By Rebecca Koenig and Steve Kolowich
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Originally published November 6, 2014
A high-tech effort to study classroom attendance at Harvard University that used secret photo surveillance is raising questions about research ethics among the institution’s faculty members. The controversy heated up on Tuesday night, when a computer-science professor, Harry R. Lewis, questioned the study at a faculty meeting.
During the study, which took place in the spring of 2013, cameras in 10 Harvard classrooms recorded one image per minute, and the photographs were scanned to determine which seats were filled.
To some professors, it was an obvious intrusion into their privacy—and their students’.
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