CSE4317 Individual Presentation Topics

Environmental and Health Concerns [Bowyer, Chapter 9]

  1. Video monitor dumping. Massachusetts has become the first state to ban dumping of video monitors. State officials are trying to prevent a potential toxic situation, caused from computers and monitors and televisions. Report on the environment and health dangers posed by discarded video monitors and what is being done to prevent these dangers.

  2. Cell phone health risks. The proliferation of cellular phones has revived concerns about the health risks of electromagnetic fields emitted from the phones while next to your head. Report on the evidence for and against the health dangers of cellular phone use and measures underway to avoid these dangers.

  3. Injuries related to computer use. Carpal-tunnel syndrome and eye strain are but two of many disorders now attributed to computer use in the workplace. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that the computer-related workers' compensation claims are costing more than $100 million per year. Report on the various types of computer-related injuries, their legitimacy, their treatment, and how the courts view the responsibility of the employer in these cases.

  4. Computer models of global warming. The news is replete with stories of how computer models predict the advent and catastrophic effects of global warming. However, critics of global warming argue that many such models are based on unreasonable assumptions. Report on all sides of the global warming issue and the role played by responsible and irresponsible computer modeling.

  5. Conservation in the computer industry. In its 1995 sector report (PDF) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites a number of risks to the environment posed by the electronics and computer industry. Report on these risks and what the computer industry is doing to address these risks in terms of conservation, product design, and manufacturing processes.

  6. Nanotechnology. The fast-growing field of nanotechnology promises radical improvements in our life and health due to the ability to create machines on a nanometer scale. Such machines could be used within our bodies to fight disease and repair damage at the cellular level. However, the potential risks, both accidental and intentional, are equally daunting. Report on the current state of nanotechnology along with the potential benefits and ethical concerns.