304 votes

Can a lecturer force you to learn a specific programming syntax / language?

No, they can't. But they can make you fail the class. Lecturers usually have free rein over the specifics of the material taught. Therefore they are free to choose any technology or dialect as long ...
problemofficer - n.f. Monica's user avatar
284 votes

Lab colleague uses cracked software. Should I report it?

I don't feel that general academic ethics obliges you to report this, unless you have reason to believe that it might be endangering the research of the lab (giving inaccurate results, introducing ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
186 votes

Lab colleague uses cracked software. Should I report it?

I would stay away from his "personal laptop" in the future and avoid peeking at other people's "very personal" screens. It is not your job to report this. And you should not be looking at other people'...
user18244's user avatar
  • 5,796
140 votes

Can a lecturer force you to learn a specific programming syntax / language?

Unless there is something in the course description saying otherwise, the lecturer can choose the syntax for all submitted coursework and exams. Picking a specific syntax makes the lectures less ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
139 votes
Accepted

Popular software used in research is incorrectly reporting solution is optimal: what to do?

You should create a reproducible test case that demonstrates the flaw conclusively. If you are that confident and the software is that widely used, it warrants publication in a technical journal. ...
HEITZ's user avatar
  • 10.1k
115 votes
Accepted

Students admit illicit behavior in private communication: how should I proceed?

I think it's reasonable for you not to support these circumstances, but also no need for you to report/escalate the situation to compel some change in behavior. In your place I'd advise your students ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 115k
76 votes

Can a lecturer force you to learn a specific programming syntax / language?

Rephrased a bit, your question says: Can a lecturer base their course on a specific dialect of a tool? I can and I do. But I'd like to highlight a bit different aspect of this. A proper ...
Oleg Lobachev's user avatar
69 votes

Is it ethical to use proprietary (closed-source) software for scientific computation?

I do not think that this is an ethical question in the first place. Reproducibility is not harmed by the requirement that money needs to be spent on buying software or setting up an experiment (or are ...
CrepusculeWithNellie's user avatar
68 votes

How can a software developer best volunteer to help childhood cancer research?

I work in a biomedical field and most of us are awful programmers. We tend to be more interested in getting the underlying back-end algorithm to work than worrying about the front-end, comments, ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 104k
68 votes
Accepted

Why did SoftwareX’ impact factor drop from 4.5 SJR to 0.4 last year?

I think this is a good example of putting too much faith in an average measure like Impact Factor or SJR when you talk about the 'reputation' of a journal. In 2015, in its first year, SoftwareX ...
Stephen McMahon's user avatar
67 votes

Can a lecturer force you to learn a specific programming syntax / language?

Can a lecturer force you to learn a specific programming syntax / language? Of course they can. Teachers are generally in charge of designing their course in whatever way they think is best suited to ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 135k
57 votes
Accepted

A team member of a coursework software development project didn't contribute in any way. Can I remove his name from the project?

Can I remove someone's name from an academic software development project that didn't contribute a single line of code? Just to focus on the title itself; lines of code contributed is not an accurate ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 554
52 votes

Is it ethical to use proprietary (closed-source) software for scientific computation?

This question has become an important one as the push for greater reproducibility in computational research grows. Use of closed-source software is an acceptable part of research in most fields. ...
David Ketcheson's user avatar
50 votes

What tried and tested possibilities are there to create a poster without using LaTeX?

In the past, I've found MS Powerpoint to be a very acceptable way to make nice posters since it supports large paper formats and scaling images well. If you need equations, you can make those in a ...
Bill Barth's user avatar
  • 48.7k
49 votes

What tried and tested possibilities are there to create a poster without using LaTeX?

My recommended tool for this is Inkscape. It uses vectorized shapes and is pretty intuitive to work with.
Richard's user avatar
  • 1,008
45 votes

Should I cite all R packages I used?

YES. There are lots of reasons to and no reasons not to (unless you're under some kind of strange space/ink constraint). Here is an important and under-appreciated reason why: Most of the people who ...
ccoffman's user avatar
  • 701
45 votes
Accepted

With a software engineering bachelor's (BE), how can I work on finding a cure for cancer?

I am a research administrator who has supported a machine learning professor for 8 years. She doesn't do cancer research, but she is a CS person who works with hospitals and analyzes their data for ...
yourfriendlyresearchadmin's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

Can open-source software be peer-reviewed and published?

Yes, Open Source software can be published. What's required varies depending on the venue. There are general journals that focus on the software process. The idea is to encourage better software ...
Ian's user avatar
  • 8,551
43 votes

Which software is used to write scientific textbooks, especially in engineering?

What publishers and authors choose or prefer for document processing really depends on the discipline. Your profile says you are interested in "Electronics and Communication Engineering". ...
Ethan Bolker's user avatar
  • 35.5k
41 votes

Lab colleague uses cracked software. Should I report it?

Are you sure it is cracked software ? A 'warning' popup could just be phishing malware and you might expect that a feature to detect piracy would just shut the application down rather than just issue ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 1,249
38 votes

Can a lecturer force you to learn a specific programming syntax / language?

Take a step back: How many students are in the class? I'll guess 100. Each student will have their own preferences -- different SQL dialects, different learning speeds and styles, different topics, ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 18.3k
36 votes

Students admit illicit behavior in private communication: how should I proceed?

Let me translate: I am an adjunct professor at a University for a course where the students have to use a certain software "X" during the course. For your course, Students must use the ...
user24582's user avatar
  • 461
36 votes

Tutoring Unfamiliar Material

Imagine that you went to the grocery store to buy some cheese, but when you got to the register, the cashier said "Oh no, this cheese sucks, you're a rich, sophisticated person, you should buy ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 68.8k
35 votes

Popular software used in research is incorrectly reporting solution is optimal: what to do?

The technical answer to the question seems obvious: if there is a clear definition of what "optimum" means for your problems, run both programs and see which one wins, then publish the results. Any ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 4,242
34 votes

What tried and tested possibilities are there to create a poster without using LaTeX?

Modern HTML + custom CSS works very well, assuming sufficient web-development experience or a good template. Done well, it has significant advantages over the usual "fixed layout" of LaTeX, ...
Clément's user avatar
  • 440
33 votes

Selling/Buying software in academia

You should let your PI know what resources you need to carry out your work, and discuss how such resources can be provided. You should not be footing the bill in the first place, so there should be ...
Scott Seidman's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

How to make a software documentation "officially" citable?

There are about as many approaches to citing software (and making software citable) as there are software packages. One way is to create a DOI for your software via Zenodo. This DOI can then be ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
32 votes

Which software is used to write scientific textbooks, especially in engineering?

I've written several books, maybe a bit "advanced", in mathematics, and I've used plain TeX in all (due to getting committed to plain, as opposed to La-, TeX, to be able to manage small ...
paul garrett's user avatar
  • 88.5k
30 votes

Lab colleague uses cracked software. Should I report it?

Before telling anyone, consider what would happen if he, or other grad students, found out you were the snitch. You'll have to work with these people for years to come, and there is no such thing as "...
sevensevens's user avatar
  • 7,471

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible