T-Th 9:05
T-Th 11:15
in Olin 155

CS 1110: Introduction to Computing Using Python

Fall 2012

Academic Integrity

We ask you not to cheat, in any way, shape, or form. In return, we will try our best to be fair about the amount of work we are giving you, in the grading of that work, and in giving you a course grade. You can always talk to us if you have any gripe or criticism about the course, and we will attempt to respond to it immediately.

We mention various aspects of cheating in this course further below.

Why shouldn't you cheat? Society thrives and grows on trust and respect. If that trust is broken, then chaos tends to enter in. This trust can be on a small scale, such as simply trusting a bus driver to get you to your destination (if the driver is drunk, you may be killed; you trust that they are not drunk). Or it can be on a huge scale, such as the current Middle East.

Examples of Trust and no Trust
In this course You trust us to teach you programming, with a reasonable amount of work on your part and hopefully in an interesting way. You trust us to treat students equally, and not to grade one person's work more or less leniently because we like or don't like them. In turn, we trust you to do your work in a timely manner, without cheating.
Taking a bus You trust that the driver is not drunk and will carefully drive you to your destination.
Downloading music Musicians produce music and expect to get paid for its use, so that they can make a living. They trust the copyright system. You violate that trust (and they have more difficulty earning a living) when you download music illegally.
Research People trust that lab experiments are run properly and that the data is not altered (including suppression of some data) to make the results look better. Altering data can lead to the use of drugs in ways that they harm or even kill people.
Stocks You buy stocks in a company, trusting that its reports are accurate and that its employees are honest. The Enron debacle (and later subprime mortgage meltdown) shows how bad things can become when that trust is broken. In these cases, the broken trust ruined the lives of many people.
Politics We want to trust our leaders. When they act in ways that seem to benefit them and their friends rather than our society as a whole, cynicism sets in and we lose faith in them and in our system of governing. Too often, the parties in Congress appear to be more interested in preserving their own self-interest than in working together for society.
Email When the internet started, everyone trusted everone else. No one would spam, and if they did, they were taken to task. But, as the internet grew, trust was severely violated, and now, it is estimated that 90% of all email is spam. This is a huge drain on resources. Some spam is fairly innocent (but it is still spam). The more malicious kind preys on people, especially the children and the elderly.

Cheating destroys the respect others have for you when they find out that you cheated. More importantly, cheating, starting on a small scale, can continue to grow, leading to cheating on a large scale later on. Cheating destroys your character. It can lessen what you think of yourself and ruin your self-confidence. It can ruin your life. While cheating may seem to help in the short run, in the long run it can lead to disaster.

There is another view of cheating. Cheating is a crime against the honest students. It is a way to screw your classmates, the people who think you are their friend. You cheat, your grade goes up, and maybe the curve changes to your benefit and their detriment. Do you want to do that to friends?

Cornell Code of Academic Integrity

Cornell University has a Code of Academic Integrity, which explains clearly what is academic cheating and what is not. This website explains the academic integrity procedures from the standpoint of the student, the instructor, and the members of an Academic Integrity Hearing Board; spend some time now, looking at it:


Violations of the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity occurring in Computer Science courses are taken seriously by the Computer Science faculty. Therefore, it is necessary to impress upon students the gravity of violations of the Code. The following are excerpts from a longer version of the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity. The exclusion of any part does not excuse ignorance of the Code.


Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell student in all academic undertakings.

A person must in no way misrepresent their work fraudulently, unfairly advance their academic status, or be a party to another person's failure to maintain academic integrity. The maintenance of an atmosphere of academic honor and the fulfillment of the provisions of this Code are the responsibilities of the students and faculty of Cornell University. Therefore, all students and faculty members shall refrain from any action that would violate the basic principles of this Code.

General responsibilities

A student assumes responsibility for the content and integrity of the academic work he/she submits, such as papers, examinations, or reports. A student shall be guilty of violating the Code and subject to proceedings under it if they:

  • knowingly represents the work of others as their own.
  • uses or obtains unauthorized assistance in any academic work.
  • gives fraudulent assistance to another student.
  • fabricates data in support of laboratory or field work.
  • forges a signature to certify completion or approval of a course assignment.
  • in any other manner violates the principle of absolute integrity.

Specific Issues in CS 1110

Note: "You" in the following statements refers to "you and your partner", if you are allowed to work with a partner.

What may you not do?

  • For an assignment: You may not have or look at the code of another student in the course.
  • For an assignment: You may not have or look at the code of a student for a similar assignment in a previous version of this course.
  • For an assignment: You may not look at (or listen to someone reading) the code of another student or show or read your code to another student.
  • You may not remove your partner's name from an assignment unless you do not use each other's work.

Who performs the work?

  • You must submit only work you did. Using a computer does not modify the standards of academic integrity stipulated in the Cornell University code of conduct.
  • You may discuss work with other students. However, cooperation should never involve other students possessing a copy of all, or a portion of, your work regardless of format.
  • You cannot remove your partner's name from an assignment unless you do not use each other's work.

What do you submit?

  • The programs that you submit must generate the entire output you submit in your assignments.
  • You cannot submit more than one assignment if you have worked with a partner.
  • You may not submit answers using someone else's iclicker. Each student should have their own iclicker and should use only their own.

Can I use someone else's iclicker?

  • Each student should have their own iclicker. To use someone elses's during lectures, for any reason, is a violation of academic integrity.

What means do we use to catch violators?

  • We use Moss, which was developed by a Cornell PhD. We give the Moss web-based software a directory containing all the submissions and another file containing the skeleton we gave you for that assignment. Moss returns a list of pairs of submissions, ranked by the percentage of similar lines and showing exactly where the similarities are. Changing variable names does not help. Take a look at it here:

What are the penalties?

  • We assign penalties on a case-by-case basis.
  • We hold both you and your partner responsible in case of a violation.
  • We may give you a zero on the assignment, lower your grade, fail you in CS 1110, request a Cornell University disciplinary action like suspension for a semester and a permanent mark on your transcript.

Who should you contact?

  • Contact a member of the course staff immediately if you suspect a Code violation.