Saturday, March 08, 2014

Copying computer code at Princeton University

There are increasing numbers of plagiarism incidents in computer science courses at Princeton University.

From a post Convictions of plagiarism in computer science courses on the rise

There could also be more cases coming from Computer Science courses simply because the department goes to greater lengths to detect plagiarism. While writing-based courses largely avoid plagiarism-detection software like, many Computer Science students’ assignments are run through a program called Measure of Software Similarity, or Moss, which was developed at Stanford in 1994. Pritchard said the department now uses a new technology in addition to the Moss software.

But the department does not rely solely on anti-plagiarism software in determining whether or not to report a case to the Committee on Discipline. Pritchard explained that after using MOSS and its new software to flag suspicious pairs of code, the department examines them manually to see if flagrant copying has taken place.

“The cases we send to the Committee on Discipline are the cases where, literally, wholesale copying has taken place,” Rexford said. She added, “the cases need to be clear-cut. This is serious business. It has a significant impact on the student, obviously, and it has a significant influence on the department because it’s a huge of amount of time and effort to bring cases to the Committee on Discipline.”


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