Embedded Systems: Research and Engineering Ethics

all right I’m going to be talking about right now ethics and research in the profession and for this I have a case study and I kind of like to get your ideas on this and this also has some some hands-on thoughts and discussions so all right what exactly is ethics and research hmm ethics didn’t research this we’re also be associated with ethics and graduate school including taking classes and stuff but think about the what is what are we calling ethics and research so I like to you to turn to your neighbor form groups of four are you guys smirking form groups of four create three bullet points of what you think research and ethics are all right so I’ll actually type some of the ideas that you have here so this group up here give me one no you’re gonna define plagiarism don’t copy someone’s work work of writing I’m gonna say writing because play gee well if I could actually spell this light right hey thank goodness for spellcheck plagiarism is specifically associated with writing all right how about this group over here to research in a timely manner all right about you group back there by the camera something and proper citations I heard okay I’ll put them properly cite others work man I can spell okay how about group back here the group of five that was back there yeah you have all those three exactly all those three okay what so what’s the other one you don’t have what is it yeah okay you’re not done all right did I ask you you all right all the way over there in the corner properly how about acknowledge list everyone’s contribution how about that does that look good what about oh how about the undergrads up here do you have anything oh that’s a good one all right what about this group back there in that corner what do you mean by other amendments yeah I can’t hear you you’re too far I always say that louder ok so report Annie how many any Corrections two papers data results how about that you

like that alright anybody else okay so anybody else have anything that I haven’t put up on the board I like do research in a timely manner that says the same thing how about that work methodically all right and I’m gonna add go ahead we should research I don’t know sometimes you do want to tell people about your research before you publish but I probably will say be cognizance of my spacebar doesn’t work of proprietary information how about that so you might be doing work on well you wouldn’t be doing on a Department of Defense project because they usually just want you as citizens on that but let’s say you’re working and doing something for a company that will actually be considered a trade secret so don’t publicize a trade secret all right I’m going to do one bar is do not take credit for someone else’s work all right you like that well if you may not like it but or any other additions all right so let’s take a look at what we identified here and look at a case study in particular all right so is this a good paper well that’s interesting implementation of CANbus in an autonomous all-terrain vehicle Wow anybody ever hear of avanthi institute of engineering and technology and hide airbed you did you go there Oh your mom used to work there okay interesting that this is done by postgraduate scholars so that’s like a master’s student right and then the head of department did this work and they talked about how they used a all-terrain vehicle to do some of their work well that’s interesting so does it look like it could be a good paper well hold that thought this is in the International Journal of advanced technology and innovative research actually I pulled this off the web they have a website this paper is posted there it’s kind of like one of these open access journals it must be a good paper because it’s copied from somebody else specifically implementation of CANbus in an autonomous all-terrain vehicle it has like the same words honda for tracks rancher 80 same title interesting enough if you looked at these papers side by side hmm okay you may not be able to see this from afar but this paper right here says copyright 2011 I Triple E and this one says copyright 2015 whatever this company is right and and oh yeah you know you look really hard it looks like the I Triple E paper came first right well so based on the bullet points that you saw earlier what’s wrong with this instance so let’s go back to this and see what you said so what are the so what are what you decided on and this is open discussion so talk loud enough and I’ll go near you so that you can be picked up by the microphone talk long enough we’ll what are the violations it seems like for that all right plagiarism to begin with because it looks like they wrote well that assumes gee well we kind of like establishes that they’re exactly the same paper right same pictures pretty much the same tack same title actually they have the same references too in fact the only difference between the two papers is the author is the author name all right so plagiarism what else properly cite others work yeah it might

