Academic Integrity Guidelines
“As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.”
— UC Berkeley Honor Code
Learning is a collaborative process, and we don’t mean to discourage the value of your peers. However, we expect all students to read and abide by these guidelines for academic integrity, and to be aware of any penalties. They include specific examples of kinds of work which are meant to be individual and how to proceed when you need help.
Please read this post thoroughly to make sure you understand the guidelines. If you have questions, please talk with your TA.
Here are the guidelines:
- By You (or your Partner) Alone: All project code that you submit (other than skeleton code) should be written by you alone, except for small snippets that solve tiny subproblems (examples in the Permitted section below).
- Do Not Possess or Share Code: Before you’ve submitted your final work for a project, you should never be in possession of solution code that you did not write.
Examples of specific activities are listed below:
- Discussion of approaches for solving a problem.
- Giving away or receiving conceptual ideas towards a problem solution.
- Discussion of specific syntax issues and bugs in your code.
- Using small snippets of code that you find online for solving tiny problems (e.g. Googling “uppercase string java” may lead you to some sample code that you copy and paste into your solution). Such code should always be cited with relevant code comments.
- You may find this question about citations helpful.
- This policy is also here to encourage you to cite outside information in your code as a professional practice. While it may not seem necessary now, this discipline can be invaluable when you work on long-lasting software projects.
Permitted with Extreme Caution:
- Looking at someone else’s project code to help them debug (Usually the case for office hours). Typing or dictating code into someone else’s computer is a violation of the “By You Alone” rule.
- Working on a project alongside another person or group of people. Your code should not substantially resemble anyone else’s!
- Looking at someone else’s project code or custom tests, whether from another student or from a solution for a previous semester from a public repository, to help complete your own.
- Distributing your own code. This includes situations like sending your code to other students directly, as well as situations like posting your code in a public Github.
- Possessing or distributing another student’s project code in any form. This includes the situation where you’re trying to help someone debug.
- Possessing or distributing project solution code that you did not write yourself (from online, e.g. GitHub).
- Working in lock-step with other students. Your workflow should not involve a group of people identifying, tackling, and effectively identically solving a sequence of subproblems.
- Usage of third party software extensions to help write code. Only text editors and IDEs (IntelliJ, VsCode, Sublime, etc) are allowed.
If you are unsure about whether something constitutes academic dishonesty, please reach out to us beforehand.
We will be allowing you to work with a partner on some of the projects, although you can choose to work on your own on those projects if you wish. The above guidelines apply to partner projects, but are applied between groups. For example, dictating code to your partner is fine, but dictating code to anyone outside your group is not allowed.
We will be running advanced software plagiarism detection programs. Attempting to obfuscate your code to avoid detection almost certainly won’t work and will be penalized severely.
Plagiarism on any assignment will result in an NRW and a grade penalty based on the severity of the infraction. A second instance of plagiarism on an assignment will result in an F in the course. We reserve the right to refer any academic misconduct case to the campus’ Center for Student Conduct.
To give an option for recourse, we are instituting a policy that, if you have violated academic integrity guidelines, you may reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org within 24 hours, and admit fault in order to receive a reduced penalty from those described above. We will handle these on a case-by-case basis.
As both current and former students, we understand and empathize with the fact that people do things that they ordinarily wouldn’t under extreme situations of stress. Our need to enforce fairness and honesty in the class is balanced by the fact that we don’t wish to wreck anyone’s lives for what may have been a moment of bad judgment in an otherwise honest career. Remember that you have five slip days to use over the course of the semester, and if an emergency comes up, you can always request an extension by emailing email@example.com.