A few years ago, I discovered that someone (Mr. A) had copied almost the entirety of his master thesis report from a course report I submitted to the same department two years earlier. Mr. A copied my report word by word including the figures and the captions. He defended his thesis, graduated and now has an engineering job with a good title at a large respectable company, which he probably wouldn’t have gotten without the degree. I confronted Mr. A on one occasion and he confirmed that it was intentional.
I have solid proof of my work and the figures.
Mr. A worked on his thesis under the supervision of the same professor and TA who supervised my coursework, two years before. Three years ago, I contacted the professor and provided him with my proof of Mr. A’s plagiarism. However, the professor had merely asked him to rewrite the chapters using his own words. The TA informed me separately that Mr. A obtained access to the source code I submitted as part of the coursework. So I suspect that he plagiarised my code. When I asked the professor for Mr. A’s code, he refused.
I would like some guidance and help with deciding the right thing to do in this case. I am obviously concerned about my own reputation as I don't wish to harm my chances with this company. I am also concerned about the legal repercussions, even though I am in possession of solid proof. These were the main reasons I haven't taken actions until now.
I have been considering reporting him to his superior at work, but I am also open to other suggestions.
Some minor details that may or may not have a weigh in the case:
- The university in question is a top engineering school in the EU.
- Mr. A and the professor come from the same country (both speak the same language).
- About six years have passed by since the incident.
- The professor in question didn't reply to a request of recommendation I sent him a while ago (for a different purpose). I suspect it has to do with the plagiarism issue I brought up to his attention.
- Just to be clear, this is not driven by any revenge thoughts or personal vendetta. My concern is that there is an anomaly, an unfairness, an unjust situation that touches me personally that needs to be corrected.
- 13/04: I sent a formal request to the officer in the Ethics Committee asking to be connected with the right people who can investigate this case impartially and independently from the department's sphere of influence.