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Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

The faculty of the Department of Computer Science at Eastern Washington University strongly supports the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The interested reader is referred to the ACM website ( ) to review the code as it is applied in the context of your actions on the job. Summarized below is the same code as it applies to your academic endeavors.

1.1  Contribute to society and human well being.

  • This principle concerns the quality of life of all people, and affirms an obligation to protect fundamental human rights and respect the diversity of all cultures.
  • Respect the rights of peers, faculty, staff, and visitors to the university.
  • Respect the diversity inherent in their own and others' cultures.
  • Reflect respect for others, their cultures, and the natural environment in project work.

1.2  Avoid harm to others.

  • Treat facilities and equipment items carefully, as many others also need to utilize them.
  • Utilize equipment for academic purposes only.
  • Ensure that one's actions, conversations, programs, software or processes create no undesirable loss of information, loss of property, property damage, or environmental impact.
  • Avoid creating or propagating computer viruses or other harmful mechanisms by which there could be serious loss of resources or expenditure of resources in recovery.
  • Report any potential dangers observed in existing systems.

  1.3  Be honest and trustworthy.

  • Speak the truth.
  • Represent accurately one's personal level of competence.
  • Make full disclosure of pertinent information limitations and problems with projects or assignments.
  • Honor commitments to peers, faculty, and staff.
  • Communicate issues to appropriate personnel with the objective of resolving issues positively, with dignity for all concerned.

1.4  Be fair and take action not to discriminate. 

1.5  Honor property rights including copyrights and patents.

  • Utilize software that is properly authorized: public domain, or properly licensed from the owner of the software.

1.6  Give proper credit for intellectual property.

  • Give appropriate credit when utilizing others' work (program, algorithm, idea developed by another, quotation) whether it is work from peers, faculty, or published material. Cite the authors clearly in the documentation.
  • In those instances where team projects are allowed, each individual's contribution must be significant and be identified.

  1.7  Respect the privacy of others.

  • When dealing with data concerning individuals, one shall always adhere to the principles of individual right to privacy.
  • When faced with the ability to access personal information, avoid reviewing more data than necessary.
  • Avoid collecting more of an individual's personal data than necessary for any particular application.
  • Restrict access to personal data to those who have a legitimate need to access it.
  • When developing computer systems, restrict information to those with a legitimate need to know.

1.8  Honor confidentiality.

  • Be careful to treat personal data as confidential when developing or working with data systems.
  • Restrict to essential personnel the sharing of others' personal information.

2.1  Strive to achieve the highest quality, effectiveness and dignity in both the process and products of one's work.

  • Be diligent in seeking excellence in work, and be cognizant of the negative consequences that may result in poor quality in a computer system.

2.2  Acquire and maintain professional competence.

  • A Computer Science major should strive to increase his/her competence and the competence and prestige of the profession.
  • Be diligent in class work, striving for excellence.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to expand knowledge (e.g., ACM presentations, symposia, etc
  • Be willing to aid others (especially beginners) without doing their work.

2.3  Know and respect existing laws and regulations pertaining to computer work.

  • Obey public laws.
  • Follow organizational policies/procedures.

2.4  Accept and provide appropriate professional review.

  • Review and critique peer work.
  • Accept review and critique of one's own work.

2.5 Give comprehensive and thorough evaluations of computer systems and their impacts, including analysis of possible risks.

  • To the level that the student is viewed as knowledgeable about computers and systems, provide perceptive, thorough, and objective evaluations, recommendations of systems and their alternatives.

2.6 Honor contracts, agreements, and assigned responsibilities.

  • Honoring commitments is a matter of integrity and honesty.
  • Work diligently to complete contracts and fulfill responsibilities commitments and agreements. When difficulties arise, negotiate alternatives early.
  • Communicate clearly and in a timely manner on progress toward completion of commitments (group projects, work projects, assigned responsibilities).
  • Accept responsibility for one's own work.
  • Accept only work or internships for which there is a reasonable expectation of completion.
  • Complete assignments in a responsible and professional manner.

2.7 Improve public understanding of computing and its consequences.

  • Be willing to extend public knowledge, understanding and appreciation of information processing.
  • Oppose all false or deceptive statements relating to information processing.

2.8 Access computing and communication resources only when authorized to do so.

  • Refuse to access any system or computer, software application, account or file for which express permission has not been given.

Violation of the Code of Ethics may affect the student's status within the Department of Computer Science and the School of Computing & Engineering Sciences. Corrective action may be handled by the faculty, chair, the department and/or the Associate Dean and Director of the School of Computing & Engineering Sciences.


Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

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