Statement from Computer Science & Engineering confirming Linux Technical Advisory Board findings - May 9, 2021
We again extend our apologies to the Linux Kernel community for the concerns and extra work caused by our inappropriately designed "hypocrite commits" project. We also want to express our appreciation for the thoughtful report released by the Linux Technical Advisory Board (TAB) on May 5, 2021, and the willingness of the Linux Foundation to meet with us on May 6, 2021.
The University of Minnesota team has reviewed the TAB findings and want to confirm that the findings are comprehensive with an exception discussed below.
One email address missing is a visiting student in the team who used the account “Wenjia Zhao <firstname.lastname@example.org>” to send four patches for bugs found by a tool: https://lore.kernel.org/patchwork/project/lkml/list/?series=&submitter=29945&state=*&q=&archive=both&delegate=. None of those patches were accepted or merged.
All Minnesota patches submitted before August 9, 2020 were part of previous bug-finding research projects and submitted in good faith and intended to address bugs in the Linux Kernel. The four patches submitted between August 9, 2020 and August 21, 2020 were part of our ill-conceived “hypocrite commit” case-study. They are the only patches of this nature ever submitted from Minnesota and they were stopped before making it past the review stage. The five patches submitted on April 6, 2021 were part of a subsequent project and also submitted in good faith (although superfluous and considered to be of poor quality).
Furthermore, we want to state unequivocally that no other Linux components or any other open software systems were affected by the 'hypocrite commits' case study or by any of our other research projects. Our “hypocrite commit” work was limited to the Linux Kernel only and consisted of only the four patches (one is valid) submitted between August 9, 2020 and August 21, 2020.
We reiterate our apology, and we rededicate ourselves to educating our faculty and students in conducting research that is not only of the highest technical quality, but also follows the highest ethical standards.