Entries in Harvard (6)


Harvard Students Accused of Cheating on Final Exam 

Hemera/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Administrators at Harvard College have accused 125 students of cheating on a final exam last spring.

Officials at the prestigious university in Cambridge, Mass., said Thursday that they had found at least 125 students who they believe collaborated on a take-home final exam during the spring semester this year.

"We take academic integrity very seriously because it goes to the heart of our educational mission," Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement. "Academic dishonesty cannot and will not be tolerated at Harvard."

As of now, the school noted, the cheating is simply an allegation that will continue to be investigated. An academic board pored over 250 final exams from the Introduction to Congress class taught by Professor Matthew B. Platt, according to the Harvard Crimson.

Platt noticed similarities among 10 to 20 of the exams that were turned in, and alerted the Administrative Board, which then conducted an investigation, according to the report. The board then found similarities among 125 exams.

The student newspaper described how prior to the deadline to turn in the exam, panicked students packed into the office of a teaching assistant, asking for help explaining the essay questions on the test. Platt reportedly canceled his own office hours before the due date, the Crimson noted.

The school did not release the names of the accused students, although a student told ABC News that some of the individuals who took the class might have graduated in May.

Harvard administrators said that most students there do not cheat, but that academic integrity could be stressed more on campus.

"We must also not forget that the vast majority of our students complete all their assignments honestly, diligently, and in accordance with our regulations and practices," Smith, the dean, said. "Allegations of inappropriate collaboration or plagiarism in a single class should not be allowed to diminish the good work or reputation of our outstanding student body."

The school said it will focus on spreading awareness of academic integrity this school year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Abandoned Teen Graduates from Homeless Custodian to Harvard University

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C.) -- After returning from a prestigious academic summer program in Raleigh, N.C., last summer, Dawn Loggins found her parents had left. To complete her high school senior year, she began "couch-surfing" in friends' houses. She'd wake up at 5:20 a.m. each day, begin work as a school custodian, focus on a roster of advanced placement and honors courses, complete more custodial work and then hit the books.

The early mornings and late nights paid off. Now, she will graduate from Burns High School in Cleveland County, N.C. Next, she is headed to Harvard University.

Dawn spent much of her life moving frequently from one home to another and attending a number of different schools. Despite the circumstances, she said, she was committed to doing whatever was necessary to excel in school.

"Education is a means to make something better of myself," she told ABC News.

Dawn recalled having to do homework by candlelight because the power had been disconnected and having to cook noodles on a wood stove after her mother and stepfather lost their jobs. Focusing on her school work, she said, helped her deal with the family's circumstances. She had no idea what she might have to deal with next.

After she returned last summer to find her parents gone, she found she had no way to reach them because their phone services had been disconnected. Determined to complete her senior year at Burns, Dawn stayed for a few days at a time at the homes of friends until finally finding a home with Sheryl Kolton, a friend's mother who was also a custodian at the school. It would be a few months before she learned that her parents had gone to Tennessee for a visit and decided to stay.

Dawn's school year consisted of very long days. After cleaning for two hours, she would begin her school day of tough classes, including AP U.S. history, AP calculus, and honors English, and she participated in various school clubs and honor societies. After school and two more hours of cleaning work, she'd still have hours of homework, often keeping her up until midnight or 2 a.m. The late nights paid off as Dawn earned at 3.9 GPA and scored 2,110 on her SAT. She was committed to not just graduating high school, but finding a way to go to college.

"A high school diploma doesn't mean anything if you don't do anything with it," she said.

She began applying to colleges with the help of her counselor and a friend of the school's principal. She initially applied to Davidson College, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Warner Wilson College. After the persistent urging of those helping her, she also applied to Harvard.

The acceptance letters started arriving, mostly in larger, thick envelopes. Then one day, an envelope arrived from Harvard.

"It was a small envelope; you never want a small envelope," she said.

But inside was a letter admitting Dawn into the Harvard class of 2016.

"I was kind of surprised," she said. "I didn't jump and down or scream or cry or anything, but I was happy. I guess I'm not easily exited. I'm not a very emotional person."

