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Lecture 13: Broader Engineering Perspectives. EEN 112: Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Professor Eric Rozier, 4 /8/ 13. Engineering Impact. Engineering Programs in the US are subject to accreditation by ABET Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

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Lecture 13 broader engineering perspectives

Lecture 13: Broader Engineering Perspectives

EEN 112: Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor Eric Rozier, 4/8/13

Engineering impact
Engineering Impact

  • Engineering Programs in the US are subject to accreditation by ABET

    • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

    • Cannot become a licensed engineer without a degree from an accredited program.


Engineering impact1
Engineering Impact

  • The solutions we provide have a major impact on the world

    • Economic

    • Environmental

    • Societal

    • Safety

  • Our designs and solutions can have serious consequences, forseen and unforseen.

Pentium fdiv bug
Pentium FDIV Bug

  • Intel’s Pentium 5

    • Professor Thomas Nicely noticed inconsistencies in calculations when addingPentiums to his cluster

    • Floating-point divisionoperations didn’t quite comeout right.Off by 61 parts per million

Pentium fdiv bug1
Pentium FDIV Bug

  • Intel acknowledged the flaw, but claimed it wasn’t serious. Wouldn’t affect most users.

  • Byte magazine estimatedonly 1 in 9 billion floatingpoint operations wouldsuffer the error.

Pentium fdiv bug2
Pentium FDIV Bug

  • Total cost to Intel?

    $450 million

Pentium fdiv bug3
Pentium FDIV Bug

  • What could Intel have done?

  • What was Intel’s responsibility to its customers?

  • What was the impact toIntel?

  • What could it have been?

Korean air flight 801
Korean Air Flight 801

  • Route from Seoul, Korea to Asan, Guam

  • Normally flown by an Airbus A300, replaced by a 747-300

  • Night flight

Korean air flight 8011
Korean Air Flight 801

  • Air Traffic Control Minimum Safe Altitude Warning system – lets pilots know when they are too close to the ground.

  • System in Guam had been giving off spurious alarms, and prevented the airport’s other systems from detecting aircrafts approaching below minimum safe altitude

  • Engineers modified the system to limit alarms.

Korean air flight 8012
Korean Air Flight 801

  • What were the engineers trying to accomplish?

  • What could they have done?

  • What ethical duties do we have as experts in these situations?

Social media
Social Media

  • Social media has become massively popular

  • Privacy controls hard to manage, not the focus of the user experience

  • Some employers (like Virgin Atlantic) keep tabs on their employees.

    • Have even fired someover posts

Social media1
Social Media

  • Companies are starting to ask employees to log in and show their Facebooks as part of the hiring process

  • Illinois recently made this illegal. Still legal in most states.

Social media2
Social Media

  • What responsibilities do companies have for their user privacy?

  • What sort of ethical implications do seemingly benign technologies have?

The importance of trust
The Importance of Trust

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act


  • California Proposition 11


  • Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00

    Over 10,000 regulations


  • What responsibilities do we have as engineers to preserve information?

  • Should we be liable if our systems fail in these ways?

  • What limits should there be to liability?

  • Can a system ever be fully reliable?

  • What responsibility do we have to report the limits to our systems reliability?

High frequency trading
High Frequency Trading

  • Algorithmic trading, seeks to exploit small differences in prices, millions of programs running

  • How do they interact?

  • How does somethingwritten by Company Aaffect somethingwritten by Company B?

High frequency trading1
High Frequency Trading

  • 2010 Flash Crash – largest intraday point loss

    • Losses recovered in minutes, but scared regulatory bodies

  • US SEC and CFTCconsluded that HFTcontributed to thevolatility.

High frequency trading2
High Frequency Trading

  • SEC and FTC stated – “market makers and other liquidity providers widened their quote spreads, reduced liquidity, and withdrew from the market”

  • Some signal set offtheir algorithms,caused a jointmovement whichhelped cause the crash

High frequency trading3
High Frequency Trading

  • What responsibility do we have to prevent disasters?

  • What happens when our duty to our employermight conflict?

  • How do we weighour responsibilities?

The broader world is complex
The broader world is complex

  • Critical thinking

  • Awareness of situations and consequences

  • Working with regulators, and employers

  • Maintaining integrity