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Academic Integrity Policy

The course cheating policy is based on the Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism. It is summarized by the quote below.

"It is the ethical responsibility of students to identify the conceptual sources of work submitted. Failure to do so is dishonest and is the basis for a charge of cheating or plagiarism, which is subject to disciplinary action."

The policies in this document apply to all forms of homework assignments, including reading summaries, software development, and written reports.

Original Work

Each student is responsible for producing his/her own original work. Homework assignments must be done individually. Students are not permitted to collaborate on homework assignments.

Students are not permitted to use in their homework assignments any material that was written by another person. This policy applies to material on the course website, material on public websites such as Wikipedia, and material in public respositories such as Github. This policy applies whether the material was copied exactly, or copied and then transformed into a new form ("copy and modify"). The policy is simple: If you didn't write it, then don't use it.

Students also are not permitted to examine solutions to homework assignments written by other people. This policy applies to solutions written in previous semesters as well as the current semester. It does not matter whether a student copies the material for use in their own solution. Just reading someone's else's solution to a course assignment is considered cheating.

Duty to Protect One's Work

Students are responsible for protecting their work from misuse by other students. If a student's work is copied by another student, the original author of the work is also considered to be at fault and in violation of this policy. It does not matter whether the original author allowed the work to be copied or was merely negligent in preventing it from being copied. When overlapping work is submitted by different students, both students will be punished.

Students are explicilty prohibited from posting their software or other parts of their homework solutions to public repositories such as Github. Note that software used in the course is copyright by Carnegie Mellon University, thus posting it without permission is a copyright violation as well as an academic integrity violation.

This policy applies while the student is taking the course and after the student has completed the course. A student's responsibility for protecting their work does not end when the course ends. If a student shares their solutions after the course is over, he or she is guilty of an academic integrity violation.

What Is Permitted

Students may use ideas expressed in the instructor's slides or in material found on the Web, but the ideas must be expressed in the student's own words to demonstrate understanding of the topic. These ideas must come from general sources, not other people's solutions to homework assignments from this class or similar assignments in other classes.

Students should cite information sources whenever using ideas or information discovered outside of class (e.g., on the Web or in the library). A student is less likely to be accused of plagiarism or cheating when information sources are cited.

Students are permitted to discuss homework assignments, for example, to help others to understand software provided by the instructor, the automated software testing system, and the grading standards for reports. Students may discuss high-level design issues, the behavior of an algorithm, and their experience in implementing and debugging an algorithm.


Plagiarism, copying, other forms of cheating, and other forms of academic integrity violations typically result in immediate failure of the course. The head of the student's degree program is notified. The department, college, and/or university may take additional disciplinary action.

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Copyright 2017, Carnegie Mellon University.
Updated on May 26, 2017
Jamie Callan