Today’s Spotlight features a photograph, by Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT, of MIT graduate students Elena Glassman and Jeremy Scott.
In computer-science classes, homework assignments consist of writing programs. It’s easy to create automated tests that determine whether a given program function yields the right outputs to a series of inputs, but those tests say little about whether the function is efficiently designed or whether it contains catastrophic errors that the test inputs happen not to elicit. Professors and teaching assistants review students’ code to try to flag obvious mistakes, but even in undergraduate lecture courses, they usually don’t have time for exhaustive analysis.
In April, MIT researchers will present a new system that automatically compares students’ solutions to programming assignments, lumping together those that use substantially similar techniques.
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