Academic Integrity

You are expected to maintain the utmost level of academic integrity in all your academic endeavors. Please read and understand the following excerpts from a longer version of the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity. "I didn't know it wasn't allowed" is not a valid excuse; if you are in doubt, ask.

Violations of the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity occurring in Computer Science courses are taken very seriously. We find it necessary to impress upon you now the gravity of violations of this 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. He/she must in no way misrepresent his/her work fraudulently or unfairly advance his/her academic status, or be a party to another student'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. All students and faculty members must refrain from any action that would violate this principle.

Definition of Academic Integrity

A student assumes responsibility for the content and integrity of the academic work he/she submits, such as papers, examinations, or reports.

A student is guilty of violating the Code, and subject to proceedings under it, if he/she:

  • knowingly represents the work of others as his/her 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

Unless otherwise specified by the individual professor, the work you do in Computer Science courses is expected to be the result of your individual effort. The use of a computer in no way modifies the normal standards of the Code. You may discuss work with other students, and give or receive "consulting" help from other students, but such permissible cooperation should never involve one student having in his or her possession a copy of all or part of another student's assignment, regardless of whether that copy is on paper, on a computer disk, or in a computer file. This implies that there is no legitimate reason to send a copy of a program from one computer account to another, or to be logged on to another student's account.

Discussion of general strategy or algorithms is permissible, but you may not collaborate in the detailed development or actual writing of an assignment. This includes providing a copy, or accepting a copy of work that is expected to be individual effort. It is your responsibility to protect your work from unauthorized access. It is inadvisable to discard copies of your programs in public places. This applies to both handwritten and programming assignments.


The penalty for any violation of this Code in Computer Science courses will be determined by the instructor according to accepted procedures. It may be failure in the course.

Computer accounts are provided for coursework only. They are not private accounts; they belong to the Department of Computer Science and the use of these accounts may be monitored in various ways. Accounts that are abused will be withdrawn.

More Information

  • Cornell University Academic Integrity Handbook. Second Edition, September 1990. Office of the University Faculty.
  • The Code of Academic Integrity and Acknowledging the Work of Others. August 1990. Office of the Dean of Faculty, Cornell University.

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