According to the New York Times, Rutgers University student Vaibhav Verma couldn’t sign up for the most popular classes. So, Verma constructed a web application that continuously checks Rutger’s class registration system for openings. As soon as someone drops a class Verma wants to take, the app sends a message, allowing Verma to enroll before another student can. It took only 1 semester before 8k classmates using Verma's tool.
Other collegians have found ways to take school information systems and make them easier to access, sort, and view. For example:
- Students have constructed scheduling programs allowing students to search for classes at specific times and filter their results with a number of details, such as classes without prerequisites or those that count towards their major.
- Other students have constructed an app that maps the fastest way to get from one class to another.
- At the University of California, students constructed a scheduling app that was so successful the school decided to use it.
- When Berkeley students Alex Sydell and William Li created a website called “Ninja Courses,” administrators were so impressed they paid them for the development.
However, administrators at some institutions are unhappy. They fear that making data more transparent can cause unintended negative consequences.
The important “take away” from this story is that the American entrepreneurial spirit continues to be indomitable. That genius fuels economic expansion, generates jobs, and opens the door to greater prosperity. That is, until Uncle Sam confiscates more and more of that prosperity to spend on entitlement programs.
Let the discussion begin…
To read the New York Times article, click on the following link:
"Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two."