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Karl D. Stephan

Karl D. Stephan received the B. S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1976. Following a year of graduate study at Cornell, he received the Master of Engineering degree in 1977 and was employed by Motorola, Inc. and Scientific-Atlanta as an RF development engineer.

He then entered the University of Texas at Austin’s graduate program and received the Ph. D. in electrical engineering in 1983. He taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1983 to 1999, when he received an NSF Science and Technology Studies Fellowship in the history of technology.

He spent the 1999-2000 academic year at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 2000 accepted a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Technology at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. In 2009, he was promoted to full professor and moved to the Ingram School of Engineering. He has also received an appointment as Adjunct Associate Research Professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Should engineers think like computers?

29 Jul 2019
Logic is more than calculations.

The moon? Mars? or stay home?

22 Jul 2019
Is putting men on the moon worth any sacrifice in the present?

Is Facebook’s Libra cash in your future?

20 Jun 2019
You could be taken for a zucker

Death with style and elegance: Philip Nitschke’s death pod

11 Jun 2019
An example of unethical engineering

Faked test result cost $700 million, says NASA

28 May 2019
The first principle of engineering ethics is: tell the truth. This company told lies for 19 years

Facebook, privacy, and regulation

8 May 2019
Does clicking a button mean you have given 'affirmative express consent' to the fine print?

The stork goes digital

23 Apr 2019
Women should be cautious about sharing data about intimate matters

Are the 737 Max 8 crashes single-point failures?

21 Mar 2019
Fleets should be grounded until the error is fixed

Ignoring the experts: autism and vaccinations 

15 Mar 2019
A single doctor’s fraudulent work has led to a healthcare emergency around the world

Bipartisanship isn’t dead, at least about PFAS

6 Mar 2019
US senators agree that fighting fire with toxic foam should stop

Microsoft puts NewsGuard on duty

21 Feb 2019
Can the software giant restore trust in journalism?

The Brumadinho Dam disaster

7 Feb 2019
Mining is a dangerous business, but gambling with miners’ lives is something else.

The transhumanist bill of goods

22 Jan 2019
Aspirations of the technological elite.

The Gatwick drone incident: technology outpaces policy

7 Jan 2019
Drone hovering over a busy airport left thousands of travellers stranded

The US climate change report: danger or opportunity?

30 Nov 2018
The better part of wisdom is to go slowly when attempting to remedy an ill.

Aquinas looks at bitcoin

16 Nov 2018
Is there anything intrinsically wrong with cryptocurrency?

The Google walkout: not a strike, but…

8 Nov 2018
A new kind of union may be on the way.

Microcosm of technological culture: a foundry closes in California

23 Oct 2018
'Creative destruction' up and close and personal is not such a pretty sight

Seeing may not be believing: AI deepfakes and trust in media 

15 Oct 2018
Technology is progressing so fast that we can create videos of public figures which seem genuine

Do we need an internet Bill of Rights?

3 Oct 2018
Our privacy and our freedom is at risk

YouTube, COPPA, and twelve-year-old lawyers

27 Sep 2018
The first step toward righting a wrong is to recognize it as wrong.

The Genoa bridge collapse: style over substance?

29 Aug 2018
The disaster should be a flashing light for managers of America’s D+ infrastructure

In professionals we trust—or do we?

21 Aug 2018
As the anti-vaccine movement shows, experts can easily lose their authority

Exporting enslavement: China’s illiberal artificial intelligence

15 Aug 2018
The US has been slow to get up to speed on using AI for defensive purposes

Printing guns, again

6 Aug 2018
3-D-printed guns are inevitable but unlikely to make the US less safe 

Is Dr. Google ready to see us now?

23 Jul 2018
Life-and-death decisions should be made by responsible people, not just machines.

What’s wrong with police drones?

15 Jun 2018
For a start, think about how they could be used in China.

Should Google censor political ads?

8 Jun 2018
Ireland's abortion referendum showed the internet giant has outgrown its fig leaf of neutrality.

Living, and dying, by algorithms

28 May 2018
Did hundreds of women die in England because of a hidden computer error?

Google’s Duplex: fraud or helpful assistant?

23 May 2018
What happens when we can't distinguish humans from technology?

Should Apple be so hard on secret-leakers?

17 Apr 2018
What’s the difference between an honourable whistleblower and a dishonourable leaker?

The Legend of King Minsky: an AI parable

9 Apr 2018
The present philosophy behind artificial intelligence is false.

Why the US Communications Decency Act has been changed

23 Mar 2018
Oddly enough, it was protecting sex traffickers.

Searching souls with brain imaging

12 Mar 2018
If technology can predict a criminal's likely future, what should we do?

Facebook’s Frankenstein effect

5 Feb 2018
Inventors often have a sixth sense about the future of their product

The heroes in the war on computer viruses

22 Jan 2018
Sometimes the good guys win

From cops on the beat to spycams and algorithms

4 Dec 2017
17,000 different policing authorities is better than one big one.

Do you have a right to repair?

21 Nov 2017
Who really owns your iPhone?

Big Pharma versus Mother Teresa

26 Oct 2017
You need love as well as money to deliver excellent medical care

The story of ?????

19 Oct 2017
Freezing women's eggs leads to imponderable moral complexities.

Are internet-connected toys safe for your kids?

4 Oct 2017
Thinking of buying a hi-tech toy for Christmas? Be careful

Looking under the rock: Equifax’s credit breach

21 Sep 2017
Is it time for the big agencies to come under government regulation?

Mr Damore, welcome to the Prophet Club

12 Sep 2017
Is it possible to have a reasonable, logical debate about gender diversity?

When cars have no drivers, the drivers may have no jobs

1 Sep 2017
But are they the road to the future?

The ethical spin on spinners

21 Aug 2017
Yet another example of the power of marketing to get people to buy something they never knew they wanted

Should bad engineers go to jail?

1 Aug 2017
Perhaps, but it's unlikely in today's climate

Pokemon’s epic fail in Chicago

25 Jul 2017
Everybody got a Lugia, but no one played the game.

The legacy of a World War II nuclear site

7 Jul 2017
The collapse of a tunnel draws attention to how ethical sensitivities have changed.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy: a disaster waiting to happen

20 Jun 2017
When professionals fail ordinary citizens.

The false promise of digital storage for posterity

10 May 2017
From Aristotle to Hollywood: we can't keep everything forever.

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