Inspiration

CMU is proud to be home to some of the greatest courses offered at any institution. But many students, especially freshmen, are overwhelmed by the amount of flexibility and pathways CMU opens. Course planning is supposed to be an exciting as you look forward to your next semester. We’ve found a solution to make course selection a journey. Courses are connected, and sometimes the connections are not clear. CMU Course Galaxy is fast and seamless to browse through. Every time, you are bound to find a new course that you’d be interested in. This makes adjustment to college less stressful, and makes the process of course selection an adventure to look forward to!

What it does

CMU Course Galaxy shows an elegant visualization to courses at this university. It allows the user to totally immerse themselves into a galaxy of courses. Navigate for a few seconds and we guarantee that you’ll find a prospective path that excites you about your future at CMU. This novel method of viewing your courses is perhaps the best course visualizer yet, allowing seamless navigation with natural zoom and scrolling.

How we built it

CMU Course Galaxy was designed and implemented using only Pygame and Scottylabs API to access course information. Our design revolved around the concept of the superscore, which is the number of courses (recursively) a given course satisfies a prerequisite for. This gives an extremely accurate depiction of the importance of certain classes, such as 15-112 which satisfies 104 courses at the university.

Challenges we ran into

It was difficult to distribute the courses so that they would not totally overlap. Inner courses needed to be more important (objectively through superscore) than outer courses, and we needed a way to display the courses in a visually appealing manner. We eventually solved this problem by scaling different parts of our position function, and determined the angle based on the course subject/difficulty.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The design, the implementation and the overall concept. Our teamwork and achievement of an ambitious objective in < 24 hours.

What we learned

Design is important; perhaps even more important than the implementation. Both became challenges but thinking together and out loud (with a white board) can solve very sticky situations effectively.

What's next for CMU Course Galaxy

Implementation via the web to make it truly available to anyone. We truly believe that Course Galaxy can be the solution to the course selection dilemmas many people at CMU face every semester.

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Updates

posted an update

We think we'd be eligible for ScottyLabs Grand Prize, APT for social impact with data, Student Senate for improving student life at CMU, Duolingo for improving education, GoDaddy for STEM/Arts education, Google for lasting change at CMU.

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