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Plagiarism and Cheating

Let’s be clear: plagiarism is not acceptable. Be aware that we will use sophisticated tools to detect plagiarism and cases of plagiarism will be referred to the Rice Honor Council. To that end, let’s spell out what constitutes acceptable vs. unacceptable behavior.

It’s common for students to speak to one another and look over one another’s shoulders, perhaps with one student giving another a guided explanation of how to solve a problem. Comp311 is not a group-work class. You’re expected to do your work on your own. That said, if you’ve figured out a clever way to do something and you want to proudly share it with your colleagues, here are some rules to guide you:

Committing early and often. It’s good software engineering practice to commit your changes to the central repository on a regular basis. This way, if you make a mistake, it’s easy to roll back to an earlier version, and if your computer fails, you don’t lose any of your work. This good practice also has the side effect that we, your instructors, can see the entire history of your work: when you made each change along the way from the start to the completion of your work. We will use this information to help us decide plagiarism cases. If, for example, your code appears all at once and seems very similar to another student for whom we have a stream of commits, we will take that as evidence that you didn’t do the work and that you copied from your colleague. (Both of you, in this case, would be reported to the Rice Honor Council as having violated this policy.)

Public posting. Lastly, we must speak to your responsibilities with respect to prior and future students of Comp311. We expect to reuse assignments from year to year. Therefore: