Brian A. Barsky
    PROFESSOR OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

    Faculty Affiliations:
    Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)
    Optometry
    Vision Science
    Bioengineering
    Berkeley Institute of Design (BID)
    Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM)
    Arts Research Center (ARC)
    Berkeley Canadian Studies Program


Research:
Vision Correcting Display and Mouse-Free Assistive Technology


Teaching:

CS 24: Boeing 737 MAX: Money, Machines, and Morals in Conflict
Fall 2019: Class number: 28726
Spring 2019: Class number: 29312
Freshman Seminar Description
Class website

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has been grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes with similar characteristics within five months of each other during this past year. In both incidents, pilots could not control the aircraft shortly after takeoff resulting in tragic crashes with no survivors. Due to concerns about financial losses, there is pressure to resume the use of the 737 MAX for commercial passenger flight as soon as possible notwithstanding continued safety concerns. Examination of the many factors that led to these disastrous consequences illuminates disquieting ethical issues of corporate behavior and lack of government oversight. There is a complex web of concerns involved. At the heart is a computer software that controls the aircraft (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MACS) which was a key element in the crashes. This seminar will require students to research and present some of the issues involved in this timely matter. Possible topics to be discussed include physics of flight, aeronautics, avionics, aircraft design, engineering ethics and the social responsibility of engineers, corporate interest and business ethics, the role of responsible government, issues of increased reliance on complex software replacing humans, etc.


  • ACM Distinguished Speaker
  • UC Berkeley Presidential Chair Fellow
  • Warren and Marjorie Minner Faculty Fellow in Engineering Ethics and Professional/Social Responsibility
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
  • William Evans Fellow
  • Fulbright Scholar
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Awardee
  • IBM Faculty Development Awardee
  • Biographical Sketch


    Official mailing address:
    University of California, Berkeley
    EECS Computer Science Division
    387 Soda Hall #1776
    Berkeley, CA 94720-1776
    U.S.A.

    Contact information:
    E-mail: barsky at berkeley dot edu
    Telephone: +1 (510) 642-9838
    Telephone: +1 (510) OH-BYTE-8


         Bai      Shi      Qi

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