As computer coding classes swell, so does cheating

“There’s a lot of discussion about it, both inside a department as well as across the field,” said Randy H. Katz, a professor in the electrical engineering and computer science department at the University of California, Berkeley, who discovered in one year that about 100 of his roughly 700 students in one class had violated the course policy on collaborating or copying code.

Computer science professors are now delivering stern warnings at the start of each course, and, like colleagues in other subjects, deploy software to flag plagiarism. They have unearthed numerous examples of suspected cheating.

At Brown University, more than half the 49 allegations of academic code violations last year involved cheating in computer science.

At Stanford, the alma mater of the founders of Google, Snapchat and countless other internet wonders, as many as 20 percent of the students in one 2015 computer science course were flagged for possible cheating.