This question: Resistance of circle of wire

Is part of an active contest. I don't know what the policy is for these cases but this person is trying to cheat.

Edit: For those arguing allowing the questions for the intellectual reasons I should point out that after the contest is closed the solutions are made public by the exam authors. So if this person asking the question was really sincere about learning they could just wait to see the results after the contest is done.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The one thing that I m absolutely sure of on this: we don't help the user involved to hide the fact that he or she has solicited help from the internet. $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2013 at 1:34
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    $\begingroup$ How do you know that he is even aware of that contest? Assume good faith. $\endgroup$
    – Mostafa
    Sep 14, 2013 at 12:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Mostafa Usually the problems are pretty unique. Note that as the user is not being punished for asking it -- the question is just getting (temporarily) locked, it's OK $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2013 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Mostafa: See Qmechanic's answer. Sooooo many of such questions ? . $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2013 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Mostafa I checked the question against the exam based on what another user posted, then saw this user had posted a variety of detailed questions that matched the exams. Qmechanic captured the comparisons in his answer below. $\endgroup$
    – user6972
    Sep 14, 2013 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


Here's the question that addresses this situation:

How should we deal with academic dishonesty?

To summarize from the answer there, we need to verify that the questions are actually from a contest (which is done) and also that the rules of the contest forbid seeking outside help (I'm looking into this). Once that's done, one of us moderators will close the question, or non-moderators can also vote to close it if they're sufficiently convinced that the question violates the contest rules.

But really, read the answer at that other question.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not too sure. Removing good questions because of external rules may not be a good idea. SO doesn't -- both for contest stuff and stuff covered by an NDA. The primary reason behind the academic dishonesty one was because those are usually HW and the community is passionate about this $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2013 at 20:12
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    $\begingroup$ It doesn't matter whether it comes from an exam, homework assignment, or contest - the academic dishonesty argument is the same in each case. After all, a contest is really just an optional exam. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Sep 13, 2013 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ Sure, but I don't see why we should close good questions for this. This particular question isn't as good, and closeable. However, I'm not too keen on closing conceptual contest questions. The way I see it, the academic dishonesty policy is there because of (a) the problems usually being homeworky, and (b) the fact that many of our users have to deal with this in real life and thus it is a sensitive issue. For contest questions where (a) doesn't apply (i.e., ones which would otherwise be on topic), I don't see any problem. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2013 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ Basically, while I agree with the handling of this case, I'm rather wary of making it general policy. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2013 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ (1) No, the (primary) reason for the policy is that we don't want to be known as a place where people can get away with cheating. Which is exactly the same reason people are sensitive about this in real life. Being "homeworky" isn't itself a bad thing. (2) the response to other question suggests this is pretty close to being a general policy already... $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Sep 13, 2013 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ Makes sense, alright then. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2013 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth I'm strongly in favor of closing contest questions, and quite frankly perma-banning the cheaters. If we support them, we do a disservice to their education, and an even bigger disservice to those trying to learn physics the honest way. Cheaters are useless leeches in society, especially in academic pursuits - why should we cater to them? $\endgroup$
    – user10851
    Sep 14, 2013 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisWhite Note: While we can close the question, I don't believe that we can ban the users for breaking rules of a different site. $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2013 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth and readers: FWIW we could have a policy that prohibits doing something which is against another site's rules, thereby making any violation of that site's rules also a violation of our rules, and thus possibly justifying a suspension. Our existing (informal) policy on academic dishonesty doesn't do that. Though I would also note that SE doesn't have a comprehensive list of suspension-worthy offenses, so there is some room for the moderators to exercise discretion in this area. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Sep 14, 2013 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Though such policies usually need to be backed up with some reason. Disruptive behavior seems to work here, (and we can, of course, check it with the team), but I'm not too keen on using suspensions to enforce off site rules (even if we make them on site). $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2013 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth You could lock it until the contest ends. $\endgroup$
    – jinawee
    Sep 14, 2013 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ @jinawee It is locked, no? $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2013 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Manishearth I mean that it's not necessary to delete it, just wait and open it then. $\endgroup$
    – jinawee
    Sep 14, 2013 at 12:08

I) The Phys.SE question Resistance of circle of wire indeed seems to be question B2 of a homework assignment with due date 30.09.2013 from the FKS secondary school competition in Slovakia.

Google translator from Slovak -> English produced this translation of the pdf file:

B2 - Nákružnica (9 points) Tinka is seeking revenge, as it pulled beetroot (and gave them Katka). Therefore, pulled out of the lab resistance wire with resistance R and produced from it earring. Sealed iron ends so as to form circle of uniform cross-section. She felt while resistance and resistance earrings a measured so that the earring Conn. ohmmeter between terminals. What minimum and maximum resistance to Tinka measure? What resistance values ​​when the clamps squeezed from the middle of the circle angle α.

It is moreover specifically stated next to a warning skull in the pdf document that Úlohy rieš samostatne!, i.e. the problems should be solved separately.

II) The Phys.SE questions Bubble in a pipeline, Ice cube in a pool, and https://physics.stackexchange.com/q/76091/2451 seem to be problem I.3, I.4, and I.Exp, respectively, of a first round of problems with due date 14.10.2013 from the FYKOS high school competition in Czech Republic.


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