Honor Code

Fundamentally, the honor code is about giving credit to others where credit is due, which allows for a more accurate assessment of your knowledge (because you aren’t taking credit for yourself where it’s not due) and it better ensures community trust and the societal benefits that stem from that trust.

For exams and weekly quizzes — all work should be your own, without in-class reference to notes, texts, or the work of others, unless I say otherwise. For weekly assignments involving readings, you can talk about those readings with others, but written components of the assignments should be your own.

For┬áprogramming deliverables, you may obtain help from others, but for such help you must credit the person and give details about the help; vague statements such as “I/We got help from Mary on deliverable 1” are not sufficient. I would say that a descriptive few sentences would be appropriate in most cases. If you say “I got help from M” and your code matches very closely M’s or M’s group, then you may not have described the help satisfactorily (“I/We copied M’s code for expressions X, Y, and Z and changed the variable names“) might be a more accurate description. If you said that latter (and it were true), you would probably lose (many) points, but you would not be guilty of an honor offense. If you say the former, however, you might very well be guilty of an honor offense — it would be akin to citing a paper for an idea when quoting the text would have been correct (i.e., conveying debt for the IDEA and it’s EXPRESSION). If you adopt a construct or idea from someone else, cite the help. I think that if your attitude is one of giving credit to another for the help he or she provided, you should be fine.

The honor code (little h) is not about following rules per se (though Honor Codes, big H, do insist on some of that) — the honor code is about building and strengthening community and identifying yourself and your roles in that community. honor code, little h, is one of the noblest things about academia.

You will be declaring outside-help received on projects, and for exams I will ask you to sign a statement indicating that you will not access inappropriate sources. I used to think that having students sign such statements was patronizing and I didn’t do it, but I am persuaded by findings like those reported here (http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_on_our_buggy_moral_code.html ), that sometimes humans need reminding.