Elon Computing Sciences


Presentation at Elon Student Undergraduate Research Forum, Spring 2006

Eric M. Hydrick (Dr. David Powell), Department of Computing Sciences

The problem of determining which classes are scheduled for which classrooms is one that university registrar’s offices have dealt with for generations. Some companies have even developed software that schedules course for classrooms based on course requirements (such as R25, which is used at Elon). However, some smaller universities also attempt to schedule classrooms based on additional constraints such as the needs of the professors or student disabilities. Currently, no such software is capable of taking into account course, professor and student disability requirements. The registrar’s office must manually schedule many courses before allowing R25 to schedule the remaining courses. They currently develop a schedule using paper charts, and when completed, they  manually enter the information into Datatel. This has the registrar’s office entering the same data twice, creating twice the possibility for error.

The software development will be in progress during SURF, but should be near completion and the beta version will be demons ratable for  the SURF presentation.

The first version of the software will not automatically schedule classes but instead will be a productivity aid for the registrar’s office to schedule classes meeting the Elon needs of course, faculty and students. It will expedite the current scheduling process by importing a schedule into Datatel, rather than retyping all of the information into Datatel one class at a time, as is done now. If successful then a future version could look at automating the initial entry and placement of constraint based courses.