In response to recommendations made by the Academic Integrity Task Force to the Dean, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering now has an Honor Code. The Code was developed by Viterbi students, and its text is as follows:
Engineering enables and empowers our ambitions and is integral to our identities. In the Viterbi community, accountability is reflected in all our endeavors.
During your time here at Viterbi, please know that academic and personal resources are available to help you.
The Viterbi School takes academic integrity violations seriously. Most of the violations that have been reported in previous years fall into four categories: code sharing, unauthorized collaboration, unfair advantage, and cheating on an exam.
These are specific vioations of the Student Conduct Code §§:
Code sharing - The submission of material authored by another person but represented as the student’s own work, whether that material is paraphrased or copied in verbatim or near-verbatim form. Note: Culpability is not diminished when plagiarism occurs in drafts which are not the final version. Also, if any material is prepared or submitted by another person on the student’s behalf, the student is expected to proofread the results and is responsible for all particulars of the final draft. (section 11.14.A)
Unauthorized collaboration - Unauthorized collaboration on a project, homework or other assignment. Collaboration will be considered unauthorized unless expressly part of the assignment in question or expressly permitted by the instructor. (section 1.14.B)
Unfair academic advantage - Any act that gains or is intended to gain an unfair academic advantage may be considered an act of academic dishonesty. (section 11.21)
Cheating in an exam - This may involve a number of violations, such as looking at classnotes during the exam, looking at other student's exam, "texting" with other students during the exam. See the section titled Two Exams for a list of specific violations.
Please note that that these are only the basic violations that we have encountered in the past, and there are many more. Please familiarize yourself with the discussion of plagiarism in SCampus in Section B.11.00, Behavior Violating University Standards and Appropriate Sanctions available at https://policy.usc.edu/files/2018/07/SCampus-2018-19.pdf. In the past few years, academic violations by students in CSCI571 have resulted in severe sanctions such as F in the course, 1-letter downgrade, and 3-month and 6-month suspensions.
All academic integrity violations will be referred to the Academic Integrity Coordinator of the Viterbi School of Engineering, Steve Bucher.
The process for adjudicating these cases is available in SCampus, Part B, Section 13.
In the Spring of 2017, two students posted their homeworks on Github's public repository. Repositories like GitHub and BitBucket are searchable by search engines like Google Search. Four (4) other students searched and found the code, downloaded and copied it. MOSS matched the code. In accordance with USC policy, all students were found to have commited plagiarism, the ones that copied and the one that let his code to be copied by posting it on a public online repository like GitHub.
In the Fall of 2017, two more students posted their homeworks on Github public repository. Again 6 more students found the code and copied it, MOSS matched the code, and all were found to have committed plagiarism and properly penalized.
Moral of the story. Anyone putting their source code in a public repositoy is playing with fire and putting their grade at risk. Public repositories like Github and BitBucket should not be used to store CSCI571 homework exercise source code. Private repositories from the same services, such as GitHub Classroom, can be used.