CS Education, Electronic Voting Abstracts

R. Morelli (2006). Freedom, Democracy, and the Electronic Voting Issue. Submitted to the Eleventh Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, January 2006.

Nothing is more central to freedom and democracy than fair and accurate elections. Ironically, the more we rely on computerized voting technology, the less confidence people seem to have in their elections. In the United States, the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was supposed to fix the problems that became evident during the 2000 presidential election. Instead, the implementation of HAVA in the 50 states has led to a raging policy debate. By raising alarms about computerized voting technology, computer scientists have been at the forefront of this debate. This paper describes some of the major issues and accomplishments. It also serves as a call to computer science educators to get involved in their communities for the benefit of both the public and the computing discipline.

Chris Armen and Ralph Morelli. (June 2005). E-Voting and Computer Science: Teaching About the Risks of Electronic Voting Technology.. Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. pp. 227-231.

In these interesting times computer scientists are increasingly called upon to help concerned citizens understand the risks involved in the current generation of electronic voting machines. These risks and the concurrent escalation of legal challenges to the election system in the United States have shaken the confidence of many Americans that a fair and accurate election is even possible. As computer science educators we have an opportunity to add breadth and depth to our curriculum by using these issues to show how existing concepts can be applied to new problems, and how new problems extend our field. In this paper we identify some of the main problems with e-voting machines and vote-counting technology and suggest ways that discussions of the risks and the attendant societal and ethical issues might be incorporated into the computer science curriculum.

R. A. Morelli, R. Walde, G. Marcuccio. (2001). A Java API for historical ciphers: An object oriented design project. Proceedings of the 2001 Symposium of the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE). pp. 307-311.

This paper describes a project suitable for a software engineering or object-oriented design course. The project consists of asking students to design an application programming interface (API) for a particular range of applications. An API-design project has several features not always found in application-design projects: It forces students to focus carefully on the distinction between the programming and the user interfaces; it provides a good justification for studying existing APIs as model code; it provides a natural way to divide tasks between different groups of designers/programmers; and, the final product can be used as the basis for programming projects in other courses. In this case the particular project we describe is the design of an API for implementing Historical Cipher algorithms.