115

I think it’s not a coincidence that the timing of this decline matches up with the pandemic. A lot of people are really struggling right now, I feel like I can’t do math as well as I could a year ago. In this post it sounds like you’re being really hard on yourself. Counterintuitively I think a big part of what might help is being more compassionate with ...


101

Assuming this was several years ago and not a continuing pattern, the fact that you raise the question suggests you have learned something in the interim. You should do precisely nothing about the old transgression. Someone else got a benefit they didn't deserve, but it was a small thing in their overall record. Likewise, while your actions can't be ...


73

I experienced a similar deterioration in those skills during my time as a Ph.D. student. A key element in enabling me to recover those problem-solving skills was TAing (working as a teaching assistant) on undergraduate maths courses, which gave me a good excuse to schedule some time to practise those skills, on entry-level problems, in order to help ...


60

would it be wrong of me to ask my tutor if I could do another piece of his music like Lacrimosa/Requiem or the 9th Symphony for one half of my assignment? No, it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask and in many places accommodation would be required by law. But in some other places what they should do and what they will do might be quite different. I would hope ...


36

I suspect this is entirely dependent on the instructor and department. At Michigan, where an Honor Code (and no proctoring of exams) is part of the culture, we took it pretty seriously. We used the MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity) system at Stanford to detect possible plagiarism in our students' project submissions in our computer science courses, ...


34

My own experience with this is that places I've worked had very cumbersome and time-consuming processes to deal with cheating "officially" --- meaning that there would be penalties more than just grade reduction. I followed those processes on a couple of egregious cheating cases, however the students involved retained lawyers to ensure the ...


29

Let me add my perspective on the first two points in the answer of Spark. Some students, and I was one, reach the limit of their natural "ability" in math early on, and others later. Before you reach that limit things seem fairly obvious and you can do math without a lot of hard work. But once you reach that limit only really hard work will get ...


25

This makes no sense at all. You didn't cheat. Eventually the supposed student may have cheated. You didn't have any obligations towards his school. The school doesn't have the power to forbid you from solving ODEs. There is no legal, moral or ethical dilemma here. But you may have or acquire enemies/adversaries and they may try to frame you. So you should ...


24

As Jesus said, “Go forth, and sin no more.”


23

There are a few things that might be happening: You are in a grad program, which is probably presenting you with more challenging problems. So - problems you are encountering might be actually more difficult than problems you encountered in your undergrad studies. Your brain is tired. Stress of starting a PhD program; from a global pandemic; from knowing ...


23

Your assumption is that a student who did plagiarism worked hard. How hard is it really to press cntrl-c and cntrl-v, compared to students who wrote their own text? Based on your own arguments, who should get the better grade? Moreover, a grade is not a reward for hard work. If you work hard but do it wrong, you should fail the test. So if the test is to ...


21

There could be a variety of reasons, of course, so I'll only speak for myself. I consider that I'm in the classroom (or was - retired now) to teach students, not just the subject at hand, but how to learn, and, to a lesser extent how to behave properly in an academic setting. Giving a zero on an assignment, might be a huge deal if it represents a fairly ...


20

In my discipline, cheating is rampant. I would say that the majority of students have some form of unauthorized assistance for their coursework. I wondered why academic integrity wasn't taken very seriously until I realized that academics aren't taken very seriously. The product that universities sell is a diploma, not an education (i.e., human capital). The ...


15

You're majoring in Writing. Write about how irritated you get with those notes and yes, emphasize your spectrum disorder. That should give your prof a fresh perspective about how "other" people view Mozart. You could do a whole book about this even to a point comparing autistic and neurotypicals who also hate listening to that type of music.


15

I've led a few workshops at my institution informing other faculty about our school's academic integrity policy and best practices for interfacing with it. It's pretty interesting to hear the wildly different reactions to our advice. Some of the issues I've heard (intersecting with other answers here) include: Students don't know the policy, so we shouldn't ...