be like well they didn’t how about the last one don’t take credit for somebody else’s work anything else do not falsify data results well I mean you pretty much agree that that is a I mean this is one of the most egregious instances of plagiarism violation or or poor research ethics that I’ve ever seen there is another one that I will come up with but I may or may not tell you this so I think you pretty much know enough that you know what happened here in this ethical violation a researcher submitted a paper to a journal they do not do the work they did not write any words any words they didn’t even correct the typos in the paper they’re representing this work as their own they lied to the publisher that this was theirs and that they owned the writing and so they violated copyright law there the viola or the publisher they’re also violated copyright law by copy writing and publishing a paper that was already copyrighted and published and the student also likely received credit for a project class or a thesis for their plagiarism so in essence they really didn’t do the work needed to earn the degree so now look at just pulling you know just doing something like this who’s been hurt well once these at my next slide oh yeah they should have known better first of all one is a graduate student and a head of department and so if think about this put yourself in the shoes of the authors how would you feel if somebody took credit for your work and and as I said who else has been wronged by this violation so let’s think about who’s been who’s been wronged the original authors okay the the published the company that published the second work the company or organization that published the first work and the what the other authors who might cite this work this illegal work how about the student himself the Department of the student the faculty member well I wouldn’t say that we’re wronged but they may have some implication later and anybody who this postgraduate student will work for because they really didn’t earn their degree and use correct research ethics to go about this to do this this paper that they did so well since I own one of the 80s that is described in there and I did very much that anybody in the world is going to call this Zapata bot this is called Zapata bot because it was funded by his a pata engineering I’m so perhaps I was the one who was wrong right along with my my student who he and I worked on this project this was actually part of his his master’s thesis we pulled words from his master’s thesis and published it in Southeast Kahn’s so as I said it’s who’s been hurt by this incident obviously I Triple E because their brand has been compromised by the two identical papers the unethical authors that got away with this plagiarism and are encouraged to do it again because they got away with it the Indian publisher author put them in an illegal push situation and then the the authors of the legible legitimate paper may see the value of their papers decrease when word of this incident is known and of course the Indian Institute where they are were they are working so the good thing you know this is an extreme example all right there are a lot less egregious instances of this egregious meaning lifting an entire paragraph from the internet and putting it in a paper is also poor ethical behavior for research so if you’re thinking about doing a paper for

Southeast Connor or something like that literally copying word-for-word a paper from the internet or I’m sorry any a paper from the internet or a webpage from the internet and putting it in Without Really citing it literally if it’s a long thing you put it in quotes if it’s really long you put it in quotes and then you intend to indent it from the sides of the page so anytime that you do something like this it’s considered theft and theft is taking something that belongs to another person so usually the inner party no longer has the item but in this case it seems like everybody shares right but the the problem with this is is it happens way too often and in fact I Triple E has an entire department that works on this in fact they’re looking at my paper I don’t know why they can’t look at it faster because it’s a what we would call in the u.s. it’s pretty much a slam-dunk meaning it’s inherently obvious to anybody who would look at it that it is plagiarism but what about publishing somebody else’s work and representing it as their own so a student does some work with or without a professor’s help and the professor publishes a paper on the work without the students name on the paper that actually happens more often than you would think I personally don’t do that I have lots and lots and lots of examples of I cannot believe this thank goodness we don’t have the donut rule because as a matter of fact I met a student on the elevator that had to pay donuts to the rest of the class for their phone going off so good thing all right so get back on this you know usually what happens is that a student works under the direction of a faculty member the faculty member will will help guide the work but typically doesn’t actually do the programming or the wiring or anything like that and they will help guide the student with the writing make corrections suggest changes in a case like that usually it’s best as I said the student the student and the faculty member will publish the paper the students name will go first in fact usually the order of the name of the papers whoever does the most work all the way down to the person who dues dues does the least amount of work so that’s typically what happens another would be student professor work together and then the student publishes a paper about to work without including the professor and in fact this just happened to me in the spring I was working with a senior design group I actually helped them with the design or made suggestions on the design it turns out that they published a paper and didn’t put me on it now I could prove that I was involved in some of the ideas that they used were my ideas but you know it’s at this point who cares and I’ve got so many papers it doesn’t matter and so that’s just one aspect that you need to think about with respect to ethics especially in in publishing now when you’re talking about ethics and and why well there’s another aspect I just talked about engineering or ethics and in research but there’s also ethics with respect to the to the practice and most of you will not write a paper how many of you actually have a published paper that’s archivable alright so I can search the internet I can find it is it a naturally explore well then it’s not worth it so unless in my opinion if you can’t find it using Google Scholar it’s it’s not out there so just remember you put in Google Scholar – or what is that other research gate right by the way how many of you have a research gate account alright so you have your paper in there yes okay you should I have one out there too in fact maybe I’ll even show what that means alright so getting back to engineering and ethics and engineers first obligation when they practice almost all of you are going to practice engineering in fact for the Indian students who are here getting a master’s degree usually that’s your your end goal is to earn a master’s degree and be a practicing engineer and so this is really applicable for you as well as the undergraduate students who will practice and your first obligation is to

