Plagiarism, Cheating, and Academic Misconduct

Academic Honesty: CPSC 436V, Information Visualization, Jan 2020

Todo | General | Course-Specific



Don't cheat! It's a very, very bad idea. You won't learn the material so you'll fail the exams in this course. Even if you barely squeak by, you'll be lost in later courses.

There's a good chance you'll get caught. I may impose an academic consequence of a grade of zero for that work. I may pursue academic discipline, where the penalties can be very serious: failing the class, having a letter of reprimand in your university record, having a permanent notation on your transcript, being suspended, being expelled. The UBC policy on student conduct and discipline has more details on the penalties for plagiarism.

I do regularly prosecute students for cheating, even though it's traumatic for everybody involved (including me), because I think it's very important to have a level playing field for everybody in the course.

If you're feeling stressed, come talk to the instructor or the TAs to get help - at the labs, or the posted office hours, or make an appointment. Don't be afraid to come in and say you're confused, we're here to help you get unconfused. Of course, it's good to come talk to us before you're completely overwhelmed.

Course-Specific Academic Conduct Expectations

In this course, you must work individually for the foundations and programming exercises, and you must form teams of three people for the final programming project.

What's allowed

What's not allowed


You are expected to cite all sources of inspiration (Internet or book or human) in your writeups. Acknowledging your sources of information in writing is the best way to avoid grey areas of possible academic misconduct. You do not need to cite anything covered in lecture or in the assigned readings, or discussions with the instructor or TAs, or discussions with your team members. You should cite all other sources in writing: either at the end of the README documenting your code for programming assignments or the final project, or in the file that you turn in for foundations exercises. Any non-team people with whom you have had extended discussions should be listed. Casual discussions of a few minutes do not need to be documented, but study groups outside the three-person team do. The Web is full of fantastic resources for students: detailed tutorials with well-annotated source code; archives of mailing lists and newsgroups that contain programming questions and answers; and explanations of how to avoid, fix, or work around common (or uncommon) errors. You are welcome to use these resources responsibly, as long as you cite the sources. For example: if you looked at code fragments from the Web or from other books, list the Web sites or book titles in the References section of your README. Looking on the Web for ideas and information is permitted and encouraged. Even looking at sample visualization code is permitted, but simply copying that code and handing it in as your own is not. You will be asked to explain your computational approach during the face-to-face grading slots, if you are not able to do so you will not receive credit for that part of the assignment.

If you have any questions at all about a grey area, don't hestitate to ask the instructor.

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Last modified: Tue Jan 7 04:31:20 PST 2020