This investigation could take a while, considering the number of students who were enrolled in the course.

Jane Stancill of the Durham News reports.

Duke University investigates cheating in computer science classes

Duke University is investigating academic misconduct in a computer science course that enrolled hundreds of students.

University spokesman Keith Lawrence said Monday that Duke officials won’t comment on the probe until it is concluded.

The Chronicle, the student newspaper, published email that was sent by the computer science department to more than 400 students in a class called “Data Structures and Algorithms” this fall and last spring.

The email, sent during the first week in November, gave offenders until Nov. 12 to confess to any wrongdoing to get a faculty resolution to the matter – likely affecting a student’s grade but not leading to discipline, as long as it was a student’s first offense. Others could face harsher penalties, including suspension, depending on the outcome of campus judicial proceedings.

It was unclear how many of the 400-plus students might have been involved or how many stepped forward last week.

The email from the department said the university was reviewing assignments in which students wrote code. The email said the review was aimed at students who submitted solutions from the Internet or gave answers that were identical to classmates.