions

Provide experience in working on multi-disciplinary and diverse


teams to research and analyze a contemporary problem

Improve capability to write professional quality engineering papers


and reports

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

From a Societal Standpoint


The products of your mind are the most precious things
you own, that you possess.
And you must protect them, and must not do wrong with
them,
You must do the right thing.
You must always remember that the products of your
mind can be used by other people either for good
or for evil,
And that you have a responsibility that they be used
for good.
You see, you can't avoid this responsibility, unless you
decide to become an intellectual slave,
And let someone else make all of these value judgments
for you.
And this is not consonant with our democratic system in
this country.
You must accept the responsibility yourself, for
yourself, and for others.

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

Llewellyn M.K. Boelter


Dean, UCLA SEAS 1963

A Central Issue

Doing whats right


isnt the problem. Its
knowing whats right.

Lyndon Baines Johnson


36th President of the United States

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

.. a Personal Solution

When you discover that


you have values, it makes
things much simpler.

Alan Alda
Actor and Activist

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

and a Direction

Touch people with the


better angels of your nature.

Abraham Lincoln
On Leadership

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

In Summary
Our goal is to give you knowledge about ethics and
current societal problems that will help make you a
better professional engineer now and at the same
time guide you toward a path of lifelong learning in the
increasingly important interactions between science and
technology and the evolving needs of society.

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

10

My Background
n

Preparation: Education (1953 -1963)


q
q

Act 1: UCLA Faculty (1963-1970)


q

Teaching
n
Machine & Environmental Biotechnology
n
Humanities for Engineering Students
Research -- Human Performance Underwater

Act 2: Defense Industry (1970 2003)


q

B.S., M.S. & Ph.D., UCLA Engineering


Postdoctoral Fellow, Weizmann Institute, Israel

Perceptronics, Inc., AI-Based Decision Support,


Distributed Interactive Simulation

Act 3: Do It Again (2003 Present)


q

q
q

Perceptronics Solutions, Inc. AI Based Decision


Support, Robot Interactions, Stress Resilience
SEAS Lecturer: Engineering 183EW
Expert Witness: Accident Reconstruction

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

11

Other Personal Items


n

Outside Interests
q
q

Mind: Books, movies, TV, art, jazz, discussion


Body: Road bicycling, slogging, weights, Pilates, skiing

Roots of My Ethical Structure

Parents Political Idealism


Extended Familys Ethnicity/Religion
Boy Scouts of America
Sports and Peer Groups
Education: Formal and Informal
Experience: Teaching, Business, Travel

Continual Self Examination

q
q
q
q
q

The unexamined life is not worth living.


Plato, ~400.BC

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

12

Business Experience
Managing an Engineering
and Manufacturing Enterprise

2003

1970

1982

2015
IPO

Building a Creative
R&D Organization

Maintaining a Productive
R&D Organization

2003
CEO and Chairman of a
Public Company
Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

13

1st Product: Videodisc Gunnery Trainers

Filmed Scenarios
Real Targets
CIG Firing Effects
True Challenge

Laser Videodisc
System Features
Low-Cost
Portable
Training Transfer

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

14

New Ideas in Military Simulation


n
n
n
n
n
n
n

Selective Fidelity
Entertainment
Affordability
Distribution to Units
Industrial Design
Rapid Prototyping
Family of Products

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

15

Small Extensions of Concept


Shoot Off Configuration:
Experimentally Verified
Dramatically Different Experience
Enthusiastic Customer Response

Proposed Multi-Player
Platoon Configuration

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

16

Bigger Extension: 3D Virtual Battlefield

SIMNET = Full-Crew Simulator Network (1st MMOG)

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

17

SIMNET Full-Crew Tank Simulator


Design Objectives
Exercise Features Only
Feeling of Tankiness

Production Objectives
Low Manufactured Cost
Modular/Reconfigurable
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18

SIMNET Original Virtual World

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

19

SIMNET Success

+
The first four SIMNET M-1 tank
simulators were installed at the
US base in Grafenwoehr,
Germany and loaded with the
terrain of the forthcoming 1987
Canadian Army Trophy (CAT) tank
gunnery competition. CAT, held
every two years, was considered
the "World Series of Tank
Gunnery."

=
Following its training on SIMNET, the
US Army platoon won the prestigious
CAT competition. This was the first time
the US had even placed. The highestscoring M-1 tank at the 1987 Canadian
Army Trophy (CAT) competition is
shown at an indoor 2nd Brigade facility.

This is the Canadian Army Trophy


(CAT) that was awarded to the
winning US Army tank platoon at
Grafenwoehr in 1987. The
unprecedented victory dramatically
showed the value of SIMNET training
for coordinating troop actions as well
as improving precision tank gunnery.

