Can a teacher really check to see if a Prog is copied?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by AbortionSurvivor, May 13, 2003.

  1. AbortionSurvivor

    AbortionSurvivor Active Member

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    This guy in my C++ class never does his program. A few days before the assignment is due, he will go to people and "ask" for help. Usually he'll ask if he can see their code, and when they are not looking, he'll do a "Ctrl C" for copy on all of the code and paste it somewhere (E-mail or wait til after they leave).
    well, yesterday i have a feeling the bastard did the same thing with my code. Now what troubles me is that the teacher mentioned to the class that there has been a lot of cheating going on. That he will "check" each code to see if they are the same. -i am assuming that he is using a program to load the files and compare them. is this for reals or is the teacher just trying to scare us? We have to submit a disk with our source code on the day of the demo.
    i'm hella scared and don't wanna get caught. Does anyone have any info on this?
    my main question is if words are compared, or if algorithms are compared. WHat about //comments? are these compared as well?
     
  2. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    If you hand in your source, the teacher will probably check everything. There are programs out there that will compare two files to see if they're the same (hell, any competent C++ teacher can write one). If he uses such a program, my guess is that it will check everything, especially comments since they're the part that's least likely to be the same between two legitimately-done assignments (I know my comments never look the same as my neighbors' comments do). If this guy really never does his work, and just copies people then next time don't let him see your code, just tell him to fuck off. I've done it.
     
  3. Zourn

    Zourn 16-bit Ninja OT Supporter

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    If you're really that worried about it, narc him out.
    I would never tell on someone if I thought there wasn't the remotest possibility of getting caught, but I would never put my grade/reputation on the line for some lazy ass.
     
  4. unrealii

    unrealii professor of plant biology

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    Yeah, there are programs which check code. Some even have archives of old code from classes even before yours to make sure you aren't cheating. These programs also check the algorithms, so changing variables doesn't help either. If it's bothering you a lot, you can talk to the teacher. You can't get punished for doing that at least.
     
  5. DeeVoc

    DeeVoc Heh.

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    Idunno, when I took intro classes they profs always threatened that alot of people were cheating and this and that, but nothing ever came of it. Now that I'm in the upper level classes the projects are on a large enough scale to where the profs just let you grab whatever code you can find if it helps out.
     
  6. jerroe

    jerroe Guest

    our school, uw-milwaukee say they have a program that compares c++ code in the class for simular charecteristics, like size, comments, code placement, code names ect....

    we kinda don't believe its that intelligent, but it exists because some kids have gotten caught. but we just deny it and say i dont know that person.

    i don't cheat so i dont have any worries, but i know people that do. its because sometimes these programs are so difficult and 1/2 the students are not CS majors, its pointless for them to have to take it.

    tell the dumbass to reorganize the code, rename all variables, and add new comments
     
  7. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    I had a prof that I believe did it either by hand or had a script that checked. Either way, 4 students got busted. It wasn't pretty. They had 30 minutes after class to stop by his office and explain why they did it and so he can kick them out of his class. If they failed to show up, then he would assume they assumed they were innocent and he would file it with the student/college board (whatever it was - basically a group of folks that would review the case like a judge and jury). If found guilty (which from the evidence would be pretty easy to do) the ruling would be made and the students kicked out as well as a permenant mark on their record what exactly they did so future employers could look it up.

    Basically, this prof played for keeps...

    In the end, if they cheat they won't have a clue when they graduate. Although its nice to make their lives miserable before the end of class...
     
  8. fob

    fob Member

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    Berkeley has a script that I know universities send programs to--to have them checked. I think universities are charged something like 50 cents for each program looked at. It archives all the code and returns a percentage according how similar your code looks to other archived code. It is very complex, it just doesnt compare variables and easy things like that, it actually checks your logic. 2 students were kicked out of my class because 70% of their code matched up.
     
  9. roadbuster

    roadbuster Member

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    It's called MOSS, and it works stupendously well. It's free to use, however, if you are a professor or graduate student who TA's courses.

    HighasBeep: Yes, there's software freely available for your professor to run on everyone's code to determine what matches and what doesn't. It's relatively intelligent code which doesn't care about variable names, indenting, comments, and even the order of the lines of code if they're not dependent on one another. Looking at MOSS, for example, it maps each variable to an internal list of variables and then tracks their path through the code. It checks the arguments to functions and how they're mutated in functions. It checks for code flow and general structure of the programs. If I care enough when I get home (after the matrix :big grin:), I'll submit some code to MOSS and show you the results.

    MOSS works extremely well on a variety of languages (C, C++, Pascal, Java, C#, Maple, Matlab, MC68K ASM, Perl, etc), and if you really think someone copied your code, tell your professor. Plagiarism is taken quite seriously at any University worth a damn, and it's not worth getting kicked-out because someone else stole your code. However, be prepared to be punished if even discussing/sharing code at a high-level is forbidden.
     
  10. beaniemak

    beaniemak New Member

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    At our school, they tokenize the program and look at the usage of variables and logic in order to determine if it resembles other classmates
     
  11. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    To sum it up: They can and do do it. Don't ever let anyone see your code.
     

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