The current grade distribution website used by A&M is hard to interpret and not very elegant. If you go to https://web-as.tamu.edu/gradereport/ you will see that the website is not very user-friendly as it could be. It is hard to use if you use use a phone to access it since you have to download pdf files. We decided to make a website that accessed this data in a more intuitive and faster way, without the hassle of looking up for a specific class manually and downloading pdf files.
What it does
Our project involves gathering data from the current Texas A&M website to present that data in an elegant way. It collects data from about ten thousand classes and makes them accessible through a search bar. The data is presented in graphs that show the distribution of grades for each class taken in previous years, for example, how many students got A's, B's, C's, ... based on the class or professor. The data can be searched by class name and number and it will be displayed immediately on the search results.
How we built it
We converted the pdf files from the official Texas A&M website to text files and these were parsed by using a python script. Afterward, we merged all of the academic records and uploaded them into Algolia to allow for easy searching. For our front end, we started by designing our user interface in Figma and selected a UI framework to work with. We then wrote our front end web page with CSS and HTML. We then added data visualization with d3.js.
Challenges we ran into
Two of us have no experience in web development and this was our first hackathon, so this was a challenging experience, as we could not figure out how to help out the team. It was also difficult to keep up working within the long hours. We had some technical issues with the input of the files.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of being able to do this project look elegant, even though some of us were not experienced in website development or software development at all. We are proud of easing an academic problem to the A&M student community through the use of our skills and knowledge in technology.
What we learned
We learned how to improve our team communication. We learned how to measure our strengths and weaknesses to be able to deliver the best result. We learned how to apply new technologies, how to be more productive and how to evaluate the time that it takes for a project to be completed.
What's next for Gig Em Grades
We can add an option on our website to look up student distributions rather than grade distributions so that students can see their ranking at the university. We are also thinking of adding RateMyProfessor integration. We hope that the Texas A&M students take the best use of our project to improve their academic performance.