Leads to Large-Scale Acquisition, Training


Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

20

.and Continued Technical Improvement

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

21

Why Is Simulation Important?


Simulation is Condensed Experience
DSB Task Force on Training Superiority and Training Surprise

l
FT rova
A
pp
DR a
fo

The Evolution of a Combat Ace

SB
rD

Pilot Survivability in Air-to-Air Combat: WW-II and Korea

Probability of being shot down

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

10

20

30

40

50

Number of
decisive combats experienced

Is this training or
survival of the fittest?
rec/DTI - dsb training tf/ 5/6/2003/page 6

Data from H.K. Weiss, Achieving System Effectiveness,


AIAA, New York, 1966,
See also: P.F. Gorman, The Military Value of Training,
IDA, Alexandria, VA 1990

.which can be applied to numerous skill areas even ethics!


Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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Course Contents

Lecture and reading schedule is available at ccle.ucla.edu course web site


Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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Course Syllabus
n
n
n

Required Lectures
Mandatory Discussion Sections
Essential Textbook Readings
q

n
n

Ethics, Technology and Engineering: An Introduction;


van de Poel & Royakkers

Supplemental Readings
Individual Writing Assignments

Suggestion: Take notes on what is emphasized in the lectures.


The lecture and reading schedule is posted on the website.

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

24

Essay Descriptions
Essay 1: Tragedy of the Commons
n Hardins thesis in a modern context
n E.g., depletion or pollution of oceans
n Relates to lectures/text on population
increase and environmental engineering
n Hardin paper is on ccle site week 1;
need to read it before 1st discussion

Yahoo.com/images

Essay 2: Engineering Case Study


n Micro-ethical analysis of specific problem
E.g., faultily designed biomedical device
n Macro-ethical analysis of societal effects
E.g., intelligent surveillance systems
n Relates to lectures/text on ethical
decisions and engineers responsibilities

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

25

Course Syllabus
n
n
n

Required Lectures
Mandatory Discussion Sections
Essential Textbook Readings
q

n
n
n

Supplemental Readings
Individual Writing Assignments
Team Research Project
q
q

Oral Presentation
Written Report

Examinations
q
q

Ethics, Technology and Engineering: An Introduction;


van de Poel & Royakkers

Midterm (2 hours)
Final (3 hours)

Web Site: http://ccle.ucla.edu

The Engr 183EW Course Manual provides valuable details and examples
Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

26

Grading Percentages
n

Examinations
q
q

14%
23%

Individual Writing
q
q
q

Midterm
Final

37%

Biography
Ethical Issue
Case Study

24%
---12%
12%

Team Research
q
q

Oral Present
Written Report

Participation

Total

29%
5%
24%

10%
_____
100%

All assignments must be completed and submitted to complete the class!


Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

27

Why We Emphasize Good Writing


% Total Engineering Time1
60
50

Preparing Oral
Presentations

40

Reading
& Editing

30
20
Writing
10
0
Staff
1After

Leader

Manager

Consultant

Bower, D., Technical Communications in R&D Groups, MIT Thesis, 1985

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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Why We Emphasize Good Writing II


In Politics and the English Language
Orwell castigated contemporaries for using
language to mystify rather than to inform.
His critique was directed against bad faith:
people wrote poorly because they were
trying to say something unclear or else
deliberately prevaricating. Our problem, it
seems to me, is different. Shoddy prose
today bespeaks intellectual insecurity:
we speak and write badly because we
dont feel confident in what we think and
are reluctant to assert it unambiguously.
Rather than suffering from newspeak we
risk the rise of nospeak.
Tony Judt
The New York Review, July 15, 2010
George Orwell, ~1943

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

29

Writing and Successful Employment


A person asks the New York Times Ethicist Columnist:
I prescreen job applicants for a small engineering consulting firm committed to equal
opportunity. These jobs are primarily technical, but English-language skills are required
for the technical writing involved, and a writing sample is requested. Many applications
are full of errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation, and are summarily rejected. This
disproportionately affects applicants whose names suggest that English may be their
second language, as well as other minority groups. Is it ethical to reject engineering
applicants for their writing skills? J.W., PENNSYLVANIA

The Ethicist replies:


Because clear and accurate writing is a significant part of the job, it is legitimate to
eliminate applicants who demonstrate an inability to provide it.
Randy Cohen
New York Times Magazine, May 3, 2010

