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CPSR Essay contest

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

CPSR E$$ay Contest - 2001-2002

Students will be awarded prizes and have their work published!

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility is committed to educating the public and our profession on the social implications inherent in today's information technology. The CPSR Essay Contest is intended to further that commitment, by encouraging faculty members to integrate topics of social responsibility of information technology into their coursework, and encouraging students to consider the issues effecting their lives.

CPSR is looking for papers that will advance its work over the year within its Working Groups and interests:

Community Networks            Cyber-Rights             DNS/Internet Governance             Computers in Education          

Computers and the Environment           Computers and the Law           Elections Technology           Ethics          

Participatory Design           Privacy           UCITA/UETA           Reliability & Risk           Women in Computing          

Working in the Industry

Suggested questions from some Working Groups.


Papers must be the original work of students enrolled at accredited schools during the time that the paper is written, and not previously published. Papers may be dual purpose in that they satisfy a class requirement. A faculty member from the student's school must be willing to certify that writers were enrolled during the time that the paper was written, and that, to the best of their knowledge, the work is original. Faculty do not need to agree with the paper's conclusions.

Required Format

Papers should be no more than 2,500 words in an easily email-shared format among Macintosh and PC software (i.e. text only or Word). Papers may include text and graphics. The body of the paper must not identify the author, sponsor, or school, so that judging is performed entirely anonymously.

Required Removable Cover Sheet Information:
Title, Author Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, Author School Affiliation and Status (undergraduate or graduate), Sponsor Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, and Abstract.

The body and removable cover sheet should be sent to with the name of the appropriate Working Group, Topic, and/or Title as the Subject (see for essay suggestions).


Judges will be members of the appropriate CPSR Working Group or general membership. Judges cannot submit or sponsor papers for the Essay Contest during the year. Papers judged most relevant to CPSR, with strong content and style, will be published on CPSR's web pages and awarded $100 (to be shared among any co-authors).

Up to two students may be selected to present their paper(s) at the CPSR Annual Meeting 2002 , and receive $500, along with budget travel expenses to attend. These selections are the final judgment of CPSR. A paper may be withdrawn from the contest by the author up to the time that it is scheduled for publication. After that time, it may not be withdrawn. Deadline for submissions are December 1, 2001 and May 1, 2002. Judgments will be made in February 2002 and July 2002.

This contest may be repeated after the 2002 summer recess. CPSR can terminate the contest at any time, and can stop accepting papers for any period of time.

CPSR is not responsible for saving papers, or following up or responding to participants. Entries not meeting contest requirements will not be considered.

Participating students and faculty may join or renew their memberships in CPSR for one year for $15 and $25, respectively.

Suggested Topics/Questions

Community Networks Working Group

How can community networkers around the world (in both developed and developing countries) work more efffectively as a cooperative network to help gain increased legitimacy, build financial sustainability and foster inclusion and democracy?

Cyber-Rights Working Group

How will digital technologies affect copyright in the long run, and what effects will the changes have on public access to information and culture?

Education Working Group

Although technology offers a very broad range of possibilities for improving education, there is also a risk that we may lose sight of our educational goals as we focus on developing new techniques. What important opportunities exist for educational technology and what challenges might prevent these opportunities from being realized? What dangers accompany relying on technology to support learning without attending sufficiently to the underlying educational vision, and how can we diminish those dangers?

Computing and the Environment Working Group

1. Should the US Implement Mandatory Recycling of Hazardous Electronic Waste?
2. The Environmental Impact of Telecommuting
Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

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I want to be part of the solution. I think CPSR is working to guide society in the proper creation and use of technology.