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Collaboration & Academic Honesty Policy

I highly encourage students to get together in small groups to go over material from the lectures and text, work problems from the text, study for exams, and to discuss the general ideas and approaches to material in the course.

However, work to be turned in, including programming assignments, must be done independently, unless I explicitly designate an assignment as one in which collaboration is allowed. As explained in the student handbook, this means that the work you turn in must represent only your own work. It must not be based on help from others or information obtained from sources other than those approved by the instructor (e.g., the text, web pages linked from the course web page, and materials provided in lecture). Effective learning is compromised when this is not the case.

Accordingly, you should never read or copy another student's code or solutions, exchange computer files, or share your code or solutions with anyone else in the class until after the assignment is due. However, students may collaborate or receive help from each other on an occasional basis as long as all parties contributing are given explicit credit for their contributions to the homework. I will inform students if I believe they are collaborating too much. Uncredited collaborations will be considered a violation of college policies and will be handled appropriately. If there is any doubt about whether a collaboration is legal, you should cite it or ask me. I will let you know if it is within the rules, but will generally not mete out retrospective punishment for collaboration that is cited.

If you do work with someone else on solutions, you are not allowed to copy those solutions. You must walk away from the solutions for at least one-half hour (we'll call it the "Big Bang Theory" rule, as you have to go away long enough to watch an episode of the show) and then regenerate the solution on your own. Otherwise you haven't learned anything and will do poorly on exams, which count much more than weekly assignments.

Failure to abide by these rules is considered plagiarism, and will result in severe penalties. The first offense typically results in failure in the course and referral to the appropriate college office or committee. See the Academic Honesty Policy in the Student Handbook for further information. Please do not put me, yourself, or anyone else in this unpleasant situation.

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