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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Our Writing Criteria


n

Effective Organization:
q
q

n
n
n

Clear Identification of the Problem


Adequate Research & Strong Citations
Comprehensive Description of Issues
q
q

n
n
n

Evidence of Full Engagement and/or Teamwork


Contents of Paper and/or Report

Technical Aspects
Ethical and Societal Aspects

Meaningful Solutions/Recommendations
Original Ideas
Confidence-Building Presentation

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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Why We Emphasize Teamwork


n
n

Engineering projects depend on teams:


Modern teams are highly diverse in terms of:

Technical and non-technical personnel


Multiple organizations
Worldwide cultures -- domestic and international

Genders, sexual identities and familial arrangements

q
q

n
n

Engineering education is currently light on teamwork


Effective team membership can affect:
q
q
q

Organizational progress
Career success
Personal satisfaction

Engr 183EW provides understanding and experience

Knowledge about good teamwork is so important we give it a whole lecture.

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

32

1st Assignment: Short Autobiography


n

Preparation:
Read Orwell article Politics and the English Language

Contents/Organization:
q
q
q

Identification Name, Major, Class. Section, (Photo?)


Ethical Background Home, Influences, Travels, etc.
Personal Ethical Dilemma Problem & Solution

Procedure:
q
q
q

2 pages, double spaced


Bring 2 copies to next lecture on Wednesday
Submit to Turnitin by end of the week

Ive told you about myself, wed like to learn something about you.

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

33

Society and The Two Cultures


n

C.P. Snows 1950s Two Cultures:


q

Humanistic: Literature, history, philosophy, religion, arts)

Scientific: Science and technology

Snows Problem:
q

Societys leaders come from the humanistic culture

Societys critical issues are technological and scientific

Snows Solution: Cross education and interaction

Todays Problems:
q

The same: Leaders are not technical

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

34

The Two Cultures In Action


Barack Obama
BA, JD
Tom Donilon
BA, JD
National Security Council

Director of
National
Intelligence

Joe Biden
BA, JD

President

Department
Of Defense

LTGEN James Clapper Ashton Carter


Ph.D Physics
MS, Political Science

Vice President

Department
Of State
John Kerry
BA, JD

Department
Of Homeland
Security
Jeh Johnson
BA, JD

FEMA

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

35

Society and The Two Cultures


n

C.P. Snows 1950s Two Culture Formulation:


q

Humanistic: Literature, history, philosophy, religion, arts)

Scientific: Science and technology

Snows Problem:
q

Societys leaders come from the humanistic culture

Societys critical issues are technological and scientific

Snows Solution: Cross education and interaction

Todays Problems:

The same: Leaders are not technical

And the opposite: Technology leads, society reacts

Todays Solution: Greater awareness and responsibility

What do we want? How do we get there? The benefits? The costs?


Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

36

The Engineering Sub-Culture


n

We use special languages:


q
q
q
q

We see ourselves as:


q
q
q
q

Mathematics
Graphs and Spreadsheets
Schematic Diagrams
PPT & Reports
Creative
Practical
Solution Oriented
Rational

Operator(s)

Composable
Command
Language

Unmanned
Behavior
Models

Simulated
Battle
Space

Team Performance Assessment Software

Process
Measures

Instructor(s)

Others may see us as:


q
q
q
q

Overly Analytical
Problems over People
Unbounded
Dangerous

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

37

For Example..
When you see something technically sweet
you go ahead and do it,
and you argue about what to do about it
only after you have had your technical success
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer
Director of the Manhattan Project
to build the first atomic bomb

Trinity Atomic Bomb Test


Alamogordo, NM July, 1945

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

38

Cultural Factors and Ethics


n

Ethics and Morals are


q
q

Societys Ethics and Morals Come From


q
q
q

Beliefs, assumptions, values, opinions, decisions


How we agree to treat one another
Genetics?
Family and community norms
Religious, philosophical, political and legal precepts

Ethics and Morals Affect Us at Multiple Levels


q
q
q

As Individuals
As Organizations and Businesses
As a Nation and a Society

Ethics is the systematic reflection on what is


moral.
Van de Poel and Royakkers, 2011
Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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Two Definitions of Ethics


not only
Ethics is a set of ideas and rules by which to live.
Ethics is also a set of acts based on those ideas
and rules!

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

40

Existential Ethics and Engineering


n

In the Existential World.


q
q
q
q

Acts are more important than words


Acts define philosophy and ethical structure
The individual is forced to act
Decision are actions

Engineering Decisions Are..


q
q
q
q
q
q

Continual
Both analytical and uncertain
Usually time-constrained
Multi-person and multi-organizational
Consequential
Dependent on both technical and societal factors

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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Ethics in Engineering Decision Making


n

The Controlling Factor


q
q

n
n

Another Decision Component


The Product of an Ethical Culture
q
q
q

E.g. Ethics trumps economics


We dont do that! or We must do
this

Ethics Committees
Organizational Standards
National, International Codes

A Personal Issue
q

What do YOU stand for?

