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I disagree with your assertion. Cheating is not necessarily an act of malice. As an example, a friend of mine (who is from India) helped another student (also Indian) with a programming project in an intro to CS class at my alma mater. My friend was trying to help a friend out, not intentionally trying to break the rules. This took place during the first few weeks of school, mind you, and neither student had any significant experience with the ethical standards of American institutions. Both students readily admitted to what had happened- neither was trying to hide anything. Nonetheless, the professor gave my friend a two letter grade demotion and the person whom he helped an F. Arguments about the fairness of their punishments aside, I don't think it's fair to assert that either had a lapse in ethical judgement more than a cultural misunderstanding, but nonetheless both students did cheat.

There's a difference between cheating and helping. If the professor believed that there were cheating, that meant that the work didn't appear to be original. Helping someone else means that you're helping them with the concepts related to the problem. If you want to be hands on with helping them through the problem you create a similar problem [that doesn't have the same requirements and help get them over what got them stuck]

I am taking this course - it's impossible to not notice these rules, there are annoying confirmations at every single submission or multiple choice test that you are submitting your own individual work only. I.e., submitting a program copied off web is 100% intentional fraud.

To me it is unclear whether it is allowed to talk about solution after the hard dead line. Is that ok? Not publicizing them just talking about them in a closed study group.

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