Weak collaboration is permitted on problem sets. In this context the term “weak collaboration” means that two or more students may discuss the problems and their ways of approaching them, but each student must fully work out the problem and present only his or her own solution. Advice can be given and received, but no part of the solution can be copied from another, nor can identical portions appear in the submissions of two or more students. Any weak collaboration must be fully disclosed as part of the problem solution, for example by a phrase like “Alice Alison and Bob Robertson collaborated in part (b) by discussions of general approach.” Since weak collaboration involves discussions among two or more people, all must have compatible statements.
Help from people not taking this course is also permitted, provided that it is fully disclosed, and that the solution submitted was written in the privacy of the submitter’s own mind and body.
Strong collaboration is not permitted on problem sets. In this context the term “strong collaboration” is any collaboration in which work done by others is incorporated, with or without disclosure. Strong collaboration is normal and desirable in the work environment, where the principal purpose is to accomplish, as a team, some objective. In an academic setting, however, the purpose is to facilitate learning by each individual student, and strong collaboration does not support that goal.
It is, of course, a serious academic offense for a student to present another’s work as his or her own. It is also an offense to fail to report collaboration in accordance with course policy. Such offenses will be treated seriously.
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