Assert(Consequence of Breaking Honor Code == None)

I recently came across this GitHub profile of a Stanford student who published all codes and quizzes to most of the courses offered by deeplearning.ai. I wanted to know if there are actually any consequences of doing such. I don’t see why others should hold back to showcase Deeplearning.ai’s course contents on their GitHub profile to gain some followers and better prospects of landing dream jobs.

I protested and expressed how I felt about this in this issue on his profile:

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My issue on his GitHub profile just got deleted. I guess the above assert statement is true. Good to know!

In general, this is what I had written.

He published codes and quizzes of most of the courses offered by deeplearning.ai. Many people use his codes and quizzes to cheat. This is an inconvenience for the rest of the community who stayed honest and worked very hard to earn those certificates. Because of repositories like his, I am certain that I will never give any respect to deeplearning.ai’s certificates if I see them on any potential job candidate’s resume or LinkedIn profile. I know how easy it is to get them. Thanks to Aman!

I asked him to realize that we have a wonderful community in deeplearning.ai and active instructors who are always ready to help us if we get stuck. His objective of publishing these codes was to help students who get stuck. I asked him to realize that we don’t need his repos to help us. Instead, he should understand the unintentional consequence he has created for the rest of us. His repos are a shortcut for cheaters to earn certificates quickly. Due to his actions, all our certificates command less respect now. I hope he will take his repos down and honor deeplearning.ai. I agree with him that deeplearning.ai is a treasure. These are just not words for me and I am not afraid to stand up for honesty.

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Repositories like this violate both Coursera and deeplearning.ai published acceptable use terms. Neither company seems to prioritize enforcement, however. You can find entire series of posts on Medium where people have ripped off Prof Ng’s lectures and not even acknowledged it isn’t original work. Noble to call this guy out, but if the content owners aren’t going to do anything, then I think your assertion will continue to evaluate True.

To get an idea how many people have been doing this, and for how long, search on ‘github deep learning coursera solutions’.

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Definitely its not nice to hear about this, it also defeats a learner’s purpose. I call on coursera and deeplearning staff to contact github or any other venue to remove it as infringment.

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I totally agree that it is really bad that people publish solutions, but I would also point out that if you use someone else’s work to get a certification you are just cheating yourself. If you’re not actually learning the material yourself, then what is the point? In other words, no-one is forced to look at or use the published solutions.

It is a general problem that it’s too hard to prevent cheating in online courses. The Internet is a big place. From a practical standpoint, is it really worth the effort for deeplearning.ai to police all of github? They would need to do it on a dynamic basis of course. That said, it shouldn’t be that hard to create an automated search that executes once a day or once a week. Then the question is whether GitHub supports a mechanism to adjudicate a violation. E.g. consider the case of a general copyright violation: what happens if you as the content owner confront the putative violator and they refuse to remove the material? (As happened in Mukit’s case in the OP of this thread.) What do you have to do to prove that to the satisfaction of GitHub? If lawyers need to be involved, then that’s never going to scale.

Because online cheating is hard to police, any hiring manager who uses a certification from an online course as the only requirement for hiring someone is making a big mistake. You need to actually interview your job applicants. Trust me, when you do that, you find out pretty quickly whether they know what they are talking about or not. Anyone who got a certificate by simply copying someone else’s work doesn’t get past the first interview.

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Unfortunately, in order to report him to Github the copyright owner (@DeepLearning.AI-Team or similar) has to submit a DMCA takedown notice to Github directly.

They would need to go to the user’s personal page (amanchadha (Aman Chadha) · GitHub), click “Block or Report” at the bottom of the left pane, select “Report” → “I want to report a copyright violation”, read Github’s DCMA policy and click the “Guide to Submitting a DCMA Takedown Notice” (you can read it here: Guide to Submitting a DMCA Takedown Notice - GitHub Docs and WOW - the hoops to jump through…).

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Of course, the repo owner is supposedly employed at Apple in their “MIND” team… I’m sure they would not be thrilled to know about this behavior either. Consequences suck sometimes.

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Hi, Dave.

Thanks for digging into the details on the GitHub content moderation policies! As you say, hoops aplenty through which to jump. Actually I think you’re onto something with your last post: it’s probably too much to expect DeepLearning.ai to spend that much energy policing the web, but the current employer of the offender might find the behavior “of interest” shall we say. If said offender is that cavalier with some other entity’s copyrighted material, what position does he take on Apple proprietary information to which he may have access? Ahem. It would be a real shame if someone called him out to Apple management. :scream_cat:

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Yes, Aman is a working at Apple in Machine Intelligence Neural Design (MIND) team at Apple. He also is a Stanford student. And the worst part is, in his website where he hosts these codes/contents, I went there. It is just overflowing with advertisements! (Click on any of the courses) I couldn’t believe it when I saw it for the first time. I thought he did this to help other students. I had a little respect for him till that point.

