Plagiarism, Theft, and Other Unpleasant Topics
Plagiarism is Theft: We will consider all collaborations outside of your assigned partnership as theft. This includes telling your friends what we asked during codewalks. We will report all occurrences to the administration. Warning: if you didn't write the code, that fact will almost always become obvious during codewalks. Also, we routinely submit assignments to automated plagiarism detectors.
Students who are guilty of plagiarism have in the past been suspended and in exceptional cases dismissed from the program. (I know of one student who was dismissed from the program a week before graduation!).
The official University definition of plagiarism is here. Read it! But we have a simple summary:
DON'T SHARE BITS
Here are some typical situations:
- If you share files or even portions of files with somebody else, we will detect it and you will get sent to the University Office of Student Conduct and Resolution (known as OSCCR). Period. End of story.
- If your friend comes and says that he or she is lost and the
problem is due tomorrow, and can he just please look at your solution,
or your data definitions, or even just your test cases, tell him that
the University policy requires that you tell him "NO." If you give
him or her your files, you will be sent to OSCCR. (And of course he
will be sent to OSCCR.)
I know this may be different from the way things were in your home country, but this is the USA, and we do things differently here: we believe that each person rises or falls on his or her own efforts.
- If the problem is due tomorrow and your roommate has solved the problem and has left his machine unlocked and you will just take a peek at his solution and maybe just mail yourself a copy, DON'T DO IT: you WILL be sent to OSCCR (and your punishment may be harsher: theft is much worse than collaboration.)
- If you sit in the library with a group of people and you write test cases on the whiteboard, and you all submit the same test cases, even with the numbers changed, you will be sent to OSCCR.
Your friend tells you about StackOverflow, pastebin, or some other web
site where you can ask a question, share a code snippet, etc., and you
think "Wow! I'll just ask the internet!". DON'T DO IT: We will find
it (we monitor all the obvious places), and you WILL get sent to
(It's ok to look for stuff on the internet. If you find something useful, you must cite your source in a footnote, just like you would for a research paper. It's NOT ok to actively ask questions anywhere but on Piazza.)
(And if you happen to find a solution, or large portions of a solution, to a problem set from this course, don't look at it! I shouldn't have to tell you that's cheating.)
If at any time you feel that you or your partner may have violated this policy, it is imperative that you contact the course staff immediately. It will be much the worse for you if our software detects your indiscretion. If you or your partner have cheated; if you have any doubt about whether you or your partner have done things honestly; if, even by accident, your team might have represented any other person's work as your own: COME TALK TO THE STAFF AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. You are better off if you work with us than if we have to come find you.
A final thought: Students typically report that this course requires about 20 hours of work per week, so budget your time accordingly. We know that students who are under time pressure are far more likely to resort to theft. Time pressure or stress is not an acceptable excuse. The measure of character is not what you do when things are easy; it is what you do when things get tough.
Security: Guard your work! If you keep your work on your home machine, be sure your machine is secure, both from Internet hostiles and from your roommates, etc. If you are not sitting at your machne, keep it locked! (and don't give anybody the password). It only takes a minute for your roommate, or for the person sitting next to you in the hallway, to stick a USB drive in your machine and steal your work. Don't discount this; we have encountered theft by roommates on a regular basis in the past. Remember that physical security is a prerequisite for information security.
If you keep your local repository on our CCS servers, make sure that it is protected 600. Leaving it group- or world- readable means that anyone can steal your work. Your home directory includes, by default, a directory called classes that is readable only by you. Put all your class work here. If you put class material in some unprotected directory, and somebody else copies it, you will be held responsible.
Last modified: Sun Jul 24 16:29:21 Eastern Daylight Time 2016