Applied Mathematics Student Honor Code


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The Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington expects students in all programs to conduct themselves with the highest degree of academic integrity. This Honor Code summarizes those standards, which are intended to support the reputation of individual students, the department, and the university.

All UW students are bound by the Student Conduct Code, under the Washington Administrative Code 478-121. The University of Washington has also developed two companion policies, Student Governance Policy, Chapter 209 and Chapter 210, which explain how student conduct proceedings work and a student’s rights in the process. In compliance with state law and university policies, the Department of Applied Mathematics has identified the following expectations for students to make it clear that engaging in or attempting to engage in plagiarism, cheating, misappropriation, misrepresentation, or any other kind of academic dishonesty is strictly prohibited.


A.  Plagiarism

Presenting the words, work, opinion, or product of someone else without proper acknowledgment is plagiarism. Plagiarism also includes “borrowing” the sequence of ideas, arrangement of material, or pattern of thought of someone else and presenting it as your own. The cornerstone of academic integrity is the presentation of original thoughts and work, and plagiarism is a very serious offense in university studies. All work submitted under your name is assumed to be a result of your original efforts unless otherwise marked. That does not mean that you cannot use the ideas of others, since research and scholarship also encourage building on the existing work in the field. Here’s how to avoid plagiarism in your work:

1. Proper Attribution

To the extent permitted by faculty, you are welcome to include the work of others as long as it is properly attributed to its source. This includes not only the work of other students, but also published books and articles, internet posts and pages, email correspondence, and any other form of communication.

It is your responsibility as a student to ensure that any portion of an assignment, exam, project, or other scholarly work that anyone else developed or contributed to is marked with appropriate attribution. You must include quotations, footnotes, or code comments as appropriate that identify the author or source of any such contributions. With software code, you must also pay attention to the license and its requirements. Blocks of text taken verbatim from other sources must be identified with quotation marks and a proper citation.

2. References

If, for any reason, you are unable to recall or locate the author/source of material that you have used, or if you have relied on an outside resource in order to help develop the general approach without reproducing any of their work directly, please include a statement at the beginning or end of your assignment that describes your situation and acknowledges the fact that you relied on external resources in completing the assignment. 

3. Collaboration

As in professional work environments, we encourage students to work together, where permitted, in order to facilitate learning through study groups, consultation with each other on how to solve problems, and direct tutelage for students needing extra help learning course material. However, for non-group assignments, we expect each student to produce an original piece of work, which means that there should still be substantial differences in the final submissions. Excessive similarity in code or narrative answers will be scrutinized, and as with subsection 2 above, please include a statement in your submission about your work with another student.  Not only will that student receive the benefit of recognition for their help, but you will avoid being suspected of plagiarism.

B.  Cheating

We define cheating broadly to include any kind of activity that results in an unfair advantage over other students. This falls into three general categories:

1. Misappropriation

Using materials that you should not have access to or without permission is misappropriation. Unless you have permission to do so from instructors, you may not:

  • Use notes or other reference materials during a closed-book, closed-note exam.
  • Use notes, case analyses, or other materials from current or former students at UW or elsewhere instead of creating your own for any assignment.
  • Steal, copy, or otherwise use exam answers from any source but your own studies, including other students who previously completed the course or a professor’s answer key, whether found, shared, or stolen.
  • Rely on third-party resources to solve problems when the assignment specifies no outside help.
2. Misrepresentation

Leading faculty or staff to believe something is your own work when it is not, or providing information you know to be untrue, constitutes misrepresentation, including:

  • Hiring an outside person or service to conduct research or write assignments (code or narrative) instead of doing your own.
  • Submitting anyone else’s work as your own (see Section A) or modify someone else’s work in order to make it appear to be your own (see Section C).
  • Concealing the circumstances of a violation of this Honor Code for yourself or for another student (e.g., claiming it was a collaborative effort when it was not).
  • Reproducing (even from memory) your work in another course or using a project from outside school for academic credit when the assignment requires other students to create new material.
3. Aiding, Assisting, and Attempting

Academic misconduct also includes unauthorized collaboration or sharing your work with others. Under WAC 478-121-113, students may also be found responsible for prohibited conduct if they:

  • Aid or assist another student or student organization in the commission of prohibited conduct;
  • Request, hire, or encourage another person to commit prohibited conduct, either intending that the other person commit the prohibited conduct or with the knowledge that the other person intends to commit the prohibited conduct; or
  • Attempt to commit prohibited conduct.

