Why Computer Science Students Cheat

Monday Apr 19th 2010 by Datamation.com Staff

As enrollment in technology courses soars, universities say they're catching a disproportionately high number of cheaters in introductory computer science classes.

CIO.com: Academic officials say that the enrollment growth in computer science programs has a dark side: a disproportionately high number of students who are cheating. At Stanford, 23 percent of honor code violations come from computer science students, even though those students account for only 6.5 percent of the student population. And at the University of Washington, half of the plagiarism cases involve computer science students.

"The truth is that on every campus, a large proportion of the reported cases of academic dishonesty come from introductory computer science courses, and the reason is totally obvious: we use automated tools to detect plagiarism," explains University of Washington Professor Ed Lazowska. "We compare against other student submissions, and we compare against previous student submissions and against code that may be on the Web. These tools flag suspicious cases, which are then manually examined."

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