[gclist] that was a joke... (GC survey & Java GC)

Paul R. Wilson wilson@cs.utexas.edu
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 10:26:31 -0500

>From shapiro@prof.inria.fr Wed Jun 25 08:48:10 1997
>Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 15:47:43 +0200
>From: Marc Shapiro <shapiro@prof.inria.fr>
>To: gclist@iecc.com, wilson@cs.utexas.edu
>Subject: Re: [gclist] that was a joke... (GC survey & Java GC)
> || Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 17:54:42 -0500
> || From: wilson@cs.utexas.edu (Paul R. Wilson)
> || Subject: [gclist] that was a joke... (GC survey & Java GC)
> || 
> || BTW, I don't detect anything really skeevy here.  If they were
> || up to anything nefarious, they wouldn't have put it on the web 
> || with a link to the original.
>This is really unethical.  They don't even mention that they lifted text from

I agree that there's something wrong here, but I'm not taking it
too seriously---it's not like they tried to publish it in a serious
way.  (As far as I know :-) )

What I'm wondering is how this happened, and what these guys are thinking.
(I'm also trying not to jump to conclusions that might not be valid
cross-culturally.  Maybe these guys don't understand the rules, and it's 
an honest mistake, or not-as-dishonest-as-it-seems-to-us mistake.)

For example, sometimes in seminars I tell students to write papers
that show they learned something, and which explain something useful
for the rest of the class, without worrying much about being original.
Of course I don't mean to plagiarize text, but you can imagine
somebody who doesn't understand the common assumptions missing that
point.  And you can imagine some somewhat dishonest rationalizations
that make it "seem sort of okay" to the person doing it.

The fact that these guys put links to the papers they plagiarized
makes me think they can't be trying not to get caught, so they
must not see things the way we do.

It gets more interesting, though. I did an altavista search and found out
some things.

The first author got an MS there and is now working in industry.  He's the
one who put the paper on the web, linked from his home page.

Oddly, the second author is an associate professor in the department
of Chemical Engineering (with a Ph.D. from Purdue in 1984).  If associate
professor means what it does here, then he's probably got tenure.  What
he's doing with his name on a term paper for a Computer Organization
class is really beyond me.