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Zak W. ‘17 — Scheduling Software Program

The Project: Developing a software program that improves the class scheduling process at Calhoun.

Goal: Before Zak embarked on this project, scheduling classes at Calhoun was an archaic pen-and-paper affair. Zak hoped his new software would streamline the whole process, and eliminate what once took at least a week of work on the part of a schoolteacher or administrator.

The Process: Zak has had a longtime interest in programming and coding, but programming on this scale was new to him. The program he was trying to create first had to recognize each Upper School student’s graduation requirements, his or her class history and any prerequisites required for enrollment. Then, using a simple online menu, the student would request the desired classes. On the other end, the administrator working on scheduling the classes would receive a sorted list of students' requests instead of having to manually go through more than 200 paper forms. Zak started the process during his Junior Workshop, and continued fine-tuning the program into his senior year. The program is launching in winter 2017.

What I Learned: Through research, Zak explored how progressive schools take a different approach to scheduling classes. "I definitely have a better understanding of how our schedule is part of our educational experience," he says.

Value of JW: “When I look back on the experience, I’m really proud that I built this from the ground up. It was really uplifting just to know that I created something new that will hopefully help Calhoun even when I’m gone.”