Math 412/612 Modern Algebra
American University works hard to
promote academic integrity and discourage dishonesty. I agree
with this attitude. In today's culture, with the heavy emphasis
on winning and results, and daily examples of corruption and dishonesty
by leaders in nearly all walks of life, it may be tempting to cut
corners, looking for an easy way to meet your responsibilities.
Don't give in to the temptation. Personal integrity is an
important aspect of good character. It deserves to be defended
One element of AU's approach to this issue is to educate students about
the meaning and nature of academic dishonesty. All faculty are
asked to spell out for their students behaviors that constitute
cheating. Some things are obviously dishonest. It should go
without saying that during an in-class examination, looking at another
student's paper to copy and answer or even just to get a hint about a
method is cheating. But other cases are less clear. So here
are some specific do's and don'ts for this course.
On homework, you are free to consult with other students, tutors, and
the instructor to figure out
how to complete an assignment. Similarly, you may look at the
answers in the back of the textbook to check your work. But some
problems do not have answers in the book. For these you are not
permitted to consult answers or solutions from other sources, including
the student solutions manual. In
no case is it allowed to copy
a solution from anyone or any source. Nor may you permit someone
else to copy your work. Each student is expected to make a good
faith effort to understand each problem and then to produce his or her
own write up of the solution.
For assignments that are explicitly group activities, every member of
the group should make a substantive contribution. Permitting your
name to be listed on a handed in paper to which you have not
contributed is dishonest. Either take an active role in the work
of the group, or remove your name from the final product.
A second element of AU's approach is enforcement, with well defined
procedures for handling cases of suspected dishonesty. I am
REQUIRED to report such cases to the Dean of the College of Arts and
Sciences. In part, this is to protect the rights of the students
and ensure that no sanctions are imposed without due process. But
a potential drawback is that once I observe what appears to be
cheating, the matter is out of my hands. It will be adjudicated
according to the college's formal procedures, and a finding of academic
dishonesty may become part of a student's permanent record. A
typical sanction for cheating is a failing grade in the course.
All students are subject to the university's Academic Integrity Code,
and should read it carefully. It is accessible at http://www.american.edu/academics/integrity/code.cfm.