I am going to discuss a topic that is pretty touchy: cheating. I am not referring to cheating during a test; no one is foolish enough to blatantly do that. The cheating I am referring to is copying someone else’s work. When you are either pressed for time or do not understand a subject, you might be tempted to copy someone else’s work. You might copy from an online source or from a friend. When you copy work from a friend, you put your friend at risk as well. Generally, if you are caught copying someone else’s work, both parties will be held responsible. It may not seem fair, but allowing someone to copy your work will put both of you at a disadvantage.
Today, my CSE-17 professor discussed academic integrity. He mentioned it today because he noticed that several people had work that was very similar. For a subject such as computer science, it is very easy and tempting to copy someone else’s code. You can simply copy and paste and maybe change some variables. However, if you do this you run a huge risk of being caught. The code that we submit is run through a complicated cheat detecting software that should have no issues finding similarities in people’s code. To put this in perspective, last year, 12 people received failing grades because they were caught cheating.
As a Teaching Assistant for CSE-2, I understand the importance of learning the concepts and working individually. However, I do think that working in groups is quite productive. As long as there is no copying occurring, working in a group can help individuals learn concepts in a more accessible manner. When someone asks me a question, I will first try explain the concept. If that does not work, I will make small suggestions and hints. Finally, if he/she cannot understand, I will give them the solution and walk him/her through the solution and how to come by it. Through this way, I can still help people without the risk of cheating.
Basically, do not cheat or you will eventually regret it.