14

Should the university not reward the student who works hard and did thorough research on the topic [...]? Of course. But copy-pasting text from the Internet is not "working hard and doing thorough research". You can copy-paste something from the Internet without even reading it, let alone understanding/learning it. On the contrary, if you work ...


12

I think your skills might not have atrophied as much as you think and you simply haven't adjusted your expectations! It's difficult to diagnose the problem from afar but there might be the following vicious cycle at play: You start working on a problem with the attitude of "I am good at math. And I can do any math problem thrown at me!". But now ...


10

Here are some suggestions for both your courses and your future life as a researcher. These will reflect my own taste and approach, so may or may not be relevant to you. In particular, I think this applies to some areas of mathematics much more than to others. Some of the points below will be corollaries of the more general points preceding them: Instead of ...


9

You're over-thinking this. Do nothing about it. It is entirely legitimate to answer peoples' questions on-line. If we had to screen all of on-line questions in regard to possible exams or quizzes, nothing would get done. For future, though, of course, if the on-line questions demonstrate weak prior effort, and you suspect it's someone trying to get other ...


9

Dealing with this kind of academic dishonesty is complicated. For small infractions early in the semester in beginning courses I preferred to try to turn the incident into a learning experience for the student, who may be from a culture (foreign, or just high school) where the borderline between helping and cheating is not as clear as I might like. At the ...


8

Other answers and comments have pointed out the flaws in the assumption that our hypothetical plagiarist has in fact done significant work in copy-pasting their assignment. But this is only part of the story. It's not worth very much if you can find facts but can't understand them. By requiring original work, we (try to) ensure that the student actually ...


8

If you were able to intuitively solve problems up until now you then probably never developed a systematic approach to problem solving. Now when your intuitive approach fails, you have nothing to fall back on. The good news is that you can learn a systematic approach to problem solving. Then you just have to remember to apply your systematic approach instead ...


8

This sounds ridiculous It's not ridiculous, you're feeling physical discomfort. Plus, how can you be inspired to write creatively by something that's mostly grating for you to even listen to? but would it be wrong of me to ask my tutor etc. It's perfectly fine, but: Your tutor might give you some sort of excuse, like "I have to give everyone the ...


7

A few things that have helped me in similar situations: Write down several problems to try (on paper), turn off your phone and computer, and work for an hour. If you're staring at a blank page for an hour, pick easier problems from earlier in the course. The goal is to strengthen your Sitzfleisch, a mathematician's most important muscle. If you're still ...


7

Just to add to the great advice already given. Please consider consulting a psychiatrist to make sure if there is a physiological component of your struggle, it is dealt with appropriately. Sometimes we forget that the brain is an organ and it needs proper nourishment and irrigation. A good psychiatrist has the right tools to assess whether someone needs ...


7

How much sleep are you getting? What other stress are you under? Financial, relationship, etc.? Are you doing anything that is sapping your intellectual strength? Drinking, video game binging, porn, etc.? Are you keeping up some measure of exercise? Eating reasonably healthy? Mental sharpness is affected by a lot of things. These are a few basics to rule out ...


7

To address the part of the question "what do I tell the Professor" to help with the problem "I do not understand the lecture material": Clear your head Start reading your notes, word by word As soon as you get confused (even a little bit), stop reading. On a piece of paper, write down what you are confused about, and why. If you can, ...


7

There are at least two researchers who have published extensive literature on this subject which contains more explanations than could be put into a concise Stack Exchange answer, but I refer you to the publications Robert Clarke of Birmingham City University, and Debora Weber-Wulff of HTW Berlin. You have overlooked one particular aspect plagiarism that ...


7

Asking for accommodation is fine -- remembering that there are laws that dictate whether such a request must be honored, and that many profs will respond to polite and timely requests, whether they are required to or not. I don't think you should recommend a piece for replacement though. That might offer you an advantage over other students. My preference ...


6

(Thanks for the reference, Brian Tompsett!) In order to demonstrate the research you did, it is important to carefully reference your sources. Not only do you note down where you found the information, but you mark exactly (with quotation marks) when you are using the exact words of the source. If you are paraphrasing, you have to make sure that you make the ...


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