Participants in the 2019 competition included, from left, law student Christopher McGillen, computer science PhD student Christine Chang, law student Ryan Cooney and MBA student Kimberly Cowan.
CU Boulder’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Ethics Tech Competition on Saturday, Feb. 8, gives students a chance to wrestle with a real-world ethics problem in collaboration with a diverse team of students studying law, business, engineering, communication, journalism, cybersecurity, information science or computer science.
This year’s case features a manufacturer grappling with the ethical, legal, technical and business implications of its ability to maintain "backdoor" access to its consumer products.
Students sign up individually and are placed on teams of three to five, with team composition designed to maximize cross-collaboration and networking opportunities. The competition is geared toward graduate students, but motivated undergraduates may be admitted.
Teams receive the case on January 23 and begin preparing their responses. On the day of the competition, each team presents its recommendations to panels of professional industry judges. After the final presentations, a networking and awards luncheon is held for competition participants and judges, where the winning teams are announced.
The event is sponsored by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program, Colorado Law, Silicon Flatirons, and the Leeds School of Business. The first-place team will receive a $10,000 scholarship award, with additional monetary prizes for the second- and third-place teams.
The competition provides students the unique opportunity to work as part of an interdisciplinary team on a problem involving ethical, legal, business, and technology issues similar to what they are likely to encounter after graduation. This hands-on learning experience prepares students to collaborate effectively across disciplines in their careers and positions students to be ethical members of business management teams. The competition is a great opportunity for students to network both with graduate students in other disciplines and with the professionals who come to judge the competition.
The competition will be held 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Wolf Law Building.
Michele Logan is the staff contact for the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at Colorado Law.