A recent campus conflict reflects the tension that exists between open-source ideological values and an academic system in which collaboration and the ability to repurpose existing work make it difficult to measure individual achievement, Ars Technica reports. When San Jose State University student Kyle Brady published the source code of his completed homework assignments after finishing a computer science class, his professor vigorously objected. The professor insisted that publication of the source code constituted a violation of the school’s academic integrity policy, because it would enable future students to cheat. Brady stood his ground as the confrontation escalated to the school’s judicial affairs office, which sided with the student and affirmed that professors at the university cannot prohibit students from posting source code. Science fiction novelist Cory Doctorow shared his thoughts about the issue in a recent blog post, suggesting that assignments are ultimately more valuable to students when the work they produce can have a broader purpose than merely fulfilling academic requirements. He also noted that peer review of source code and studying existing implementations are both common practices in the real world of professional software development…

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