This is a big reason I got so disheartened. What do his actions and his positions tell the rest of the world? It says that it is more than fine to violate others’ rights to gain an advantage in your career and you will face none of the consequences. You can get into the best of institutions in the world with this behavior and there is nothing to stop you. Thousands of students will look up to his achievements and will want to follow in his footsteps that got him there.

He is not just an example of people like him. He is The Glorified Example.

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At the university masters level, if you cheat on tests or assignments and are caught, you are given a warning and if it happens again you are dismissed from on program.

With our courses on learning happens by working through the assignments. The mentors are a very big help in answering questions when you get stuck as are the discussions.

So why take theses courses and not learn?

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Information wants to be free, and that doesn’t dishonor me. For someone who wants to learn skills, and not protect the title, that just doesn’t worth the time.

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I am sure you would feel differently if your bank also believes “information wants to be free” - even those that they agreed not to make public when you signed up - and then publish your private info to those seeking knowledge. The moral of the story, breaking an agreement and violating someone else’s right is a crime. If one can’t respect agreements then he/she shouldn’t sign up for it only to, later on, violate the agreement. There are endless great free content already available.

We all love knowledge. That’s why we are here. But that doesn’t mean we stop caring about morality. I too can just post all the codes on my github page like him. I am certain that this will be beneficial to getting the initial callbacks for jobs. After getting job, the Git profile will remain to be very impressive if I also tout that I got “A+” github stats by mostly publishing other’s codes.

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Because it got personal, I feel like I need to respond in defense. I don’t mind if my bank publishes my info. About 5 years I actually won a FinTech hackaton with a project of transparent bank accounts for charities. You know, transparency brings trust. So far no bank was interested in implementing this. But you owe me an apologize for jumping to quick conclusions.

JFY, I am not the one who invented Information wants to be free - Wikipedia

I accept the right of the people who provided the course content on Coursera to be offended, but I don’t understand your outrage about morality. The guy is not stealing your jobs. In fact, your very high paid Deep Learning job may end up in manipulating markets, defaming inconvenient people, or making them addicted. And as a good grader “i am sure” you would feel that there is nothing wrong, because you’re just legally doing your job.

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Hi, by personal info I meant username and password or bank account/card number and ccv code. I didn’t mean your address or name. Good to know that you won a hackathon with your concept. I apologize if I have insulted you. I don’t mind admitting my mistake.

I am not employed by Coursera. I am a student here. I have explained in earlier texts why I find this particular case disturbing and why this sets a bad example for future generations. I understand if you don’t agree with me. We are all in different circumstances and environments with different priorities.

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Thanks. I might have been a little bit harsh, but I understand and respect your point too.

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Information is free only if the people who created it say it is and license it that way. In this case, the person is hosting and benefiting financially from content they didn’t create, which violates the terms of use they themselves agreed to when taking the classes. Hard for me to condone that or somehow argue it is morally even neutral. The guy works for Apple, which isn’t exactly a stranger to aggressively protecting intellectual property so I don’t think it is surprising that deeplearning IP is on his site but Apple’s is not.

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There is no Honor on the Internet is there?

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Thank you @Mukit64 for flagging this. We have reported the issue to Github. We will share updates here once we receive them.

Thank you everyone for the discussion. We appreciate all your thoughts.

At DeepLearning.AI, we put a lot of emphasis on the quality of our curriculum. In order to maintain the integrity of our online courses, respect the contributions of our instructors, and protect the value of earning a certificate - we expect all learners, testers, and contributors to comply with both Coursera’s Honor Code as well as our own honor code and copyright, which is described below.

  • You must post your own work for homework, quizzes, and programming assignments. Any work you submit authored by another individual is considered plagiarism, which is a serious offense.
  • You may not share your solutions to homework, quizzes, or exams with anyone other than a DeepLearning.AI mentor or staff member. This includes posting solutions to Discourse, Github, or any other code repository. If you are found doing this, DeepLearning.AI reserves the right to take action against you.
  • You may not distribute slides or lecture notes for commercial purposes. For example, you may not include notes on Github in exchange for any form of payment or services.
  • You may freely distribute lecture slides for educational purposes under the Creative Commons License as long as you cite DeepLearning.AI as the source. For example:

A note on Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is when you take someone else’s work or ideas and pass them off as your own without giving credit to the original owner. This is a serious academic offense. If we find that you plagiarize any material, you will be removed from the course, from our Discourse community, and your certificate will be withheld or revoked. No refunds will be given to learners who plagiarize.

For questions or concerns, please send an email to hello@deeplearning.ai. Thank you.

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:+1:

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