St. Lawrence University is a private institution located in Canton, NY. With around 2,250 students enrolled on campus each year, there are many disciplines, course options, and routes to take for new students. Students may meet with their advisers to help guide them on the correct path of courses, or they may choose to guide themselves. Every student goes through the registration process themselves, however. And every professor is on the receiving end of that registration process. At St. Lawrence there are three days of registration for students. On the first day a student may choose their first class, then they may choose their second on the second day, and lastly on the third day the student may choose their last two classes and any lab they may want to take. Professors often put caps on their courses depending on the course and/or the classroom they will be in for that course. This leaves students with one of the most daunting questions, which course do I choose first?
There is never a correct answer to a question like this because people and courses are constantly changing, however my goal for this project was to help the University, professors, and students better understand and visualize what courses students are choosing. I completed my project on a programming system called R, which uses the R-language. Within this program I wrote a shiny app, which is now published online. Within this app there are different visualizations and settings that the user can see and change respectively.
The first visualization shown is simply the courses enrollment since 2014. The second visualization shown is a graph of department course enrollment by level of class. And the third graph visualizes open seats on courses since 2014. Within the app the user is able to choose a department, then a course and specify anymore specific settings (like seats available and years available). This allows the user to mess around with the app and see only the courses they want to see, rather than scroll through a list of every course offered.
My time spent working on my fellowship this summer has been one of the most useful experiences I have had at St. Lawrence. Working so closely with my mentor, Matt Higham, is so helpful and getting the opportunity to do a project I have interest in made it all the better.
The published part of my app can be found at this link: https://stlawu.shinyapps.io/slu_course_enrollments/