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Month: June 2023

Tests in a GenAI World

I teach a graduate level data management class at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Let me preface this by saying that the midterm and final exams for my course are all online, open book, open notes. Despite this, and despite all my warnings about the dire consequences of plagiarism, I routinely catch students cheating on exams. I really love teaching, and it is very disheartening for me when I have to dole out the consequences for this behavior. Usually, cheating comes in the form of students copying answers from the internet without attribution or from other students. This semester was different. This semester, students had AI.

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A Tribute to My Grandmother and the Greatest Generation

April was very hard for me. At the beginning of the month, my grandmother, Irene Givre, passed away at the age of 95. For those who know me, I lost my mother when I was 10 to a brain tumor and the subsequent years of my life were chaotic and tumultuous to say the least. That’s a story for another day. My grandparents really stepped up and took care of me during those times and as a result, I was closer to them than maybe most children are. As a result, I’ve always felt closer to people of that generation than my parents. For example, I grew up to the sounds of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Ziggy Elman and Glenn Miller instead of what most people my parent’s age listened to.

Let me tell you a bit about her. My grandmother was born in the late 1920s in Manhattan. I’m not entirely sure of the chronology, but I know she lived on the Lower East Side, in Harlem and in Hell’s Kitchen. Her parents, were immigrants from the old country. Her father came from a hops farming family and escaped from Poland around WWI. Her mother Sophie came from the area known as the Pale of Settlement, on the border between what is today Russia and Belarus. My grandmother was the first generation of that side of the family born in America.