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iParadigms helps educational institutions by building plagiarism detection software, and they have a number of interesting job opportunities.

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We’re right in the thick of finals season. A few of you lucky ones are already done with them and may even be back at home already, while most of you are probably studying up a storm. It’s certainly a stressful time, and it often leads to bad decisions of the cheating/plagiarism variety. It definitely seems that plagiarism is a bigger problem now than it was in the past, but I think that it has more to do with advances in technology than an overall decline in student morals. When you had to hand write a paper or type it on a typewriter, copying someone was almost as annoying as writing your own paper. Now copy and paste makes it way too easy. Luckily, technology is catching up. iParadigms is an Oakland, CA (I swear I’m not trying to make this Oakland only, it’s just what I’ve been finding lately) based company that has been developing software to fight plagiarism since 1996. It started with some UC Berkeley researchers who had built internal tools “to monitor the recycling of research papers in their large, undergraduate classes.” From there a company was born.

Cheaters Never Prosper

iParadigms launched with Plagiarism.org and has building products around plagiarism detection ever since. The cool thing about their approach is that they’ve developed different products for different user groups. There’s Turnitin for teachers and instructors, Ithenticate for publishers and researchers, Turnitin for Admissions for Admissions professionals, and WriteCheck for students. The first three are pretty obvious products, but you may be wondering why students would need plagiarism checking software. Well, a lot of plagiarism is actually accidental plagiarism. WriteCheck helps students identify these mistakes while also helping them improve their writing. Plagiarism poses a variety of threats to education, and iParadigms has built a really interesting business in preventing plagiarism. If you like what they’re doing, you should check out their Jobs page. Right now they’re only looking for a Front-end Engineer, but they invite anyone who is interested in working for them to reach out and apply–just make sure your cover letter is completely original.

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