society it’s not to yourself it’s not to your company it’s to society it takes precedence over all others because you have to make sure that you are a guardian of society of the safety and welfare of whatever you do now the gray area is if you’re making weapons right I’m designing a bomber airplane is that to these safety of society all right you know that’s where you have to say I’m safety for this half of society but maybe not that half of society meaning those that are protected and those who are going to get bombed all right and that’s why you can if you work in defense you could always work on products that will actually help people and save them like mine detectors that’s a good example you know making mines gray area but making the device that will discover mines so that people don’t step you know citizens won’t step on them later that sounds like that would be a good thing but you have to be a guardian of safety and welfare of the public so in other words when you are designing an automobile or the software for an automobile that the the software is is as correct as possible and it doesn’t cause the vehicle to suddenly accelerate and have no way to turn off the acceleration of that vehicle hmm does that sound like something that’s happened in the past I think Toyota truthful and complete reports statements and testimonies oh my gosh what’s the first name that comes to mind over the last month on that one Volkswagen right falsification of their reports that actually software that kind of spoofs people who are testing so and then you know that end up set on that think about the next one do not abuse or violate the public trust Volkswagen right they pretty much have have put their reputation greatly greatly in danger of people not trusting anything they do the last is to inform state boards of possible ethics violations in the in the United States you cannot declare yourself officially declare yourself an engineer unless you have have licensure from your state so I’m a computer engineer so I could only put on my business card and advertise that I am an engineer if I am also a professional engineer a PE getting a PE means you practice for a certain amount of time and taking a test and can verify that you have knowledge in the particular subject and it turns out that I am a PE and computer engineering so I can declare myself an engineer that doesn’t mean that I can I can sign off on documents for for highway bridges and such I have to only sign off on things that are related to electrical and computer engineering so the I Triple E has a code of ethics literally we the members of the I Triple E and recognition of the importance ba ba ba you could read that as well as I can actually it has several several things act responsibly and making engineering decisions and disclose promptly I think you’ve heard the phrase whistle blowing right one example in engineering is the the engineers that raised management the problem with the rubber o-rings for the Space Shuttle saying that it was too cold for those o-rings that there might be there might be a danger to to the the rocket and etc etc and we know I’ll know that I believe it was challenger that exploded on takeoff because those o-rings were faulty avoid conflicts of interest and we’re gonna examine conflicts of interest in a few minutes if you look at excerpts from IBM’s code of ethics I like this no employee can accept gratuities or gifts of money from a supplier customer or anyone in a business relationship this is often the word called bribe all right and it all

