The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Tag: plagiarism

Winning the right way

In the lecture of Academic integrity 101: Winning the right way. The lecturer showed examples that help us understand the importance and wide extension of breaking academic integrity. The lecture first started with the presentation of the vice president of the honor council, Nitya Venkat, a student from medical school wanting to become a doctor after she graduates. She told us that the way of getting a right job is not about getting the highest GPA, but earning the job the right way. When she graduated and became a doctor eventually, she would want her patients to form complete trust toward her. But how are the patients supposed to trust her if she cheats in the homework or assignments and is not even worthy to become a doctor?

     Then the lecture showed a wide variety of actions that will be considered as plagiarism. In the past, my understanding of breaking the honor code or academic integrity is probably like plagiarism or cheating on the exams. However, the knowledge I learned from the lecture improved my understanding of plagiarism.

     By definition, plagiarism is using thoughts, materials or ideas from another without properly indicating the source; together with copying, changing wording, using a catchy word or phrase, or paraphrasing from another without indicating that source. That’s the first thing I learned in the lecture. That’s quite new to me since, in the past, I sometimes paraphrase something I learned from a source before into my work without indicating it. Reconstructing someone else’s words and put it your way is also plagiarism. It’s hard sometimes to find the source of a sentence you once read or a catchy word that came into your mind, but it’s the right thing to do to respect the producer of the knowledge by citing the ideas.

      As Dean Madison Sarratt once said: “There is nothing complex about our Honor Code. It is as simple as giving your word and keeping it.” A good person is the kind that will do good things when there’s no one watching.

Academic Integrity Defines You

The Honor Council’s perspective on academic integrity revolved around violations being more than just cheating on a test or collaborating on an assignment. They positioned that how you conduct yourself at a critical time demonstrates the sort of student you are. This idea even extends beyond one’s academic career; it also represents the kind of person one will be after graduation.

The Vice President of the Honor Council, Nitya Venkat, presented a personal example that explains this approach to the honor code. Venkat is an aspiring medical student who wants to practice as a doctor in the near future. She explained that if she has graduated from medical school and is taking her own patientens, they instill a form of trust in her. This is not just the trust that she provides the right medical care, but it is the trust that she has become a doctor through trustworthy means and has the adequate knowledge to provide professional care. A patient’s trust exists because they assume positive intent, but this faith relies on the integrity of each prospective doctor being kept. Venkat stated that this concept extends beyond just the medical field: it can apply to all professions.

Several members of the Honor Council also provided their unique insight into what the honor code was to them and a breakdown of specific characteristics. One aspect that stood out was the fact that the honor code is nothing new. In fact, it has existed since 1875 and used to just be, “On my word and honor as a gentleman, I have neither given nor received help on this examination.” The Honor Council highlighted the fact that it’s changing and adapting to the times; it has always been used to uphold student accountability. After all, everything a Vanderbilt student does is not just a reflection of themselves but the community that they belong to. That is why it is so important to hold students to this standard.

Overall, the Honor Council advised to never be afraid to ask when uncertain if an action could be a breach of the honor code. Following the honor code ensures that one does not rob themselves or the professors and faculty of the investment made in students.

Resources on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Some resources relevant to our discussion of plagiarism and academic integrity…

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