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 three categories: unauthorized collaboration, plagiarism, and cheating on an exam.
Unathorized collaboration - collaborating on any of the homework assignments. All homework assignments must be individually developed. Students that collaborate on assignments will receive a zero (0) in the assignment. In Fall 2016, 20 students received zero in one of their assignments.
Plagiarism - presenting someone else’s ideas as your own, either verbatim or recast in your own words - is a serious academic offense with serious consequences. 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://scampus.usc.edu/b/11-00-behavior-violating-university-standards-and-appropriate-sanctions/. Other forms of academic dishonesty are equally unacceptable. In the past few years, academic violations by students in CSCI571 have resulted in severe sanctions such as F in the course, and 3-month and 6-month suspensions.
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 sanctions. In addition, cellphones will be temporarily confiscated when students are found with a visible cellphone.
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, can be used.