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Collaboration on Homework

You are welcome to work on homework problems in study groups of no more than 3 people; however, you must always write up the solutions on your own, listing all collaborators at the top. Similarly, you may use books or online resources to help solve homework problems, but you must always credit all such sources in your writeup and you must never copy material verbatim.

We believe that most students can distinguish between helping other students and cheating. You may discuss approaches but your solution must be written by you and you only. You should acknowledge everyone whom you have worked with or who has given you any significant ideas about the homework.

Further, it is your responsibility to ensure that your solutions will not be visible to other students. If you use Github or another source control system to store your solutions electronically, you must ensure your account is configured so your solutions are not publicly visible. Many popular version control systems provide free repositories to students.

As a final note, we’d like to point out that collaboration on homework, while permitted, can be detrimental to your learning if misused. In particular, avoid collaborations where you do not contribute enough to your own satisfaction. Such a collaboration not only cheats you out of an opportunity to learn through homework, but can also affect your confidence. If you feel that you are not contributing enough to your group, then try to spend time thinking about the problems alone before working with your group. If you end up solving the problem all by yourself, that’s great! And if not, you’ll still be better prepared to contribute to your group.

See also ACM Policy on Plagiarism.