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A large number of Wharton students came under investigation over the summer for suspicion of cheating on last semester's Operations and Information Management 101 final project.

Multiple students in the class, which comprises mostly freshmen, confirmed that students plagiarized parts of the project and have been referred to and contacted by the Office of Student Conduct.

The OSC would not comment because of its policy of confidentiality.

OPIM professors also would not speak about the investigation because no student has been formally charged.

The final project instructed students to work in groups of two or three on a programming assignment involving complicated computer code.

Wharton officials believed that some submitted projects were too similar to each other to have been done entirely independently.

Instructions for the final project specifically prohibited collaboration among groups.

Wharton sophomore Nick Faulkner, whose group was contacted by OSC over the summer, said all groups whose projects were more than 60 percent similtar were or are being investigated.

Until being contacted by OSC, Faulkner had not known that another group had copied his project. He still does not know how anyone else got a copy.

The OSC is not charging Faulkner with plagiarism.

One Wharton sophomore, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that 80 percent of his friend's case had been plagiarized by another group.

"Her group's case had been accessed through a public computer," he said. "At the end of last semester, her case grade wasn't disclosed because the investigation was still pending," he said.

Though professors would not say if they were aware of such behavior, a private tutor from the class, Wharton senior Jason Toff, confirmed that many such cases occurred.

Toff, who does not know how many students are suspected of cheating, said that from his understanding, professors soon learned what was going on because of "excessive overlaps." The professors then "created a piece of software that compared" cases.

"For whatever reason, it wasn't clear to the students what was collaboration and what was going too far," he said.

Some students shared their code with other groups and then redid their own code in a different way, said another Wharton sophomore, who preferred to remain anonymous because he is friends with some students under investigation.

Because the class is so difficult and so much of the coding material has to be learned outside of class, it is natural for students to turn to outside resources like professors, TAs or students who are better at OPIM for help, Wharton sophomore Alex Anderson said.

"A good comparison would be if you were using a Wikipedia article to get information on a topic and then writing a paper based off of that information" he said.

In the meantime, OPIM 101 professors are not saying anything about the cases and have directed all related questions to OPIM 101 professor Thomas Lee.

"Primarily, we want to protect any student who might have been referred," said Lee, who would not confirm any investigation. "We don't want to give anyone who is not involved the false impression that these students have been accused of anything."

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