Advance registration would not be the same without Penn Course Review, an institution that rests in the hands of a small group of students.
“PennLabs is a student-run organization that is dedicated to producing technology and providing open-source development on campus,” Engineering junior and Penn Labs co-director David Lakata said.
At the end of each semester, the University provides the group with aggregate totals from the course ratings, which the group uploads to the Penn Course Review website. David added that “without Penn Course Review, students would not have access to the ratings.”
The Penn Labs team meets twice a week and seeks to “balance maintaining old projects and building new ones,” College junior and co-director Adel Qalieh said.
Currently, the team is focusing on “revamping how Penn Course Review looks by making it easier to compare professors, showing current instructors and adding more infographics,” College senior and Penn Labs designer Reika Yoshino said.
In addition to Penn Course Review, PennLabs is consistently updating the PennMobile app , which launched in February and is currently being used by 20 percent of undergraduates. “New features include dining menus, transit navigation, access to Under the Button and connections to campus help — such as the mental health department or Penn Police,” Adel added.
PennKey services, however, are still unable to be integrated into the app at this time due to security precautions.
Penn Labs' success in providing information regarding building locations, course information and dining menus to the University community has led Penn to be tied for first place in a ranking of the most data-friendly colleges .
The team is “actively looking for feedback from students to see in what ways we can make the projects better,” Adel said. All the codes are public on https://github.com/pennlabs, which allows students to propose changes to it.
Other team members include Engineering junior Prakhar Bhandari and College and Engineering sophomore Jason Tang.
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