Math 403/603 Foundations of Math
Academic Integrity

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 and preserved.

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.  Here
are some specific rules for this course:

On In-class Examinations, looking at another student's paper to copy an answer or even just to get a hint about a method is cheating.   Exams will be closed notes and books.  Consulting any references during an exam is not permitted.

On Regular 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.   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. 

Quiz Problems are to be treated like open-book take home exam questions: you can use information in the text, but otherwise no consultation of any kind is permitted.  This is to be your own work and based entirely on your own knowledge.  Do not discuss quiz problems with other students or anyone else;  do not look at solutions on the internet or anywhere else.  Any questions should be directed to the instructor.

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.