Math student caught being comprehensible in recent Problem Set

Humor by Oliver Lee
May 18, 2022, 11:17 p.m.

From: Matthias Fishburn <[email protected]>
Bcc: <[email protected]
Subject: [HEARTBREAKING] A Recent Violation of the Honor Code with Plagiarized “Numbers” System

Dear students,

As we enter the final stretch of the quarter, I hope you all have been taking good care of your mental health, using strategies such as praying to the Honor Code, pursuing pre-med or smiling more. This last week, however, one student decided to express his mental torment by compromising the academic integrity of his community. By sharing this student’s story, I hope that all of you remember your duty to Stanford’s Honor Code preceding this finals week.

[Content warning: academic plagiarism]

Jason Levin, Class of 2023 — from here on referred to as the Plagiarizer — was a misunderstood student hoping to complete his B.S. in Mathematics by next year. However, the Plagiarizer’s schemes were thwarted when a TA discovered something peculiar about his recent problem set.

“I was about to give Jason [the Plagiarizer] an A,” wrote the TA in a formal complaint, “When I noticed some weird symbols in his matrices. Weird because they made sense. What are these ‘numbers’ doing in his math proof? Where is his citation?”

As we all know, “numbers” are a rogue system invented by the Soviets in 1978 as a means of overthrowing the U.S.-controlled Nicaraguan government. The Hoover Institute had successfully eradicated any record of “numbers” in the second and third world; now, numbers enjoy a meek afterlife in countercultural circles and humanities friend groups. We hope that all students know that any use of “numbers” in a p-set requires a citation referencing their wretched history, as well as an actual, legal citation expressing consent to government surveillance.

Our troops (we thank our student-athletes) have had a long day at work locating the Plagiarizer, who was nowhere to be seen in his 30 units of classes. Luckily, thanks to the blood oath every student gives to the Honor Code, we were able to replicate his DNA and hold the rights to his future children hostage (we thank HBO’s Watchmen). Only a few hours later, the Plagiarizer revealed his location.

We have hereby stripped the Plagiarizer of his internships at Tesla and Google. Our Human Biology faculty chairs have also decided to neuter him so that his bloodline may never stain Stanford’s image ever again. (Of course we could simply reject his children, but wouldn’t it be so awkward if your dad got into Stanford and you didn’t? We wouldn’t do something so inhumane.) Today, you may see the Plagiarizer in his new debasing state, as a forced recruit of the Religious Studies department.

But when we punish one, we punish all. Everyone must grieve the havoc that the Plagiarizer has wreaked on the community. So far, several students and faculty have expressed shock about the recent events.

[Content warning: math]

“Well shit, there goes my networking opportunity,” said Joshua Bowers, the Plagiarizer’s former mentor. 

“\begin{document}\[\textrm{$%αNx!Σ都:)^!}\]\end{document},” bemoaned a classmate, sending his comment via LaTeX.

We could not ask any other math students for comments, after learning from outside sources that “talking to other people,” “writing legibly” and “being comprehensible” are cultural no-nos in the Mathematics Department. To do otherwise would risk sabotaging its carefully manufactured image of being understood by nobody, and thereby “genius.”

Now we demand all of you to stay focused on your studies. Plagiarism is indeed a wretched thing: what would have happened if God plagiarized to make man? We hope that each day you reject the seductive vices of plagiarism, and return to the warm embrace of the glorious Honor Code. When you wake up each morning, I want you to ask yourself these questions: Am I being academically honest with myself? How do I spread my academic truth to the people around me? Because, again, academic integrity is the best thing any human being can hope to pursue.

Also, 500 students died of COVID this week.

Happy hot girl summer!

Matthias Fishburn
Vice President Provost-Chancellor for Undergraduate Education
Faculty Head of the Elon Musk Center of Male Studies
Aspiring Intern at Amazon

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

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