depends on where you are in the world some organizations some companies some some governments this is standard practice bribes you give me a hundred thousand dollars and I’ll sign this twenty million government contract and so what does the you know what does the the company usually do they put the contract in there for 20 point 1 million dollars and one of those you know 0.1 million dollars a hundred thousand dollars goes to that government official as consulting fee so sometimes a company’s ethical or code of ethics pretty much conflicts with practices in other parts of the world and governments and I’ve I’ve had to worry about this when I worked for Ericsson and and South American countries were often pointed to with this and no employee can get excuse me give gift or money or gift of significant value to a supplier if it could be viewed as being done to gain a business advantage so oh and tea eyes I like this their employees are called T is same thing cannot you ever accept any gift that might influence a business relationship does not apply to items of small value commonly exchanged in business relationships so so here’s a question when I work for Erickson often I would get polo shirts and you might have seen some of these that had a company’s name on it is that ethical well we’re gonna have to look at that we have an exercise a little bit later Oh excessive entertainment of any sort is not acceptable conferences it company by mail and suppliers are of artists and desirable all so this means that let’s say I want to let’s say I’m selling my computer computers right and and you’re gonna think about buying some of my computers I can’t take you out for lavish dinners maybe maybe see a Panthers game right in the in the box you know the nice box where they just keep on feeding you and giving you alcoholic drinks with the intention of getting you so drunk you’ll sign that that sales contract but you’re up for that right yeah sure all right so TI has this ethics quick test is it legal well that’s that’s a great way of identifying if something is ethical or not does it comply if you do it will it make you feel bad and I guess a hangover could be part of that right there’s also the University and this I’ve heard this from several law administrators at the University they say what would it look like if it showed up on the front page of the Charlotte Observer that’s a good gauge of if something is going to be you know how it’s going to be received alright if it’s reported on the front page of the Charlotte Observer and things like this have for example some organization paid for school administrators to go on a trip to I don’t know somewhere in the state maybe a resort to attend a conference in the conference was a lot of the conference was fails of services that the principals and administrators of schools could use that doesn’t sound too good does it that actually showed up on our in our Charlotte Observer and if you know what’s wrong don’t do it in fact if you know what’s wrong it’s still wrong right and if you’re not you’re asked keep answering asking until you get a question so let’s look at this hypothetical example is this bribery gifts let’s see you’re a design engineer responsible for selecting a supplier of an expensive high-volume component you are visited by sales engineer who gives you a ballpoint pen and a baseball cap is that bribery all right so a baseball cap has probably a value of ten ten dollars a pen probably has a value of 50

cents all right so that looks pretty low offers to take you out to lunch at a very nice and expensive restaurant okay this is a good time to vote you could say yes or no I’ll even let you say I don’t know all right who says yes this is bribery who says no this is not bribery who says I don’t know yeah all right now one thing I wanted to do did you look around when I asked you to vote all right well let’s do this again who says yes who says no who says I don’t know all right now it wasn’t one-third one-third one-third but there was enough difference in everybody else here to know it might be a gray area and so what might be the thing you should do it in this situation ask ask the advice of your manager for example that would be a very good thing to do because you know it might be that that it’s a working lunch he’s going to be showing you a lot of stuff and oh by the way this very expensive lunch place is right next to their business and he went there because it was really convenient for you two who thinks this is not bribery who says they don’t know hmm okay this may be another case where it’s actually included in the price because they’ll only do it if you get the the praat if you purchase their products and you have to go to the developers training class to learn how to use and it meant the part and oh by the way that cost is actually built into the the price of the unit or the you know the the products that they’re buying and by the way it’s well known in the contract that is going to be a part of it hmm so maybe our good buddy back there who wants to go to Hawaii right it may be totally right so a lot of this is what it all depends on all the data right do I have any more oh here we go offers to send you on an all-expenses-paid vacation for two to Barbados if you purchase from him or her all right so who thinks that this is bribery all right our Hawaii guy over there’s all right who says it’s not bribery who doesn’t know all right good I would say this blatant brub bribery I mean there’s there’s no way around this it has nothing to do with the product at all all right all right so we how should you respond to each of these offers I think we already did so remember you know we put in here the gray area that you know not sure about this we had a lot of people that were yes and no on this but I think you pretty much agreed that these two were considered bribery all right so here’s another example offers to a company offers to a project engineer responsible for specifying a selected capital equipment so one vendor offered a trip anywhere in the world for an acceptance test hmm another vendor offered satisfaction of any vice you’re familiar with the word vice right gambling women drink or men if you’re a female if you’re are you know we’re an open-world it could be either way anyway all right so it’s the travel included with system foods of gift and drink for every gift consider the ethical considerations right does it have anything to do with this with this sale this purchased this whatever so here’s another example a software engineer is estimating time required to complete a project the sales engineers estimating specifications of a new product to potential customers design engineers estimating cost to develop a new product is it unethical to deliberately provide a biased estimate biased meaning what hmm something that might be too low that later you’re gonna jack up the price once you get a signed contract well let’s look at an example so a software engineer was contracted

