I am writing this post to ask for your opinion whether you can work and at the same time study in Denmark. I am from Bulgaria and I want to take the undergraduate program in DTU (Denmark Technological University) but the only way to do so is to work and study there. I will be glad to hear your advice and all your opinions. Thank you in advance!

I copied (and failed to cite) two lines of code from the OpenJDK source for an undergraduate Data Structures project. Yet, the code comparison shows an alarming amount (40%) of similarity. Here is the side-by-side comparison with my file.

Based on these grounds, my professor wants to give me a -100% on the assignment, which would bring down my overall grade by 15% total, probably causing me to not make the C-wall (depending on how well I do on the final exam). For this reason (and my conscious), I decided to appeal.

However, I believe that most of the similarity in the report comes from my copying of lines 142-152:

static int hash(int h) {
    h ^= (h >>> 20) ^ (h >>> 12);
    return h ^ (h >>> 7) ^ (h >>> 4);
}

I did not cite these two lines, but I did intend to delete them later.

In fact, this whole function can be removed without affecting the program at all, which results in this file comparison.

Then, only lines 114-126 are a problem:

MyEntry<K, V>[] newArr = new MyEntry[newSize];
// Copy
for (int i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
    MyEntry<K, V> e = data[i];
    if (e != null) {
        data[i] = null;
        do {
            MyEntry<K, V> next = e.next;
            int j = e.hash % newSize;
            e.next = newArr[j];
            newArr[j] = e;
            e = next;
        } while (e != null);

However, this snippet is my own. I wrote these lines without referencing HashMap.java, and this is a common algorithm for chaining that I can explain thoroughly, and have known about for years.

Yes, I know the fact I copied the other two lines compromises my integrity and made the 20% into 40% to begin with, so how can I prove this?

I’m not sure how to defend this whole case before a Student Conduct Board who knows very little about programming. My board hearing is in a month. Does these two snippets of code constitute plagiarism of my entire project? Is -15% to my overall grade fair?

Sidenotes:

  • Our projects are pretty extensive since we aren’t allowed to use java.util.* (like 1k+ lines for each project in 8 days), and I did not copy any other code. I’d say the actual data structure implementation is only meant to take about 1/5 our time spent per project.
  • Over 30% of the class has been reported for academic integrity violations on projects over the semester, and the newly graduated professor doesn’t seem to think himself or his assignments are the problem. I should have caught onto the warning before this last project of the semester…

I am an undergraduate CS student, and I would like to start doing research, because I want to boost my chances of entering a graduate school, and research is something that sounds interesting to me. Currently I am in second year and in the top of my class. I live in Southeastern Europe.

Should I come up with a research idea myself and then approach the faculty staff, or should I just tell them that I am interested in research and see where it goes?

I copied (and failed to cite) two lines of code from the OpenJDK source for an undergraduate Data Structures project. Yet, the code comparison shows an alarming amount (40%) of similarity. Here is the side-by-side comparison with my file.

Based on those grounds, my professor wants to give me a -100% on the assignment, which would bring down my overall grade by 15% total, probably causing me to not make the C-wall (depending on how well I do on the final exam). For this reason (and my conscious), I decided to appeal.

However, I claim most of the similarity in the report comes from my copying of lines 142-152:

static int hash(int h) {
    h ^= (h >>> 20) ^ (h >>> 12);
    return h ^ (h >>> 7) ^ (h >>> 4);
}

I did not cite these two lines, but I did mean to delete them later. In fact, this whole function can be removed without affecting the program at all, which results in this file comparison.

Then, only lines 114-126 are a problem:

MyEntry<K, V>[] newArr = new MyEntry[newSize];
// Copy
for (int i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
    MyEntry<K, V> e = data[i];
    if (e != null) {
        data[i] = null;
        do {
            MyEntry<K, V> next = e.next;
            int j = e.hash % newSize;
            e.next = newArr[j];
            newArr[j] = e;
            e = next;
        } while (e != null);

However, this snippet is my own. I wrote these lines without referencing HashMap.java, and this is a common algorithm for chaining that I can explain thoroughly, and have known about for years. Yes, I know the fact I copied the other two lines compromises my integrity and made the 20% into 40% to begin with, so how can I prove this?

I’m not sure how to defend this whole case before a Student Conduct Board who knows very little about programming. My board hearing is in a month. Do these two snippets of code constitute plagiarism of my entire project? Is -15% to my overall grade fair?

