Saturday, May 07, 2005

EC Course Selection 
It's now crunch time on the EC Course Selection front. About half the class participated in the sample demand poll, which helps identify the really popular courses, and now it's time to sit down and figure out what I want to take next semester and where I need to rank it. I guess it would help if I started by describing the process.

By Thursday at 4pm everyone in the first year has to rank their course preferences for both semesters next year. You rank 1-20, at least, and if you want to you can rank even further. They funnel all this data into a computer program that then randomly assigns everyone a number, 1-900, and then starts granting courses by going 1-900, 900-1, etc. So, if you are at a disadvantage for your first course you'll have an advantage for your 2nd choice (which is different, and superior, to the career services open interview process). Anyway, despite the fact that this computer process probably takes about an hour, they wait until early August to release the results.

Anyway, the administration provides a bunch of data, as do many clubs and the Harbus. Sifting through all this data, along with discussions with EC students and a thriving rumor-mill, is quite a task. In undergrad it was something of the same process, but back then you got to see what was still available and make your choices based on that information. Here, you have to input everything in advance and then just cross your fingers. Also, I'm interested in a lot of off-the-beaten-path courses, which means that my 1-5 rankings will all be for courses that I care less about, while 6-10 will probably be the stuff I really want to take. However, if I ranked it 1-5 I would waste those high numbers and wouldn't get any of the courses that I care less about but that are more popular. Anyway, that's the process in a nutshell.

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