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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.


Coronavirus reading: the mystery of the murder mystery’s appeal

23 Mar 2020
An escape from the grim reality that many of us face in these extraordinary days

Hiding in plain sight: foiling face-recognition technology

19 Mar 2020
Protect your freedom and privacy before it’s too late

Dry ice and indoor pools don’t mix

6 Mar 2020
Chemistry 101 can save your life

Divided loyalties: the 737 Max warning light glitch

25 Feb 2020
The fox was in charge of the henhouse

A real live caucus-race in Iowa

17 Feb 2020
The failure of an app may have changed the 2020 election

If you’re on the internet, your privacy is at risk. And whose isn’t?

13 Feb 2020
‘Free stuff’ may not be a good trade-off for constant surveillance by Big Tech

Houston’s deadly explosion: what price prosperity?

5 Feb 2020
How do you motivate people to put safety first?

Can we make artificial consciousness?

5 Dec 2019
If artificial intelligence thinks, we would have moral obligations towards it

Is vitamin E acetate killing vapers?

19 Nov 2019
It wouldn’t be the first time that shady operators took advantage of consumers

PG&E pulls the fire plug in California  

15 Oct 2019
An electricity utility stages a deliberate large-scale blackout to protect itself from liability

Is it time to give up?

9 Oct 2019
The best we can do is tend our own gardens, says an American novelist

Can we teach machines to be moral?

24 Sep 2019
No, and that’s a worry with the rise of Artificial Intelligence

Vaping turns deadly

17 Sep 2019
Doctors still don’t know the risks involved in smoking e-cigarettes.

Should social media be regulated?  

27 Aug 2019
We need a pragmatic approach to keep people from becoming addicted

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

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