Ethical Guidelines

University of Illinois trained engineers are the best and most highly sought in the world. Our graduates are superbly trained, highly competent, and creative. This, however, is not enough. Our engineers must also be trusted to conduct themselves according to the highest ethical standards. All teams must address ethical considerations in their projects. This requirement has two parts.

First, there is a stringent Code of Ethics published by professional societies, such as IEEE and ACM. The power of these Codes of Ethics is to provide guidance to engineers in decision making and to lend the weight of the collective community of engineers to individuals taking a stand on ethical issues. Thus the Code of Ethics both limits the professional engineer and empowers the professional engineer to stand firm on fundamental ethical bedrock. All teams must read the IEEE code and ACM code and comment on any sections of the code that bear directly on the project.

Second, we expect our students to have personal standards of conduct consistent with the IEEE and ACM Codes of Ethics, but also beyond it. That is, there are areas of ethics not addressed by these Codes that the engineer may consider in taking on projects or jobs or making other professional decisions. These are personal standards and choices. In the context of the class, there are no right or wrong answers here. Our students simply need to demonstrate that they are thinking deeply about their own decisions and the consequences of those decisions. We encourage our students to consider the wider impact of their projects and address any concerns raised by potential uses of the project. Students should ask themselves, "Would I be comfortable having my name widely attached to this project? Do I want to live in a society where this product is available or widely used? Would I be proud of a career dominated by the decision making demonstrated here?" Remember that UIUC engineers have a long history of inventions that really has changed the world.

If the students feel that these Codes of Ethics does not directly bear on their project and that there are no other reasonable concerns, they should not invent issues where there are none. Students will still be expected to be familiar with the IEEE Code of Ethics and ACM Code of Ethics.

Assistive Chessboard

Robert Kaufman, Rushi Patel, William Sun

Assistive Chessboard

Featured Project

Problem: It can be difficult for a new player to learn chess, especially if they have no one to play with. They would have to resort to online guides which can be distracting when playing with a real board. If they have no one to play with, they would again have to resort to online games which just don't have the same feel as real boards.

Proposal: We plan to create an assistive chess board. The board will have the following features:

-The board will be able to suggest a move by lighting up the square of the move-to space and square under the piece to move.

-The board will light up valid moves when a piece is picked up and flash the placed square if it is invalid.

-We will include a chess clock for timed play with stop buttons for players to signal the end of their turn.

-The player(s) will be able to select different standard time set-ups and preferences for the help displayed by the board.

Implementation Details: The board lights will be an RGB LED under each square of the board. Each chess piece will have a magnetic base which can be detected by a magnetic field sensor under each square. Each piece will have a different strength magnet inside it to ID which piece is what (ie. 6 different magnet sizes for the 6 different types of pieces). Black and white pieces will be distinguished by the polarity of the magnets. The strength and polarity will be read by the same magnetic field sensor under each square. The lights will have different colors for the different piece that it is representing as well as for different signals (ie. An invalid move will flash red).

The chess clock will consist of a 7-segment display in the form of (h:mm:ss) and there will be 2 stop buttons, one for each side, to signal when a player’s turn is over. A third button will be featured near the clock to act as a reset button. The combination of the two stop switches and reset button will be used to select the time mode for the clock. Each side of the board will also have a two toggle-able buttons or switches to control whether move help or suggested moves should be enabled on that side of the board. The state of the decision will be shown by a lit or unlit LED light near the relevant switch.

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