College of the Holy Cross Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Departmental Statement on Academic Integrity
Why is academic integrity important?
All education is a cooperative enterprise between teachers and
students. This cooperation works well only when there is trust and
mutual respect between everyone involved.
One of our main aims as a department is to help students become
knowledgeable and sophisticated learners, able to think and work
both independently and in concert with their peers. Representing another
person's work as your own in any form (plagiarism or ``cheating''),
and providing or receiving unauthorized assistance on assignments (collusion)
are lapses of academic integrity because they subvert the learning process
and show a fundamental lack of respect for the educational enterprise.
How does this apply to our courses?
You will encounter a variety of types of assignments and examination
formats in mathematics and computer science courses. For instance,
many problem sets in mathematics classes and laboratory assignments
in computer science courses are individual assignments.
While some faculty members
may allow or even encourage discussion among
students during work on problem sets, it is the expectation that the
solutions submitted by each student will be that student's own work,
written up in that student's own words. When consultation with other
students or sources other than the textbook occurs, students should
identify their co-workers, and/or cite their sources as they would for
other writing assignments. Some courses also make use of collaborative
assignments; part of the evaluation in that case may be a rating of each
individual's contribution to the group effort.
Some advanced classes may use take-home
examinations, in which case the ground rules will usually allow no
collaboration or consultation.
In many computer science classes, programming projects are
strictly individual assignments; the ground rules
do not allow any collaboration or consultation here either.
What are the responsibilities of faculty?
It is the responsibility of faculty in the department to
lay out the guidelines to be followed for specific assignments in
their classes as clearly and fully as possible, and to
offer clarification and advice concerning those guidelines
as needed as students work on those assignments.
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science upholds the
College's policy on academic honesty.
We advise all students taking mathematics or computer science courses
to read the statement in the current College catalog carefully and
to familiarize themselves with the procedures which may be
applied when infractions are determined to have occurred.
What are the responsibilities of students?
A student's main responsibility is to follow the guidelines laid down
by the instructor of the course. If there is some point about the
expectations for an assignment that is not clear, the student is responsible
for seeking clarification. If such clarification is not immediately available,
students should err on the side of caution and follow the strictest possible
interpretation of the guidelines they have been given.
It is also a student's responsibility to protect his/her
own work to prevent unauthorized use of exam papers, problem solutions,
computer accounts and files, scratch paper, and any other materials used in
carrying out an assignment. We expect students to have the integrity to say
``no'' to requests for assistance from other students when offering that
assistance would violate the guidelines for an assignment.