with his employers customer on the side for a piece of software all right so basically he made a connection with and employers his employers customer so somebody here already had a relationship with with the with his current employment to do something moonlighting we call this alright and he charged less than his employer would for the same work and the amount of money was really small so some of the aspects of this too is that you know the ramifications this is an example an actual example the ramifications were felt for years because why who does this employee really work for does he work for himself or company a who he usually works for and Company B who we did this work for if something happens with the software who fixes it the employee or company a and did you say no one oh no man you have not been in the software business if something is not right you get them to fix it in fact I’ve I work recently with a company I just gave them a little bit of advice they have a ice-making machine that these ice making machines sit outside of convenience stores gas stations and such and it has a controller board a better controller board and that has software and a Russian company offered to write the software for them and they did and it worked kind of oh well I guess I’m not showing this one anymore and the and the software stopped working there were some problems with it so now who’s responsible for it all right they can’t find the Russian company they can’t they don’t have the source code so the company that contracted with the Russian company the Russian company didn’t give them the correct source code and they didn’t know enough to ask you know that to actually examine it and so I was called in to look to see it what they had and I let him know that this is a mess first of all the code was a mess that I saw it hardly represented what they were doing and so this company now has to Reese pin the board and rewrite the software for this product and they’re now another four months behind in releasing their product so yeah when you buy software you also buy the maintenance of that software to fix it if it doesn’t work all right so unfortunately it was a really good presentation actually not I think about it I forgot that I had it on I had it on the regular computer so come on so well I’ll pull this up for the remaining part of my presentation the thing to keep in mind is that very often a company will have a moonlighting type of restriction on people you can’t work in your in your field company or Haughton your own being in academia I’m actually allowed to do this I could teach if I want to I could teach you at CPCC if I want to I can write a book and get money for it if I want I can even go on sabbatical for a semester get paid and work for somebody else because I’m learning and I could bring that learning back to the University and to the students that I work with so why behave ethically well first of all in a capitalistic economy is based on competition and you are not behaving ethically well it kind of corrupts the free market mechanism as a good reason why you see bribery more often in dictatorships and socialistic type of environments your professional reputation depends on you to behave

ethically both in research engineering and all effects of this because for example that paper that I showed earlier when that finally is publicized what they did that will be that will begin you know that will follow them around first of all the I Triple E has a has a mechanism by which if a if somebody is found to have plagiarized in an i Tripoli publication their name gets put on a do not published list and may be may be restricted from publishing in an i Tripoli Journal conference magazine anything else for a certain amount of time and I personally know one person that they got a sixth year do not publish restriction which means you know I Triple E is the largest compendium of technical papers anywhere and that means they can’t publish in something that is extremely large and well well-respected now your reflects upon your employer coworkers University race sex nationality etc etc so people will make assessments on your University your your company especially if you behave unethically it’s morally the best thing to do and that’s what’s expected of you as a professional hence the you know the I Triple E code of ethics IBM ti whoever you work with so how do you maintain a high ethical standards well start making ethical decisions now things like code for this class if I say this is an assignment that is to be done by you and your lab partner don’t get code from somebody else’s in in the class first of all we’ll find it because we we run this through software that will actually find the same construct and types of things even if you change even if you change variable names but I mean you learn by doing you you learn best by doing if you’re just copying somebody else’s work you’re not learning anything so frequent small decisions that are ethical lead to ethical habits all right follow the Student Code of Conduct ask the professor if you have questions by the way there’s a there’s UNC Charlotte a code of ethics which is called the Niner norm do you guys remember what this is all of a sudden my brain has has left me but there is a UNC Charlotte code of ethics and get to know it and get to understand it I think I have a link to it on my on my web page look for a new job if your company engages in unethical practices because believe it or not you could go to jail for that even if you weren’t responsible mmm so here’s another ethical situation while working for a company you invent a device that has potential for making you wealthy mm-hmm you use the company’s lab and test facilities but did the work on your own time so what do you do with your what do you do with this invention you take it you could take it to the company’s legal department you can see a local attorney and take care of it yourself or submit the invention in your company’s ideas counts program or contact the companies who have an interest in your invention and sell it to the highest bidder so what do you think all right so who votes let’s see this would be one two three four and you got to vote for one of them not voting for any of them that’s that’s kind of that’s that’s cheating it’s unethical yeah yeah who votes one who votes two who votes three votes four okay so you’re all snickering alright so one thing to think about this in this ethical situation is usually when you start working for a company you sign something called a write of invention that even if you invent something on

