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Engineering a new schedule

Over the years, hundreds have served, and thousands of hours have passed while sitting desk.

The Resident Advisor program is one of the most sought after organizations on campus to be involved in, but until recently all of its scheduling has been completed by hand.

Every time an RA sits at the front desk of one of the dorms, they are following a pre-scheduled calendar made at the beginning of each semester by the RA managers. It used to be a very tedious, intensive effort to try and schedule the responsibilities for each individual. But, the burden has been lifted.

Sophie Liu, professor in the ORU Engineering Department, along with engineering student Jonathan Cieplechowicz, has developed a program to lessen the load of the RA managers each semester. Using the “MATLAB” software, they developed a program through extensive code to schedule which RA sits desk, and at what time.

They took into consideration each individual desk for each dorm, the number of RAs, whether it was a weeknight or a weekend, as well as the duration of the desk sitting to create a program which clearly organizes each RA’s responsibilities.

Liu and Cieplechowicz have been working to get the generator fully functioning since the beginning of the spring semester. Specifically, the lives of the RAs will not be directly affected in the actual process of sitting desk, but their schedules will be more organized due to the software development.

“This is more efficient because the manager will only need one minute to run the program, and then they hand you the table based on either the RA, or based on the time,” said Liu.

Liu also plans to take this new development to the global level by traveling to Singapore to present the schedule generator at the International Conference on Management, Economics and Social Science.

“Because this project is at the research level, it could be used to help management,” said Liu. “Why not? This is a very usable, workable project. This is research; this is not just application. I want to show off ORU.”

The intention is to try and bring exposure to the schedule generator, and possibly have global organizations and companies adopt a similar kind of organizer for their management.

The impact of such a development will likely bring new exposure to ORU. Though the university is traditionally known globally for its theology programs, Liu is excited at the prospect of ORU engineering carrying its own weight in the world.