But Dawn wasn't so sure that she would be heading to Massachusetts -- not until she was able to visit this spring, thanks to school staff pooling their money to pay for her trip.

"After visiting Harvard, I couldn't see myself anywhere else," she said.

Dawn will receive financial aid from Harvard and get an on-campus job to help pay for tuition, room and board. She also has saved money from her job to help with books and other essentials.

As for her field of study, Dawn plans to major in biology and is considering a career in biomedical research. When asked what she is most looking forward to as she heads off to college, her reply was one word.

"Stability," she said.

Dawn reflected on her life growing up and said she just wants to be able support herself and not worry about losing power or not being able to buy food.

Even though her mother may not have been the best mom, she said, she still loves her parents. Both will be at her high school graduation.

Dawn wants to focus on her future, not her past, and hopes that she can motivate other students, like her two younger sisters, to further their education beyond high school in order to have a better life.

"I'm in a good place right now," she said. "I have a lot of community support."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Harvard Business School Student Goes Missing in Maine

Portland Police Department(PORTLAND, Maine) -- Police in Portland, Maine, are searching for a Harvard Business School student who has been missing since early Sunday morning after spending Saturday night in the Old Port area of town, ABC News affiliate WMTW-TV in Portland reports.

Nathan Bihlmaier, 31, had traveled to Portland from Cambridge, Mass., with two friends to celebrate his upcoming graduation from Harvard Business School, which is scheduled for Thursday.  After separating from his friends at the RiRa Irish Pub around closing time at 1 a.m. Sunday, Bihlmaier was not seen again, according to The Portland Press Herald.

Police said in a news conference Monday that dive teams had found an article of clothing while searching the water in the area near RiRa, but did not confirm what the item was or whether it belonged to Bihlmaier, Harvard Business School spokesman Brian Kenny said.

Kenny drove from Cambridge to Portland to help investigators with their search, along with more than a dozen of Bihlmaier's classmates and Bihlmaier's wife of one and a half years, Nancy Ho Bihlmaier, who is pregnant with the couple's first child.

Kenny said Bihlmaier's parents flew to Portland from their home in Kansas, and the entire group posted flyers around town with the hopes that local residents might have seen Bihlmaier.

"We are trying to be optimistic and hope for the best possible outcome, and that would be that Nate and Nancy are at commencement on Thursday," Kenny said.

Bihlmaier had been asked to leave the bar because he was intoxicated, but his friends didn't see him leave and tried to reach him on his cellphone, police said, according to WMTW.  Based on their phone conversations with him, Bihlmaier's friends believed he was lost.

"He was saying, 'I am in front of this building right now,' which is not uncommon for somebody that may be in fact lost to give a landmark in hopes somebody else can pin-point that," Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck told WMTW.

His friends returned to their hotel room, assuming Bihlmaier would eventually appear, but called the police hours later when he hadn't returned, according to the Press Herald.

On Sunday, police tracked Bihlmaier's cellphone transmissions and found that he had remained within the Old Port area, but his phone battery died about 40 minutes after he left the bar, the newspaper reported.

Police, dive teams and the Coast Guard will continue to search the area where the clothing was found, Kenny said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NASA, Air Force and Harvard Computers Hacked by ‘The Unknowns’

NASA(WASHINGTON) -- A previously unknown hackers‘ group calling themselves “The Unknowns” has compromised websites and obtained documents from NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the French Ministry of Defense, the European Space Agency, the Bahrain Ministry of Defense, the Thai Royal Navy and Harvard University’s School of Public Health.

The group posted several screenshots and documents on, showing the results of its intrusions.

A website that was breached at NASA’s Glenn Research Center shows a screen from the Interagency Advanced Power Group which conducts research on space and land-based energy programs with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Energy Department and NASA.

“Victims, we have released some of your documents and data,” the group wrote on a web posting. “We probably harmed you a bit but that’s not really our goal because if it was then all of your websites would be completely defaced but we know that within a week or two, the vulnerabilities [sic] we found will be patched and that’s what we’re actually looking for. We’re ready to give you full info on how we penetrated threw [sic] your databases and we’re ready to do this any time so just contact us, we will be looking forward for this.”