your own time at your own home your company has rights to it even without using their resources they have rights to it so when you start employment watch what you sign so for example when I started working for Erickson and that form came in front of me I literally put on the form I have invented a commercially sold small walking robot and I will retain rights all rights for this device so I let them know up front that’s takedo was mine and it was here before I started working for the company so you don’t get access to it and they were fine with that but I let them know up front now go a little bit further this says using the company’s resources and this is a situation at this university so at this university if I do anything with my own resources at home it’s mine if I do anything with university resources its the university’s first right of refusal and in fact you by doing the students are bound by that same regulation just for being a student you didn’t have to sign anything all right so those are you working on senior design you don’t own your design sorry dudes however give you an example me and a bunch of students worked on a robot that crawls in a dryer vent it sounds pretty good right this would be a pipe that’s about 4 inches in diameter and it works like an inchworm and goes through we filed an invention disclosure and then when it was time to file for patent the university decided we don’t want to spend the money on this we give you all rights in all ownership of this invention now and so if I wanted to I could do number two or if I wanted to I can do number four but in the end I realize that there was no such thing as a worldwide market for a dryer vent crawling robot because nobody in the world except for the US and Canada uses dryers of clothes dryers so we decided it wasn’t worth it ethical number two mmm a company sponsored training course in your field is being held in Orlando Florida you have no interest in the training but you aren’t ready for a vacation I like that and I’ve never been to Disneyworld so how many of you have been to Disneyworld oh gosh some of you Indians have been there too when six years ago Wow okay so what do you do all right so here’s your options all right even though you have no interest ask your supervisor if he thinks it will benefit you or maybe not so obviously it will be of some benefit so sign up anyhow we reluctantly declined to go I like that suggest somebody else to go who has both a need and the interest by the way often a company will have a reward trip for a whole bunch of people for the whole company and I know they’ve gone to Disney World for this so they will bring in if you are the winner you will get your all expenses paid trip and basically it turns out to be a rah-rah session but they also have training so they could kind of write it off on their taxes so this is not uncommon for a company to do it so you know this is interesting think about this you have a choice one two three or four so who votes one who votes two who votes three who votes for all right I didn’t see all the hands raised in here okay so interesting that nobody chose number three Rick reluctantly declined to go but is there a right or wrong answer for this no because there’s so many extenuating circumstances so that is number one remember what we said in ethics it’s usually good to ask and so

number one is is obviously going to your supervisor who should be your biggest advocate in the company beyond yourself right and asking their advice it’s always good to ask advice okay for several months one of your colleagues has been slacking off oh man this sounds like senior design and you are getting stuck doing work does this sound like senior design seniors yeah alright you think it’s unfair what do you do I like this recognize this as an opportunity for you to demonstrate how capable you are go to your supervisor and tattle discuss the problem with your colleague in an attempt to solve the problem without involving others and discuss the problem with the human resources department hmmm this I’m actually gonna this is something that is more than just me telling you something you you have to figure this out for yourself so I want to pause for a couple of minutes and in your groups of four again discuss it and I want each group to come with a choice one two three or four all right so based on this just let’s just pull this group all right only one person from each group raise your hand because I asked for each group to come to a consensus so you know your leader is in your group was going to raise the hand all right determine your leader who says group all right amongst those who said one raise your hand if your group decided on one no interesting to raise a tie I want to count one two two okay three Wow one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen and then discuss the problem with human resources for all right your group were raise your hands so half thought one way and half thought the other way all you guys are just interesting that a lot of you said you would discuss the problem with the colleague and attempt to solve the problem which is very admirable but I can almost assure you that it won’t work because from what I have seen in senior design and other stuff if somebody’s a slacker they’re always a slacker and it’s kind of hard to get them to change their ways quickly so you’ve seen this picture before haven’t you so that is it for at professional ethics and if you have any questions out there and video land that is my contact information thank you very much