This is second pass week, a chance for students to perfect their spring quarter schedule. Websites such as Siscast and Campus Destinations‘ Classifier aim to simplify the scheduling process.
Since its inception in 2003, Siscast has provided two main services to students: class scheduling and textbook finding.
UC Davis graduates Arjan Dehar and Kevin Widjaja created Siscast in attempt to alleviate the stress of scheduling for students.
Dehar got the idea to create Siscast after experiencing the tedious process of choosing UC Davis courses.
“Siscast automates the process of planning your schedule for the next quarter. Gone are the days where you have to take the registrar’s list of classes and hand-pick classes that don’t overlap,” said Dehar in an e-mail interview.
By using Siscast, students can easily identify the ideal spring quarter schedule. In order to use it, a student need only know either a class’s CRN or the abbreviation for the class; Siscast does the rest.
“With Siscast, all you have to do is enter the name of the classes that you want to take [for example] ECS40, and it will show you all the possible schedules you can pick from. You can even enter black out times to prevent those dreaded early morning 8 a.m. classes,” he said.
“This is done quickly by a nifty algorithm that [UC Davis 2005 alum] Sean Regan wrote which takes individual CRNs for the classes that were entered and spits out only the combinations that don’t overlap,” Dehar said.
Finding textbooks online is also made easy by Siscast. Click on the “Buy Textbooks” tab, enter in a course name and Siscast will find the course reading list for you as well as the cheapest prices from online sources.
Students who have used Siscast claim it simplified their schedule making process.
“If you don’t want to spend time looking through the open course guide, you can use Siscast. If you don’t want to take classes on Friday, or early in the morning, then you use Siscast and it makes the perfect schedule for you,” said Marina Karmanova, a sophomore NPB major.
Adrienne Starr, a sophomore human development major, said she finds Siscast really helpful, but suggests that the application should be further advertised through means such as official university websites, as she feels many students do not know about them.
Campus Destinations: Classifier (campusdestinations.com)
Campus Destinations is a website that includes not only a simplified schedule-maker application, but also a list of local restaurants and places in the town of your university. Students can also shop for low-price textbooks and calculate their GPA on the website.
“Classifiers is an application that we have created for students in order to maximize their weekly schedule,” said Eric Stromberg, vice president of expansion for Campus Destinations. “You can even use [Classifiers] to schedule class events, club events and sports events.
“Once you have created your schedule, you can save it under your user name on Campus Destinations and share it with your friends who are on Campus Destinations,” Stromberg said.
While the Classifier application does not provide teacher or course reviews, it can organize your schedule around events as well as mark which classes are required for the user’s major.
“The main function of [Classifier] is that students can access their class list and mark courses as either required or optional. Our system will highlight, in red, the classes that are required. If you have a conflict in your schedule, like say a club meeting on Wednesdays, our system will tell you what classes fit your schedule,” Stromberg said.
Campus Destinations was launched by Duke University students in 2005 and became incorporated in 2006; Classifiers rolled into UC Davis in February. According to Stromberg, 250 UC Davis students used the Classifiers application within four days of its introduction to the campus.
“I think that the most important thing on our website is Classifiers. It can save students a lot of time. College students are always pressed for time, so hopefully, Classifiers is something that will help them manage their course load,” Stromberg said.
Pamela Orebaugh, a sophomore English and film studies major said that such websites as Siscast and Campus Destinations helped with scheduling difficulties.
“Using [those websites] is better because you’re not allowed to have time conflicts when you schedule your classes on Sisweb. [They] help find your schedule so that you don’t have time conflicts,” Orebaugh said.
Facebook: Courses 2.0
Spring quarter schedule already scheduled? Facebook application Courses 2.0 saves students from the tedious repetition of talking about their schedule ad-nauseum.
After entering the name of the course, the time and location in which it meets, and the book information, students can showcase their schedule for their Facebook friends.
“Courses 2.0 is really convenient. Instead of asking your friends directly which classes they are taking, you can use the application to see if you’re friends are in any of your classes,” Karmanova said.
MEGAN ELLIS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.