Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science I” released a report about the long-term efficacy of its “regret clause,” an academic honesty policy that stirred controversy upon its induction in 2014 for allegedly bypassing the Honor Council.
Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science” retained the reigning spot as the College’s largest course this fall, a distinction held by the perennially popular Economics 10a: “Principles of Economics” up until 2017.
Computer Science 50 led course enrollment numbers with 724 undergraduates, according to data from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences registrar’s office Thursday.
Staff for CS50 have changed the way they report academic dishonesty cases to the Honor Council roughly a year after a wave of cheating swept the class.
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The new policy was one of many sweeping changes made to the class this year after more than 60 students appeared before the College’s Honor Council in 2016.
In its report, the Honor Council obliquely referenced CS50, writing that “one large introductory course” had skewed the data for last year.
Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris implored students in the CS50 not to cheat on assignments at an orientation session Wednesday night.
The email from CS50 head instructor David J. Malan ’99 arrived when one student was sitting in the airport on Jan. 9, waiting to board a flight home for winter break.
Some CS50 staffers said the course’s recent expansion and online availability of answer keys likely contributed to high levels of academic dishonesty.
Because of the way CS50 reviews cases of academic dishonesty, students likely did not learn of cheating allegations against them until months after they potentially violated course policy.
Former students and course staff said course policy was unclear about what constituted cheating, creating the potential for unintentional violations.
More than 60 students enrolled in CS50 last semester appeared before the Honor Council in a wave of academic dishonesty cases that has stretched the Council to its limits.
The letters “TM” could eventually adorn the T-shirts and posters seen around campus for Harvard’s flagship undergraduate computer science course.
Harvard’s Computer Science 50: “Introduction to Computer Science I” saw a significant drop in enrollment at Yale University as it kicks off its second year. In the meantime, the course staff have been busy making changes to the course’s curriculum, staff, and lecture structure.