Policy on Collaboration

The following collaboration policy is designed to ensure that your learn as much as possible from the course, and also to promote fairness and accuracy in grading.  By enrolling in this course, you agree to adhere to this policy.

Collaboration Policy:

All material turned in for credit must be a fair representation of your own work.  You may discuss ideas with other students, but you should write up all solutions on your own.

Collaboration is guided by the following principles specific to the nature of the activity.

Activity Extent of allowable collaboration
Study for quiz Full collaboration is encouraged. You can solve problems together in study groups if you like.
Taking the quiz No collaboration. Closed books and notes.
Thinking about how to code the lab Collaboration at the design and algorithmic levels is allowed
Coding your lab No collaboration, but you can get help from the TAs and instructor.

In particular, you may not copy (in whole or in part) any code from any source.

  • Doing this with attribution will cause you to earn 0 points for the assignment.
  • Doing this without attribution is plagiarism and will be treated as cheating in this course.
Exams No collaboration. Open book and notes.

Cheating will not be tolerated!  This course can be difficult and time consuming, but that's no excuse for cheating. 

Ask in advance if you have any questions about this policy. In previous semesters, students have been dismissed and/or failed courses at Washington University because of violations of course policies.  Don't let this happen to you. Be sure to start assignments when they are handed out, so you have enough time to get help from the instructor and TAs.  If you do run out of time, it's not the end of the world!  Remember that it's much better to turn in a partially done solution (with a note explaining what's missing) than to sacrifice your academic integrity by copying from someone else.

Students sometimes ask, "Why do we have this policy?  I learn so much when I work with someone else."   The answer is complicated:   It is far too easy to fall into the trap of following along with someone else and "think" that you understand. For this reason, we feel that it's important for you to do the assignments on your own (with help from the instructor or TAs as needed) so that you realize where you are having trouble and so you can clear up any minor misunderstandings before they become major problems.   However, certain kinds of interaction and discussion are extremely helpful.  We don't think you should hide in a closet with your computer!  The following examples of what is and is not considered cheating may help clarify the policy.

Here are some example violations of the collaboration policy.  This is not a complete list, only examples:

And here are some examples of acceptable collaboration.  These are not violations of the policy:

Please ask if you have any questions.

Last modified 12:14:30 CST 09 January 2007 by Ron K. Cytron