Academic Integrity Policy

"The code you write must be your own."

You are responsible for understanding the entirety of this document.

  • Motivation: A course in which students do not accurately present what they know and the work they have done is worse than having no course at all. Your instructor and your fellow students expect and deserve a basic respect for the integrity of this course and an environment where we can all focus on learning. Therefore, this document establishes a clear understanding of what we all will do with the expectation that it will never be an issue.

  • Bottom Line: If you are ever unclear about how to represent what work you have done, (a) ask and (b) describe clearly what you have done. If you do, the worst that will happen is you will lose some credit on an assignment. This is much better than the alternative.

    If you are at all in doubt about whether your collaboration was appropriate, include a description of your collaboration with your homework submission.

    If the course staff receives homework submissions that are too similar to have been created independently, or are derived from other sources, we will pursue the maximum penalty allowed by the University.

  • Collaboration: You are encouraged to discuss the material in this course, including homework problems. We all learn better when we trade ideas with others, including course staff and fellow students. But you must produce your own homework solutions and you must not look at other students' solutions or other information that takes away the intellectual challenge of the homework.

    Unless specifically told otherwise, you are to complete assignments individually. You may discuss assignments in general terms with other students including a discussion of how to approach a problem, but the code and other work you submit must be your own. The intent is to allow you to get some help when you are stuck, but this help should be limited and should never involve details of how to write a solution. You may not have another person (current student, former student, tutor, friend, anyone) “walk you through” how to solve an assignment.

    Copying someone else's homework or receiving unfair help completing your assignment is cheating (see below), as is copying the homework from another source (the web, other classes, previous course offerings, etc.).

  • Cheating: Cheating is a very serious offense. If you are caught cheating, you can expect a failing grade and initiation of a cheating case in the University system. Cheating is an insult to your colleagues, to the instructors, to the department and major program, and most importantly, to you. If you feel that you are having a problem with the material, or do not have time to finish an assignment, or have any number of other reasons to cheat, then talk with the instructor. Copying others' work is not the solution.

    To avoid creating situations where copying can arise, never e-mail or post your solution files. When using the class discussion board, do not post code that is an attempt to solve a homework problem. If in doubt about what might constitute cheating, send the instructor email describing the situation.

  • Fine Print: It's not effective for us to try to define a list of all impermissible activities. That approach can tempt people to look for loopholes. Consider: “the code you write must be your own.” This includes things like not using any substantive material or solutions from similar assignments this term or previous terms at UW or elsewhere, including anywhere on the Internet, transcribing solutions from any other source, etc.  Our policy is intended to convey the spirit of the law, fully understanding that the letter of the law may not cover everything that someone may think of.

  • For additional information and a more detailed discussion, please refer to the Allen School Academic Misconduct Policy page.