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Using Computer Science to Help you Cheat

  1. Dec 2, 2008 #1
    I was just thinking, has anyone who's ever taken Cryptography ever thought about making a Cipher for one side of a "crib-sheet" for a non-computer science course? LIke, if your instructor allowed you to bring only one side crib-sheet in which the other side couldn't have anything for the test, then you could print out extra cheat notes out in a cipher-text on only one side and use the other to write your normal notes. This way you could get double the cheat-sheet and you could just lie to your professor, saying its random garbage printed on some scrap sheet you decided to take from the computer lab.

    I would like to try this out, if it wasn't for the penalty for getting caught cheating were so high. I would try to pull it off on one of my computer science professors, in the hopes of getting extra points for extra effort in trying to apply what I learn in the class-room in everyday life.
     
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  3. Dec 2, 2008 #2

    cristo

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    I can't see how you'd get extra points for cheating, regardless of how you did it. If someone cheated in a clever way, they may get a smile out of the invigilator, but they'd still get kicked out of the exam.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2008 #3

    Defennder

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    Hmm I thought the standard practice was to allow 1 piece of a two-sided A4 formula sheets? I haven't done any exams where only writing on one side is allowed.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2008 #4

    cristo

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    To be fair, I've never heard of any exam where you're allowed to take in "cheat sheets." Of course they may exist in the US. Still, how easy must it be to ace an exam if you're allowed two sides of A4 of notes?
     
  6. Dec 2, 2008 #5

    Defennder

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    Eh, really? It seems to be a pretty common practice, at least for my college.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2008 #6

    CRGreathouse

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    I've heard of classes allowing cheat sheets, but not in the classes I've taken. Personally, it's hard for me to imagine the time deciphering the second side of the page of notes being worthwhile during a test (surely the more important information is on the decrypted side?).
     
  8. Dec 2, 2008 #7
    I wrote a small app that would run on my phone that did some of the calculations in my math courses.. never cheated on a test but it was useful at times..
     
  9. Dec 2, 2008 #8
    That would be rather pointless, mainly because you would then have to decipher it while taking the test. That alone could cost you a couple of minutes, time you could have spent just trying to figure out the problem.
     
  10. Dec 3, 2008 #9
    Indeed, but some of us are smart but rather forgetful, so the time spent deciphering your text might be worth it when compared to simply not being able to remember the text.
    I did pretty garbagety in my physics course this semester, but our professor lets us bring a crib-sheet so it's a thought I had in case I need extra help for the final. But, honestly, I feel like that if I spend time staring at a bunch of "garbage" text from a suppossed scrap-sheet, then my professor might catch on. He might not be a computer science professor, but he's probably somewhat familiar with cryptography.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2008 #10
    Not that I condone cheating or anything but have you thought of writting a program into a calculator (because you HAVE to be able to use one on physics test, otherwise it's damn near impossible to accurate) that does the deciphering FOR you? Let's say you have "garabe text" on one side, right? You can punch in the text into the calculator and either punch the key in or store the key in the program itself. Now, if you know how to make it display text you can have the calculator spit out the information in mere seconds. Doesn't that sound better than trying to decipher the thing manually?

    I know first hand how long that can take. I took Discerte Math the beginning of '08 and took a test that focused on cryptology. One problem, a simple problem, took quite awhile to finish.

    Also, I know first hand how tough Physics can be. I'm taking that now, and unlike you we can't bring in a crib sheet. We have to remember all the formulas for three chapters for every test. I've took 6 tests this semester and we had 18 chapters, so every two weeks I had to take a test in this class. At first I was doing horrible, a 13 on one test and a 60 on the other. Thankfully he only counts 5 out of the 6 and I managed to crank out nothing but 90's and 80's for every test that followed. So I know it's not easy, but it is possible to hold on physics without resorting to what you are talking about.
     
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