A message about copying code

by Alex on Dec 04, 2013 - 1:40:16 am UTC
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After noticing a particular submission from someone (you know who you are), I feel that this message needs to be heard, particularly by Churchill PEG members. The admins of this site are really not oblivioua. Looking at a submission, we can easily tell whether someone earned the points for a problem legitimately. We realize for many problems on the PEG Judge, solution descriptions or even solution programs can be found online. There is nothing we can do to stop you from giving yourself a hint by, for instance, reading a few sentences of a solution PDF, and then implementing the program on your own.

The problem arises when you copy somebody else's program, change some variables, add a few sporadic comments, and submit it in one go for a perfect score. This is blatantly cheating. We don't really care about public users doing this since it's their own programming skills that they're trying to improve. There are certainly no merits to copy-pasting code all day long to gain imaginary points on a website. However, among rising programmers in PEG who are consistently competing with each other (for ranks, rewards, trips, etc.), points DO mean something. Thus, we must be particularly strict with enforcement of this policy.

It is very unfortunate that not only did you try to illegitimately obtain 50 points through 1 problem while your peers are working so hard to even earn 30 on several, you decided to brag about solving it on your own in the comments. It is even more unfortunate that you chose to do this right after we all discussed proper use of the PEG Judge last Wednesday. In the past, our leaders/teachers would not have hesitated to kick out students for such offenses. For this one time, the score for your submission has been set to zero. It's never happened before (and we don't plan for it to), but if similar events persist, we just might start seeing negative scores for submissions. Let's learn to be grateful that this tool is available for us.

TL;DR - Just get points legitimately; we're reaching a limit on warnings.

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It's quiet in here...