Academic Integrity

Summary of CMU Academic Integrity Policies.

Carnegie Mellon University prohibits academic dishonesty. This includes plagiarism, and may consist of: submitting the work of someone else as one’s own; unauthorized failing to cite assistance you received; or the failure to properly cite materials or ideas from other sources. Many of these problems can be circumvented if you’re clear and generous in giving credit where credit is due. 

Please read the University Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism carefully to understand the penalties associated with academic dishonesty at Carnegie Mellon University. I reserve the right to determine an appropriate penalty based on the violation of academic dishonesty that occurs. The penalty for plagiarizing may range from failure on the specific plagiarized assignment to failure in the class. Repeat offenses can result in severe penalties including, potentially, expulsion from the university. If you have any questions about this policy and any work you are doing in the course, please feel free to contact the professor(s) for help.

Policies on Informal Assistance in this Course

Our course places a high value on civic responsibility that includes, but is not limited to, helping others learn. In this course, we strongly encourage you to give help (or ask others for help) in using various toolkits, algorithms, libraries, or other facilities. Please note the following expectations:

  • Students who receive help from someone else, such as a classmate or friend, are obliged to acknowledge that person in their project report, clarifying the nature of the help that was received.
  • We are all teachers. Students with advanced skills are expected to help others, yet refrain from doing another’s work for them. One can usually tell when one is about to cross the line. Ask yourself whether you are teaching someone to fish, or merely giving them the fish.
  • When in doubt: give credit to the people who have helped you.  Credit is currency.

Policies for Open-Ended Creative Projects

For your open-ended, public-facing Projects, which will be presented and hosted in this WordPress site, there is no correct answer. Your curiosity, creativity, ingenuity and originality are prized. You may borrow code from other sources, within the limits of certain “reasonable person” principles described below, provided you attribute your sources. Your work will appear, publicly, on the open internet. Your Projects will likely be discussed and critiqued in front of (and with the assistance of) your peers.

As studio art students, you are expected or invited to make extensive use of open-source libraries and freely-distributed code. When working in this way, much like a knitting circle, our classroom is structured around peer instruction, in which students are expected to help each other learn, and invited to collaborate.

Use of Free and Open-Source Code in Projects.

Credit is perhaps the most important form of currency in the economies of commons-based peer production and open-source media arts. You must cite the source of any code you use. Please note the following expectations and guidelines:

  • Check the License. When using others’ code in your Projects, pay very careful attention to the license under which it has been released, and be certain to fulfill the terms and requirements of those licenses. Descriptions of common licenses, and their requirements, can be found here and here. Some licenses may require permission (obtain it!) or even require you to purchase the author a beer.
  • Use Libraries. In your Projects, the use of general, repurposable libraries (such as p5.js Libraries) is strongly encouraged. The people who developed and contributed these components to the community worked hard, often for no pay; acknowledge them by citing their name and linking to their repository.
  • Be Careful. It sometimes happens that an artist places the entire source code for their sketch or artwork online, as a resource from which others can learn. The assignments professors give in new-media arts courses are often similar (e.g. “Clock”); you may also discover the work of a student in some other class or school, who has posted code for a project which responds to a similar assignment. You should probably avoid this code. At the very least, you should be very, very careful about approaching such code for possible re-use. If it is necessary to do so, it is best to extract components that solve a specific technical problem, rather than those parts which operate to create a poetic experience. Your challenge, if and/or when you work with others’ code, is to make it your own. It should be clear that downloading an artwork from e.g. OpenProcessing and simply changing the colors would be disgracefully lazy. And doing so without proper citation would be outright plagiarism.

Formal Collaboration in Projects.

This class is primarily concerned with what you can achieve as a solo creator working in a supportive environment. Nonetheless, in the field of new-media arts, many projects require a diverse set of skills. One can also learn a lot by sharing and negotiating code with someone else. For this reason, collaborations between students on projects, while not specifically encouraged, are not categorically prohibited. Please note the following expectations:

  • Students who wish to collaborate should jointly inform the professor as early as possible.
  • It is expected that all of the students involved in a collaboration will write code. “I’ll be the artist, you be the engineer” is absolutely not OK.
  • Collaborations in this course will be restricted to pairs of students. No trios, quartets or flash mobs.
  • Written reports for collaborative Projects should describe how effort was distributed.
  • Your Project collaborator, if you have one, must be in this class. For the purposes of this course, you may not collaborate with others (e.g. your housemate).
  • You may not collaborate with someone on more than two weekly projects.

Sources. This document combines academic integrity policies articulated by Prof. David Kosbie for his 15-112 course at CMU, with policies by Golan Levin used previously in 60-110.