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.

Will more auto safety investigators save more lives?

11 Jun 2015
Perhaps not, but the public will feel safer, which is what they value.

The end of the Silk Road

2 Jun 2015
How did a whiz kid lose his moral compass?

Was bureaucratic wrangling behind the fatal Philadelphia derailment?

26 May 2015
The train lacked a new control system.

Driverless cars: good news for whom?

15 May 2015
Operators of delivery fleets would like nothing better than to turn their personnel headaches into autonomous-vehicle maintenance accounts.

Ownership lifestyle vs access lifestyle

29 Apr 2015
The shift from ownership to access will bring profound changes in our political culture.

A bridge too close

2 Apr 2015
The day our author almost became a statistic.

The morbid cost of bureaucratic efficiency

20 Mar 2015
Can organisations act like machines without losing their humanity?

The passing of Google Glass

19 Jan 2015
Drums and cymbals at its birth; a press release at its death.

GoldieBlox and the female engineer

9 Dec 2014
A new line of toys encourages girls into the profession. And fair enough, says an old hand.

Will remote car hacking stop before it starts?

5 Dec 2014
Car manufacturers all over the world are preparing for the day when hackers can get control of networked cars.

A dumb use for a smart phone

19 Nov 2014
The new social media app Yik Yak is engineered for disaster.

Space flight will always be a risky business

10 Nov 2014
A failure rate of 5 percent may not be a great advertisement for space tourism.

The ultimate in reality TV

2 Oct 2014
A Dutch group is seriously organising one-way expeditions to Mars. Is that ethical?

A close shave with plutonium foam

26 Sep 2014
Lack of professional integrity, even in engineering, can have nasty consequences.

Would body cameras have prevented Ferguson riots?

26 Aug 2014
Chest-mounted cameras are a promising development, but not a cure-all.

You’ve got mail. Try not to read it.

29 Jul 2014
Fasting from your email could change your life.

All wired up: the contraceptive chip

15 Jul 2014
The Gates Foundation has funded an implantable device which can be controlled remotely.

The robot says you flunked

8 Jul 2014
Let's hope that people who say there's no difference between machines and people don't end up running the machines.

“The Switch From Hell”

10 Jun 2014
The new CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, has had the courage to be transparent about her company's failings.

Those dendrites made me do it: free will and morality

2 Jun 2014
Feeling that we are merely material and act in predetermined ways appears to lead people to behave irresponsibly.

Digital clones: coming to a hologram near you

13 May 2014
What are the ethics of creating life-like images of human forms?

Internet porn and children: body and soul

2 May 2014
Your opinion of how pornography can harm children will depend on what you think children are.

Do you want CNN or ESPN with that burger?

15 Apr 2014
Why can't I talk with you in a restaurant? Why do I have to talk to the TV?

Radio Shack: thanks for all the memories

14 Mar 2014
One of America's greatest engineering schools is fading away.

You can’t see the doctor: he’s checking boxes right now

4 Mar 2014
Imposing the heavy hand of the Federal government is not the way to enforce uniform standards.

The cloudy future

4 Feb 2014
The big technology companies are forcing us into the Cloud, whether we like it or not.

Don’t read over his shoulder. It’s basic cell phone etiquette

10 Dec 2013
The boundary between public and private is getting fuzzy

The Obamacare website rollout: not what the doctor ordered

8 Nov 2013
The administration’s idealists have been defeated by the reality of engineering.

Emotional facades

21 Oct 2013
Scientists can get carried away by emotions -- especially when they are defending the consensus on climate change.

In praise of honest work

25 Sep 2013
If we believed in the honour of work, employment would take care of itself.

The wisdom of “Don’t Be Evil”

5 Aug 2013
Google may be a corporate behemoth nowadays, but its motto contains a deep philosophical message.

Nikola Tesla and the ethics of publicity

1 Jul 2013
Even the greatest inventors can become the captives of their own dreams.

Networks of responsibility: the Philadelphia building collapse

18 Jun 2013
Who should ultimately take the blame in a tragedy of careless demolition which caused six deaths?

Should robot soldiers kill—or be killed?

7 Jun 2013
The development of drones and robots who decide whom to kill and when worries the United Nations and human rights activists.

Let’s print some guns

31 May 2013
Dedicated libertarians want to use 3-D printer technology to make guns that kill people.

Your cheap clothing has a high price

13 May 2013
The tragic collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh exposes the immorality of the Golden Rule: he who has the gold, makes the rules.

Playing with fire in West, Texas

30 Apr 2013
Ammonium nitrate fertiliser seems like a simple material, but it has a history of causing devastating explosions which have killed hundreds of people.

“Man, I gotta have my music”

12 Mar 2013
For many people life without a constant background of music is just unimaginable.

The worth of work

26 Feb 2013
Which is more important, the work or the pay you get for it?

Mines of tears

15 Feb 2013
For two decades, Navajo men worked in a New Mexico uranium mine, unaware of the dangers of radiation. There was an 88% mortality rate -- but the case is almost unknown.

The internet is a paradise for cheaters

30 Jan 2013
Universities have to work hard to discourage students from cheating.

A more than nominal problem

13 Dec 2012
By tempting us to define our own reality, nominalism can throw a whole culture out of whack.

Your face is familiar, but not enough to log you on

16 Oct 2012
Technology that identifies people by their faces, their gait, or even their odour is being touted as an alternative to computer passwords. Think again.

Curiosity kills the sceptics

8 Aug 2012
Dropping a robot vehicle on the surface of Mars was "an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future," said President Obama. He's right.

The Regnerus Affair: research integrity and politics:

3 Aug 2012
Activists are trying discredit and smear a sociologist who has been critical of gay parenting. Their campaign verges on totalitarian suppression of free speech.

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