Sidenotes:

  • Our projects are pretty extensive since we aren’t allowed to use java.util.* (like 1k+ lines for each project in 8 days), and I did not copy any other code. I’d say the actual data structure implementation is only meant to take about 1/5 our time spent per project.
  • Over 30% of the class has been reported for academic integrity violations on projects over the semester, and the newly graduated professor doesn’t seem to think himself or his assignments are the problem. I should have caught onto the warning before this last project of the semester…

Regarding to a course for undergraduates (especially in computer science, but i would love to hear opinions from others too):

Is it okay to assign free marks for assignments? Meaning, the students who submitted the assignments will be assigned full marks.

If yes, in total how much percentage of free marks you assign from the overall 100% of the course? Is 30-40% too much?
How many assignments do you give?

This is because, students tend to discuss or copy paste the assignments from friends. And I don’t want them to do that because of fear of losing marks. When I say I don’t deduct marks for a particular exercise, I see that some students are willing to take the challenge and be creative with their answers, although their answers sometimes are wrong. I believe that people learn from mistakes.

But people might question me if I just give them full marks for 30~40% from the overall course marks. I couldn’t measure whether I am too lenient, unbelievable, too dumb, etc, because of lack of experience.

So please, any opinion would be appreciated.

This is another one of my “I am not a Graduate Student or TA yet, but I would like advice on potential situations” question.

As I am writing and revising my personal statements, I overhear what is a rather nasty breakup outside of the window at 0037hrs.

I know that personal relationships are not my business in general and in this case, my involvement was a brief but stern question to the young couple if everything was OK and if they wanted to discuss their issues inside the lobby of the building I worked at instead of the freezing cold outside. I also offered hot coffee or tea. The ulterior intention was to insure that there was no violence in what was an emotionally-charged argument.

The result was that he flipped me off and she declined, I replied if she was sure, she said yes and they went off into the night.

With this said my questions:

  • Were my actions appropriate as a staff member of the university (who was basically about the same age as the presumed undergraduate couple ranging from 18-22 and myself at 23)?
  • Would my actions be appropriate as a graduate student and TA in general regardless of circumstance (affiliation in my group, unknown student in general)?
  • Would the same actions be appropriate for a professor?

I study undergraduate mathematics at university. In one of my units, the lecturer does not provide any notes (typeset or otherwise), but has said that if anyone else who attends the lectures wants to typeset some notes, he’d be more than happy to check them over and then share them with the class.

Remarkably, one of the students is actually doing that, and is actively typing up notes for the course as it goes on, and those notes are being shared via the online course page with the class.

Unfortunately, the notes have some errors. These are often, rather than just being typos, completely incorrect assertions. I don’t blame the student who’s writing them at all; I completely understand that having written the notes it’s very difficult to then check them over properly.

I want to email the student with a large number of corrections to the notes he’s typeset, but I don’t want to come across as overly assuming. I feel that emailing the student who’s taken the time to make these notes to such an effect might come across as condescending – or worse, “I’m better than you, do it like this”. Should I email the lecturer instead? What’s an appropriate way to approach this situation without upsetting anyone?

For instance, is it like in England or France where the focus is more or less entirely on examination scores? If so, is there a nationalized admission examination? Or is it more like the American holistic review system where the complete profile of the student is taken into consideration?

My question is more specifically asked keeping Bonn and TUM in mind.

I am very focused on getting into a good college and am curious to know exactly what I have to do to get admitted. I have visited a lot of websites of the colleges I want to get into (MIT, Princeton, UCLA, Harvard); they provide valuable info, but just not enough for me to understand exactly what I am supposed to do. Can someone elaborate more on this?

I am a pre-final year undergrad student of computer science. I am interested in getting into research. I have already done some research, but it has not been very formal, and I have not been able to devote a lot of time to it due to college coursework.

In my final year of college, my university allows me to pursue my undergrad thesis at any university / research institute where I can find a professor willing to advise me. I have been able to find such a professor in Germany, who is willing to advise me for 8 months, and his group is very relevant to the kind of research I want to pursue in future.

However, the problem is that the institute is not very well known, at least in my country. But the Google Scholar profile of the professor is decent enough. The group in which I’ll be working does seem to be doing good work, although the project assigned to me currently is one on which just a single researcher is working. Also, what surprised me a little was that the researcher is just a master, she doesn’t even have a PhD yet. But the work being done by her seems to be good enough and state-of-the-art.

Another criterion by which people suggested I can judge the state of a project is the funding. If a project is well-funded, it probably means it is in good shape and is going somewhere. Well, I don’t know about the funding of the project exactly, but they are offering me quite a large stipend which points to the fact that they are not exactly low on funding. Also, many of my friends have applied for theses abroad and have found that obtaining a funded position for an undergrad is very hard. Considering I have a well-funded position is probably a good sign then, right?

How else can I go about evaluating this opportunity? Are the things mentioned above important to factor into this decision? Any other points I should consider?