CSE 373 Winter 2017: Collaboration and Academic Integrity

You are responsible for understanding every word in this document.


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

We want you to learn from your fellow students and discuss the course material, but the work you complete must be your own. 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.

Collaboration Policies

Unless otherwise stated, you are to complete assignments individually. You may discuss the assignment in general terms, 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 course's 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 fully understanding your solution (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.

Copying someone else's homework is cheating (see below), as is copying the homework from another source (the web, other classes, previous course offerings, 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 other students, to the instructor, and to yourself. 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 the work of others 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 this Academic Misconduct web page.