So, to make a long story short, I'm worried about paying for mistakes I made when I was a younger, unprofessional, ignoramus.
I'm an engineering PhD student at a U.S. University. I did my BS and MS at the same university which I'm doing my PhD. About 3 years ago, my previous advisor wanted me to publish my work (from late undergrad early MS stage) to a respected international conference. At this time I was young, nieve, and frankly did not care very much. I submitted the paper and it was accepted, and I presented at the conference. I have since left the lab, and changed fields to a different engineering discipline.
Years later, I have realized the conference paper has numerous errors, some are theoretical errors, others are sloppy errors. My initial reaction was that this does not matter because it's a different field (a conference/journal not relevant to my current field) and not related to my current PhD dissertation. However, upon further thought, there could be serious consequences to this.
1) What are the consequences for having submitted a conference paper with major errors? The paper is sitting in the proceedings with errors.
2) Are there actions/charges/reprimands the university can take against me for having submitted a paper with major inaccuracies while a student at that university? Can they expel or revoke a degree?
3) Since this work has errors, I worry about charges of rigged data/results. Since there are inaccuracies, this could lead to charges of rigged data (side note: paper was on theoretical and computational work, not experimental). The way to combat these allegation would be to reproduce the error-filled work - which would be very tough for me to do since (1) the work had errors and (2) the work was done a long time ago with some files now missing. Even though I did not falsify data, what are the charges for a grad student falsifying data? Although the paper is not related to my dissertation, allegations of rigged data could have serious consequences, what could they be?