What do you DO about it?

BEING ETHICAL vs. Having Ethics

Minimizing differences between


ideals and actions

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

Brain

Heart

Courage

The lesson of the Wizard of Oz


42

The Engineering Profession


n

Meaning of Profession
q

Narrow Definition is Occupation


Broader Definition is License or Authorization

Boelter: With Authority comes Responsibility

Engineering Environment
q
q
q
q

Jobs: Employee to entrepreneur


Organizations: Small to giant, local to distributed
Responsibilities: Frequently immense and highly public
Influence: Growing rapidly

Professional Ethics
q
q
q

Engineering Ethical Codes: From outside


Personal Ethical Framework: From inside
Both are important and useful!

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

43

Professional Ethics Counts Positively.

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

44

.and Negatively
Economic
Economic slump:
slump: Ethics
Ethics loom
loom large
large

Compared
Comparedwith
withprevious
previousrecessions,
recessions,the
thelast
lasttwo
twodownturns
downturnscan
canbe
be
pinned
pinnedmore
moreon
ongreed.
greed.
By
ByDavid
DavidR.
R.Francis
Francis, ,September
September15,
15,2008
2008Christian
ChristianScience
ScienceMonitor
Monitor

ItItused
usedtotobe
bethat
thatpost-World
post-WorldWar
WarIIIIrecessions
recessionsininthe
theUnited
UnitedStates
Stateswere
werethe
thebad
bad
part
partofofplain
plainvanilla
vanillabusiness
businesscycles
cyclesinventories
inventorieshad
hadpiled
piledup
uptoo
toohigh
highasasaaresult
result
ofoftoo
toofew
fewsales,
sales,ororthe
theFederal
FederalReserve
Reserveraised
raisedinterest
interestrates
ratesand
andslowed
slowedthe
thesupply
supply
ofofnew
newmoney
moneyinto
intothe
theeconomy
economytotobattle
battleinflation.
inflation.But
Butthe
themild
mild2001
2001recession
recessionand
and
the
thecurrent
currentslump
slumpare
areaabit
bitdifferent.
different.Their
Theircause,
cause,atatleast
leastpartly,
partly,has
hasbeen
been
dishonesty,
greed,
and
weak
business
ethics.
dishonesty, greed, and weak business ethics.
The
Theaccounting
accountingscandals
scandalsatatEnron,
Enron,Global
GlobalCrossing,
Crossing,WorldCom,
WorldCom,etc.,
etc.,combined
combined
with
withthe
thebursting
burstingofofthe
thedotcom
dotcomstock
stockbubble,
bubble,pushed
pushedthe
theeconomy
economydown
downinin2001.
2001.
Today's
Today'ssinking
sinkingeconomy,
economy,totosome
somedegree,
degree,isisthe
theresult
resultofofsagging
saggingreal
realestate
estatevalues
values
and
andthe
thebad
badbehavior
behaviorofofmany
manyininthe
themortgage
mortgageindustry
industryand
andon
onWall
WallStreet.
Street.Losses
Losses
from
fromtoday's
today'sfinancial
financialcrisis
crisishave
havealready
alreadyreached
reached$500
$500billion
billion

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

45

Step-Wise Optimization: Perfecting the World


Through Sequentially Good Ethical Decisions
The world as it should be

Ethical Decisions

The world as it is
The important thing is for everybody to agree on what mountain were climbing
Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

46

The Challenge (and Opportunity) Ahead*


n

Have ever
q Cheated on exam
q Stolen from store
q Lied to teacher
q Lied to parent

Need to lie and cheat sometimes


to succeed 51%
Successful people do anything to
win even if others call it cheating

n
n
n

2004
62%
27%
62%
82%

2008
64%
30%
64%
82%

2010
59%
29%
66%
80%

2012
51%
20%
55%
76%

--

39%

36%

59%

58%

57%

79%
92%
98%

81%
93%
99%

Better at doing right thing than


most other people . 74%
-Satisfied with own ethics .. 92%
Important to be a person of good character 98%

*Based on surveys of large numbers of high school students performed by Josephson


Institute of Ethics (www.josephsoninstitute.org)
Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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The Frame Affects the Decision1


When the same problem is framed as a.

participants react differently.

Our goal: Learning to frame professional decisions as both


Business (i.e., Engineering) and Ethical as the situation demands
1Chana

Joffe-Walt & Alix Spiegel, Psychology of Fraud, NPR, May 1, 2012

Copyright Gershon Weltman, 2014

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