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Re: Plagiarism??

by tachyon (Chancellor)
on Feb 13, 2003 at 14:17 UTC ( #234980=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Plagiarism??

Although lack of attribution is correctly frowned upon in academic circles and your student deserves whatever he gets I recall a story from my student days.

The professor of engineering set his students a problem. "Given that to cook a side of beef medium rare the core temperature of the roast must reach 45 C how long will it take to cook 2Kg of meat to medium rare in a 200 C oven with the meat starting at room temperature (22 C)?

Student 1 was the practical type so he just rang his mom, posed the question and got the answer 1 1/2 hours dear. Have you met a girl?

Student 2 was of the more experimental bent and also rich so he simply cooked up a series of pieces of meat for 1/2 1 1/2 and 2 hours and sampled them to arrive at the answer of 1 1/2 hours.

Student 3 was a little more on the deeply experimental side. He purchased a meat thermometer, performed the experiment, and came up with the answer.

Student 4 was the theoretician. He looked a the specific heat capacity of meat, heat transfer rates through solids and came up with an answer (he was wrong of course because his model was insufficiently accurate and failed to account for the insulating effect of the fat) so had to eat a very rare roast so added a SWAG* to get his answer.

Question: Who will make the better engineer?

* SWAG (n) Scientific Wild Arsed Guess




Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Re: Plagiarism??
by vagnerr (Prior) on Feb 13, 2003 at 17:59 UTC
    ...he just rang his mom, posed the question and got the answer 1 1/2 hours dear. Have you met a girl?
    Oh how true :-)

    Seriously though it does come down to your brief. This reminds me of a spot quiz that my girlfriend's students were set on their IT for humanities course. The entire group were set the task of finding answers to a whole lot of general questions (How many computers in the computer lab, whats the classmark of a particular library book, how mutch does the local print shop charge for photocopies etc.) and given an hour to find them using whatever resources they wished. They could even have asked the supervisors the answers if they liked and that would have been ok, that was the brief.

    However I aggree with tachyon, this student was definatly outside his brief. He was expected to present his own work as is usual for a programming assignment. He chose to ...ahem... present someone else's. Not smart, and also not the way to learn.

    Remember that amateurs built Noah's Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
Re: Who will make the better engineer?
by Mr. Muskrat (Canon) on Feb 13, 2003 at 18:15 UTC

    Question: Who will make the better engineer?

    Student 3 because he's strictly by-the-book, knows what to do, how to do it and follows through.

    However student 1 (once hired) will get more raises because he knows how to find the pertinent information in a timely manner. ;-)

        However student 1 (once hired) will get more raises because he knows how to find the pertinent information in a timely manner. ;-)

      ...until his manager discovers that all he's doing is asking his colleagues, his friends, and random people on the internet to do his work for him, because he never learned to reason independently in school.

      Bah. Loaded question, anyway. The whole learn-it-yourself/use-references-dumbass debate pretty much inevitably turns into one giant excluded middle fallacy.

      F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
      Found a typo in this node? /msg me
      The hell with paco, vote for Erudil!

        I think it's pretty smart to ask around first. Certainly asking his mom ;-)

        Him asking his mom, does not mean he couldn't find it out himself.

        If he can't... then he will have a problem.

        Q: Why did the Perlmonk cross the road?
        A: He wanted to escape the match.

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