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Am I going to be expelled?

weebiesweebies Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited May 2013 in College Life
Okay, so what happened is my boyfriend and I are in the same college course. We are taking COBOL programming together. I've been having a really hard time with it, while he breezes through all of it. He has always helped me with my programming assignments. He has never wrote my assignments for me. He just kinda walks me through it, asking "Okay, so what do you need to do now?". I feel like he does exactly what a tutor would do. Now, my professor KNEW he was helping me, she even talked about it with me. She didn't see to be upset, or telling me not to have him help me, she even said how nice it is to have someone there to help you. Well, I guess the output to one of our programs was very similar, we made the same errors like forgetting to put in a comma. She said the logic was the same, and looked like things were just changed. I told her again that he has just been helping me, but she seemed really ticked off. She said she would hold on to both of our programs and get back to us. My boyfriend sent her an email asking if he could know his grade, and how he doesn't do my homework for me, he just helps, and how we always compare our output at the end (if we both have the same output, we figure we both did it right). She replied back she would let us know on Tuesday. I noticed in the email, she had carbon copied the email to the head of the Computer Science department. So, my question is, do you think I'm going to be expelled, even though, I didn't cheat. My boyfriend just helps me, she knew that, and never said not to. I never saw this as cheating. I still put the time and effort into it, I would be working on these programs for 10+ hours. Besides, I'm still only getting a D in the class, and will have to re-take it in the fall anyways (her tests are crazy hard!), so its not like it really helped me. I understand the situation would be different if I were getting an A when I don't really understand the material, but that isn't the case here. So, any thoughts? Do I have a chance of getting out of this mess?
Post edited by weebies on
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Replies to: Am I going to be expelled?

  • failure622failure622 Registered User Posts: 1,354 Senior Member
    Check your school's cheating policy, I think the general rule is that on a first offense you get a 0 on the assignment/course. I don't think they'll expel you for it, but it doesn't sound like you're in too good of a place right now... good luck.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,824 Senior Member
    ^except this isn't even necessarily cheating. As long as there is no mention that the project was supposed to be done on your own if OP is telling the truth then this isn't cheating.
  • HalogenHalogen Registered User Posts: 1,199 Senior Member
    More importantly, why are you in a COBOL class?
  • IvytIvyt Registered User Posts: 3,530 Senior Member
    More importantly, why are you in a COBOL class?
    Maybe her boyfriend told her to take it.
  • Soso694Soso694 Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    If it gets to that point where the Dean is involved, you should tell him/her everything you just said here. Your professor should have clearly defined what is considered cheating. And if she knew your boyfriend was helping you and was fine with it, you definitely shouldn't be getting in trouble. I don't think you'll be expelled.
  • sosomenzasosomenza - Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    Cobol? Who takes Cobol, anymore? That's all 50year old programmers need! And BTW-No you won't get expelled not without an eye witness.
  • TomServoTomServo Registered User Posts: 2,047 Senior Member
    Depends on your department's cheating standards. In cs, they can actually change from course to course. Your teacher's offhand comments are not necessarily policy. Talk to your department advisor asap.

    Also, about half the financial computerized transactions in this country happen on COBOL-based systems, so while nobody writes new software in it, high-paid specialists maintain and upgrade these programs. Even to replace them requires COBOLists to know what the code is doing.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    > Also, about half the financial computerized
    > transactions in this country happen on
    > COBOL-based systems,

    Do you have a citation for this. I was a COBOL programmer in the 1980s and have a hard time believing that half of financial transactions are done in COBOL. Oracle, IBM and SAP have sold a ton of systems and they aren't written in COBOL. High-frequency trading generates a ton of financial transactions and they aren't done in COBOL. Modern trading platforms aren't done in COBOL.

    > so while nobody writes new software in it, high-paid
    > specialists maintain and upgrade these programs.
    > Even to replace them requires COBOLists to know
    > what the code is doing.

    Perhaps you could post a few job listings for such positions.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,014 Senior Member
    Well, I guess the output to one of our programs was very similar, we made the same errors like forgetting to put in a comma.
    I think this is key. Did both of you forget to put in a comma at the same place? If so, the probability of it happening is not very high unless you were doing "cut and paste" from each other.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    This is an article that describes the cheating problem at Stanford and it provides their honor code as well. Stanford (as did my son's school) use computer-based checking to detect cheating. This software typically compares program submissions among students but some also compare students from previous years to check that you didn't use work from someone that has taken the course before.

    Stanford finds cheating ? especially among computer science students ? on the rise - San Jose Mercury News
  • TomServoTomServo Registered User Posts: 2,047 Senior Member
    Bc, this isn't the article I read, but it is an article:
    Confessions of a Cobol programmer - Computerworld
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    > Some 75% of the world's businesses data is still processed in Cobol,
    > and about 90% of all financial transactions are in Cobol, according
    > to Arunn Ramadoss, head of the academic connections program at Micro
    > Focus International PLC, which provides software to help modernize
    > Cobol applications.

    Well, MicroFocus is a COBOL compiler company. What would you expect them to say?

    We provide systems and software for stock exchanges, universities, retailers and guess what our software is written in?

    > Because of the massive installed base, it would be too expensive to
    > try to replace all that code, he says. Instead, many companies are
    > looking for ways to integrate Cobol with newer applications.

    I guess that this guy didn't hear about Y2K and isn't familiar code translation technology.

    > The experienced Cobol programmers who can best do that job, however,
    > are dying, or at least retiring. In a 2007 Micro Focus survey of its
    > customers, more than 75% of CIOs said they would need more Cobol
    > programmers over the next five years, and 73% were already having a
    > hard time finding trained Cobol professionals.

    Well, that's what I'd expect from Micro Focus customers.

    BTW, COBOL is really, really easy to learn. If you can program well in a modern compiled language, COBOL is a piece of cake. You just have to downshift from relatively rich languages to a language which is spartan.

    One other thing that really bugged me about this article is that the author refers to the language of Cobol. Maybe the author is a Battlestar Gallactica fan. COBOL is an acronym and the proper writing is all-caps.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,824 Senior Member
    Old fort,

    Or if they did it together they could generate identical mistakes. Again, it really comes down to what the syllabus says. If working together is allowed I don't see how this is cheating.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    This sounds like a judgement call on the part of the professor in conjunction with the honor code and the professor's policy on the syllabus. This would have been an honor code violation at my son's school except for courses that explicitly allow collaboration and they do use software to detect similar program structures.

    That you were upfront with the professor probably has her trying to decide what she should do.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,014 Senior Member
    You could work together to discuss how to write the program, but you couldn't have one typing while one looked on and then cut/paste the result. Even when two people worked on a lab together, how they write it up could still be different. Everyone has their own style when it comes to write a program. When I used to have to look through someone else's program, I could almost tell which one of my colleague wrote it. Again, there is no way a comma could be missing from the same line if they didn't cut/paste each other's program.
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