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5 Signs Your CIS Partner Is Collaborating With Someone Else


Photo by Seyoung Kim / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Ever since collaboration was legalized in many CIS courses, students are freer than ever before to discuss ideas, share solutions, and dismantle each other's shoddy proofs. Most have appreciated this new era of intellectual liberation, but for some students, it has created increased pressure to settle down with a nice collaboration group and pop out some assignments. If you're feeling insecure about whether your previous partner will help you on the next homework, here are some warning signs that your collaborator is seeing someone else:

1. You two became partners after they left their previous collaboration group.

They're used to playing the field. You might be good at probability, but Robert who asks intelligent questions in lecture clearly knows his graph theory. It's not looking great for you.

2. They accuse you of collaborating with others.

They need you as their backup plan while they scout out other partners. This is a tactic designed to make you assuage their insecurities about being the weak link in the collaboration group. Don't fall for it, and be direct about asking why they would make such an accusation.

3. They put increased effort into appearing smart in front of other students.

Answering questions during lecture, being the first to come up with solutions in recitation, and talking about how the latest midterm "was pretty easy, actually" are all huge warning signs if you haven't noticed them in your partner before. It's a way of attracting other students dissatisfied with their collaboration groups.

4. Communication with them is increasingly difficult.

In the past, they would eagerly book GSRs for you to discuss problems well before the homework sets were due. Your collaboration group chat would always be filled with discussion about the material. Now, they ghost your questions about whether they think #4 requires a proof by induction and claim they "haven't looked at it yet."

5. Your group got a 30% on the last homework.

Yeah. They're not working with you again.