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 CSE 373: Data Structures & Algorithms, Autumn 2009
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Collaboration Policies

Unless otherwise stated, you are to complete assignments individually. You may discuss the assignment in general terms (see description of Gilliganís Island rule below), but the code you write must be your own. You are encouraged to discuss ideas, approaches, concepts, bugs, etc., in English, but you may not show or give your code to anyone except this courseís TAs and instructor. You are not allowed to write code with another student on an assignment or to show another student your solution to an assignment. Although the work you turn in should be your own, we do encourage you to discuss material with other students provided:
  1. You spend at least 30 minutes on each and every problem (or programming assignment) alone, before discussing it with others,
  2. Cooperation is limited to group discussion and brainstorming. No written or electronic material may be exchanged or leave the brainstorming session,
  3. You write up each and every problem in your own writing, using your own words, and understand the solution fully (similarly you must write code on your own),
  4. You identify each person that you collaborated with at the top of your written homework or in your README file.

One guidline commonly used in the Computer Science department is the Gilliganís Island Rule:
  1. You may discuss problems with your classmates to your heart's content.
  2. After you have solved a problem, discard all written notes about the solution.
  3. Go watch TV for a Ĺ hour (or more). Preferably Gilligan's Island.
  4. Then write your solution.

Copying someone else's homework is cheating (see below), as is copying the homework from another source (the web, other classes, or previous offerings of this class, etc.).


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 the instructor, to the department, and most importantly, to you. If you feel that you are having a problem with the material, or don't 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. You can post general questions about interpretation and tools but limit your comments to these categories. If in doubt about what might constitute cheating, send the instructor email describing the situation. For more details see the Academic Misconduct web page.

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