Academic Integrity

The strength of the university depends on academic and personal integrity. In this course, you must be honest and truthful. Ethical violations include plagiarism, reuse of assignments, improper use of the Internet and electronic devices, unauthorized collaboration, alteration of graded assignments, forgery and falsification, lying, facilitating academic dishonesty, and unfair competition. Report any violations you witness to the instructor. You may consult the associate dean of student affairs and/or the chairman of the Ethics Board beforehand. See the guide on "Academic Ethics for Undergraduates" and the Ethics Board Web site ( as well as the CS Department's academic integrity code.

Course Academic Integrity Policy

Here are some particular policies that apply to this course.

  • For the homeworks, you are encouraged to work on assignments with a team of other students in the class; however, you must not simply copy/paste (or, copy/paste/minor edit) from another person's answer. In other words, while you can work closely together on a problem you each must produce your own answers with your own hands/fingers. A good place to draw the line here is to never email or otherwise electronically share any files, or photocopy any papers, for other students. Eyeball sharing on the other hand is encouraged (as long as it doesn't involve direct copying).
  • For the homeworks, you must list both (1) the team of at most four people (or, you can collaborate with your entire OOSE project group) that you worked closely with on the homework, and (2) any other non-Prof/TA/CA people that you had a substantive discussion about any of the problems on the homework, at the top of your submitted solutions. This is equivalent to how a good researcher gives citatations for any articles they used in writing their own paper. You may consult with any people in the universe, including friends that took the course in the past, fellow students taking the course with you, dead relatives you reached via the Ouija board, etc, as long as you list their names on the top of your homework.
  • Cheating is immoral. Cheaters that are caught will be punished as is required under University policy. Please report all instances of cheating you see to the professor.
  • Clear-cut cases of cheating will be reported to the Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board, or to the WSE Dean if the student is a graduate student. If a student is found guilty, this information is placed on their permanent academic record and suspension or expulsion may result.
  • If some action seems a grey area to you, please ask first before proceeding!

Project Code Integrity Policy

Since the course project is open-ended, it is easy to "re-use" knowledge that you may already have, or to re-use other code you may find on the web or obtain through others. Any such instance of re-use is encouraged but must be documented in your submitted documents. Examples include: writing a Java version of a project you did last summer in C++; using an ftp server library you found on github; or, writing a rip-off of an existing PC application. Re-use is fantastic, as long as you explicitly acknowledge your sources. If in doubt about whether an instance of re-use should be documented, e-mail or talk to the professor. Reuse of code which is not so acknowledged is considered cheating.