Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blatant Ethics Violation by Electrical Engineering Professors

As I have mentioned before, most people might think that Ohio University's plagiarism problems are isolated to the Mechanical Engineering Department. Today I want to show you an example of obvious plagiarism from a published Electrical Engineering thesis. The source of the copied text is http://www.minidisc.org/MaskingPaper.html.

This case is very important since there are obvious tell tale signs of plagiarism. The most obvious sign is the change in citation style used by the student. Other signs of plagiarism include: cited sources are not included in the references, vocabulary beyond that of typical foreign student, multiple writing styles, etc.

Several months ago I had planned to ask Ohio University leaders to hold the professors who approved this thesis accountable. However, when I learned that President McDavis and General Council Biancamano refeused to investigate the ethics violations by their Honesty Hearing Chairman (and others), I knew I would be wasting my time. I don't know why Ohio University even bothers to have rules on ethics. Nevertheless, I did make a public records request to learn the names of the approving professors. They are: Jeff Dill, Joseph Essman, Voula Georgopoulos, and outside rep. Jeffery Conner. Either these professors condone plagiarism or they did not read the thesis they approved. Either way, they are guilty of ethics violations.

It is also worth noting that the true author of the copied material is aware of this case.

http://noisebetweenstations.com/personal/weblogs/?p=2213 .


Anonymous said...

are you allowed to write out the people's names that copied theses?

Tom Matrka said...

Yes I can write the names of the cheaters, but I don't really see what purpose that would serve. I think it is more important to know the names of the professors who approved for publication these substandard theses.

Nevertheless, it is not too hard to use Ohio University's library catalog to identify every engineering student whose thesis is under investigation or has been rewritten.

Incidentally, you can find the name of the student who used multiple writing styles at the link I gave above and again here.