Are you a lost, sleep-deprived Purdude? How do you figure out which classes to put on your fall schedule? How many electives? How many credits? There are just so many considerations every semester. Especially for this class of lost souls called freshmen.

To solve this partly, we came up with Pathways to streamline the process of choosing the right classes – owing to the various factors that play into it. Some of these are course difficulty, popularity and more importantly, the number of non-CS requirements it satisfies. To us, non-CS requirements include things like communication and written requirements, university core requirements, general education requirements, etc. To be real, a lot of us super technical folks would love to take more science-y classes over that literature analysis class.

What it does

The Pathways! experience is split into two parts.

  1. We first ask for all the classes you've already completed. This includes test outs, APs, and even Purdue classes themselves. We administer this through a searchable, scrollable and compact dropdown menu.

  2. We go through all the courses that Purdue offers that can satisfy the University Core, Indiana Core, and other requirements. We then group together requirements so it is understandable for a student, and then evaluate which courses are best to take by considering the number of requirements it can satisfy. This information is then displayed to the user in an intuitive manner making it easy for users to pick out courses to finish. As a pretty swag bonus, we have an added 'Ratings' hyper referenced tab that redirects the user to a page where they can share feedback about the Purdue classes they have taken!

How we built it

We scraped course data from the Purdue course catalog and formatted it manually in a way it was consistent. We then used different hash maps to make it categorisable in different ways and to make accessing the thousands of courses easier. We built the front end with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.


Challenges we ran into

There is a lack of API's that we can use to extract data that is the courses Purdue offers. Also, there is no way of extracting pre-requisites for each course. Hence, we couldn't implement the feature where students can schedule which semester they should take our recommended courses in.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Firstly, We are proud that we were able to complete the project we intended to do within the given time bounds. We identified a real problem that faced us Computer Science students, and we decided that a tool was necessary to help us navigate the Purdue graduation plan.

What we learned

It wasn't the first time we were making a website, but we all learned a lot about the best practices on making a website with HTML and vanilla JavaScript, without the hassle of making websites using packages that only make the website slower. We also discussed thoroughly about different data structures and what we should use for the best time and space management.

What's next for Pathways!

Pathways is looking for more ways to make the process of choosing classes easier. First, we want to integrate a back-end and a server-database to make the application more robust and the data more secure and hidden to the user. We want to include more data like course pre-requisites, recommended degree plan every year, course difficulty, etc. We don't want to make the website too complicated, as it is just a tool for mapping through the graduation requirements in the shortest path possible.

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