A NASA spokesman, contacted by ABC News, said, “NASA security officials detected an intrusion into the site on April 20 and took it offline. The agency takes the issue of IT security very seriously and at no point was sensitive or controlled information compromised. NASA has made significant progress to better protect the agency’s IT systems and is in the process of mitigating any remaining vulnerabilities that could allow intrusions in the future.”

A member of the group who uses the Twitter handle ZyklonB also claims to have penetrated computer systems at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A spokesman for the laboratory said, “The laboratory network was never compromised.”

The spokesman said that ZyklonB gained access to an external website where scientists make data publicly available for research purposes.  It is unclear if the group was trying to gain access to the lab’s more sensitive networks.

“We are a new hacker group, we have never been in any hacking team before,” the group said in a message posted Friday. “We are not Anonymous Version 2 and we are not against the US Government. We can’t call ourselves White Hat Hackers but we’re not Black Hat Hackers either… Now, we decided to hack these sites for a reason…These Websites are important, we understand that we harmed the victims and we’re sorry for that -- we’re soon going to email them all the information they need to know about the penetrations we did.”

“And for all the other websites out there: We’re coming, please, get ready, protect your website and stop us from hacking it, whoever you are. Contact us before we take action and we will help you.”

The group posted information from the Air Force Auxiliary’s Civil Air Patrol.

Capt. Chris Sukach a spokesperson for the Air Force Space Command, said in a statement that his group is investigating.  “For obvious security reasons, we generally do not discuss specific vulnerabilities, threats, or responses to them.  The Air Force will continue to monitor the situation and, as always, take appropriate action as necessary to protect Air Force networks and information.”

The group also claimed it compromised a research database connected to Harvard’s School of Public Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Center. An official briefed on the matter said that no patient data was on the server that was breached. It is unclear what information was compromised from the Harvard system.

Officials with the FBI declined to comment if they are investigating the computer breaches.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


One Dead, Two Hospitalized in Yale-Harvard Tailgating Accident

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- The driver of a rental van that plowed into three women in New Haven, Conn., on Saturday is being questioned.

The incident took place at a tailgate party outside the stadium before a Yale-Harvard football game. One woman was killed and two people were hospitalized with serious injuries.

The accident is still under investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Why College Applications Skyrocketed This Year 

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- All across the nation, colleges are reporting a record number of applications received for the class of 2015.

Harvard College, in Cambridge, Mass., reported a 15 percent increase in overall applicants from last year, to nearly 35,000 for roughly 2,200 acceptance slots.

At Syracuse University, in Syracuse, N.Y., the admissions office has received more than 25,270 applications, setting a school record with a 13 percent increase from last year.

And at Stanford University, the school received over 34,000 applications to fill its 1,700 slots for the incoming freshmen class.

Alan Krueger, an economics professor at Princeton University and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, said multiple factors are contributing to this increase.

"The job market is still quite weak, and it's not unusual when the job market is weak for students to stay in school longer or additional students to seek higher education," Krueger said. "There's also been a trend taking place where the more recent cohorts are larger - just because of the echo of the baby boom. You have an increase in the number of students who are college-age."

In Westport, Conn., Staples High School saw this year's senior class rise to a record number of 471 students, up from 386 students in the class of 2010.

"Another important factor is the Common Application form, which has made it less costly to apply to a larger number of schools," he added.

Addressing the increase from the schools' point of view, Eric Hoover, senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, noted that the technology allows for colleges to recruit more heavily online.

"As recruitment has gone digital, the Web has reduced the cost and the hassles of the traditional recruit outreach," said Hoover. "It's making it easier for the colleges to reach out to students all over the country and the world."

One of the highest increases occurred at Columbia University, in New York City, whose applicant pool rose by 32 percent from last year, totaling 34,587 applications. Columbia attributes its membership in the Common Application as one of the key factors to this year's rise. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio