Honor Code

Generally, that’s the reaction to any honor code talk. But this isn’t your normal honor code talk. Unlike in other departments, the honor code in CS is very different because coding isn’t really like writing an essay or doing a Math problem set.

In the interest of being forthright, I will say this:

We have every solution that’s ever been crafted since this course was first made. Even more so, I personally have every basically every submission of these assignments. How? This is now my fourth time TA-ing this particular class. A class that has been offered five times.

We run your code through a script I’ve made that detects similarities between code; so if your code matches another student’s code or solution code, we’ll know. This is not a difficult task. There are free tools out there that are specifically built for this purpose, and they won’t be fooled by stupidly simple methods like control-replacing variable names or changing the comments to be different. We know that fraternities and sororities keep students submissions from past years. You are not the first student to have this revelation.

I feel the need to say this because every year, without exception, we have at least one major honor code violation, and I really don’t want it to be you. It’s not worth it. At all. If you’re having trouble with assignments, we have a battery of section leaders and TAs in addition to an incredibly helpful professor, and we are all willing to meet with you and help you.

Now that I’ve told you not to violate the honor code, let’s discuss specifically what we mean by that in terms of coding.

See the general pattern? Don’t speak in code. Don’t look at others’ code unless you’re helping them debug, and in that case you shouldn’t be looking at your own code at the same time.

Please don’t risk an honor code violation over something as incredibly trivial as a CS1 assignment, especially when the consequences far outweigh any benefits.