C.  Other Dishonesty and Misconduct

UW does not tolerate lying or fraudulent conduct even if it does not involve cheating on an assignment or exam. Other conduct that violates this Honor Code includes:


The Department of Applied Mathematics operates in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.  We assume that all students are submitting original work, in full compliance with any rules and restrictions set by faculty and staff.  In order to set clear boundaries and guidelines so that students do not feel under suspicion or surprised by action, the following describes how we identify and react to suspected violations of this Honor Code.

 A.  Identifying Misconduct

Department faculty and staff may rely on automated analysis tools, their own professional experience and familiarity with relevant scholarship, consultation with peers, and reports from other students and faculty, in order to find instances of misconduct.  We will investigate all such reports and act as needed.

B.  Disciplinary Process

Students who have violated this Honor Code and choose to self-report will have the best experience and the least burdensome consequences. People make mistakes in judgment, and students are no exception. We understand and respect those students with the integrity to admit the error and work to maintain good standing at UW. For those students who do not speak directly with their course instructor, the process will be:

1. Informal Resolution

You will be notified by your instructor, TA, or staff that you are suspected of academic misconduct or a breach of this Honor Code. Relevant faculty and staff members will meet to discuss the situation and propose a resolution. You have the right to decline this arrangement and ask to be referred to the Community Standards & Student Conduct (CSSC) Office.

  • You may request a meeting with the Undergraduate or Graduate Program Coordinator, or Applied Math Department Chair if you wish to discuss the situation further. 
  • Only your course instructor can decide your grade, but if you feel you have been unfairly punished academically, you can request that a report be made to the CSSC.
  • Cases resolved informally will not be reported on the student’s permanent record.
 2. CSSC Process

Faculty and staff are encouraged to report suspected academic misconduct to the Community Standards & Student Conduct (CSSC) Office. Instructors must inform the student of the suspected misconduct and that the case is being referred to CSSC for review.  The instructor may give the student an "X" grade while the incident is being investigated, and a numeric grade will be withheld until a decision has been made.

C.  Faculty and Staff Responsibilities

UW faculty and staff are:

  • Responsible for setting clear standards on what is permitted in course syllabi, assignment information sheets, and exam proctor instructions.
  • Required to advise students in any case where their grade or academic standing would be affected, that they have the right to have the case referred to the CSSC Office.
  • Prohibited from enacting unilateral punishment in the form of grading penalties for suspected misconduct (WAC 478-121-640). That is, student grades cannot be lowered as a response to suspected plagiarism unless the student has met with the faculty member and agreed to the penalty as an informal resolution.
  • Entrusted with protecting the overall integrity of the department, including withholding recommendations for students with serious academic misconduct or honor code violations.
  • Obligated to report any adverse actions taken with students to a departmental academic advisor or administrator to ensure an internal record is maintained for repeat offenses.

D.  Consequences

Depending on the  circumstances, students with first-time violations are likely to face a minor penalty, such as a reduced grade that reflects the portion of original work, or a score of zero on the affected assignment.  For especially serious or repeated violations of this Honor Code, cases will be referred to the CSSC Office for review, and will go through the Student Conduct Process. If a student is found responsible for misconduct as a result of the student conduct process, there is a range of sanctions that may be imposed on the student. Under the Student Conduct Code, a grade penalty is not a sanction and grading is the purview of the instructor.


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The Applied Mathematics Student Honor Code is based, in part, on material from  the following sources:

  1. University of Washington Student Conduct Code:
  2. Washington State Administrative Code (WAC): Chapter 478-121:
  3. UW CSSC Office Student Conduct Process:
  4. University of Washington Foster School of Business Honor Code:
  5. Software Rules of Conduct based on UW Computer Science Department: (in part derived from the Computer Science Department at Stanford University