Homework and Lab work
While collaboration in thinking about problem sets and labs is encouraged, the final written work you hand in must be exclusively your own. In the case of formal lab reports, students should not communicate with each other, in person or electronically, once the writing process has begun. You may not copy someone else's solution or have someone else read through and correct your work. This means, for instance, that you will be able to explain and defend your own work yourself. You may collaborate on the physics and on the method of analysis when writing up labs, but your own notebook must be the original source of data. Your notebook should contain all the information you use in the writeup: data keeping should not be delegated to one member of a lab group. As with problem sets, the particular words, plots, and equations in the final written lab report should be your own.
Plagiarism of any sort is an extremely serious infraction that can result in your failing part or all of the course or even in your expulsion from Amherst. Our non-communication rule is designed to protect you from inadvertent or unconscious plagiarism of your lab partner's report and prevent an extremely unpleasant disciplinary hearing.
Exams are individual efforts. No collaboration is permitted during the exam. On the nth exam you may use n double-sided pages containing equations and any other information you deem helpful, provided you collect and write out this crib sheet yourself. Calculators will be allowed. No consultation with friends, books, or sources other than your own personal crib sheet is allowed. Violation of these rules is extremely serious and will result in disciplinary action; moreover, it is unethical.