Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Fall class searches to recall Brutus

If the Office of the Registrar has its way, CAESAR not only will have murdered Brutus but also will have stolen its secrets.

CAESAR, Northwestern’s online registration system, will allow students to search for courses by instructor and day of the week during advance fall registration this quarter, said University Registrar Suzanne Anderson.

Information Technology officials removed an online search engine called Brutus in November because it tapped university-owned data without permission.

Brutus, a software program allowing students to search for courses within a certain time to fill gaps in their schedules, appeared briefly on the Associated Student Government- and NUIT-run HereAndNow Web site.

“It’s a shame that it had to go down,” said Ebo Dawson-Andoh, ASG academic vice president. “It’s a really good program with many search options.”

Anderson said the Registrar’s Office is adding the search functions requested by students in an ASG survey conducted during Winter Quarter.

About 100 students who were polled requested searches by days of the week, professor and time as the top three improvements.

Dawson-Andoh, a Weinberg junior, said the registrar will add step-by-step features so it “can catch the little bugs in the system.”

ASG members will write a bill to gather student support that includes background information on CAESAR and Brutus, he said.

Dawson-Andoh said CAESAR has instituted new features during Winter Quarter, including a degree auditing system and a way to monitor financial aid status.

Dawson-Andoh said CAESAR “did what it was supposed to do but not much else.”

Brutus creator Matt Lineen said he is happy the registrar is changing CAESAR’s advanced functions but that his program offers significant advantages for students.

“Brutus has a little more flexibility at the cost of a higher learning curve,” said Lineen, a McCormick senior.

If given permission to run Brutus, Lineen said he would add search features including exam schedules and campus locations for classes.

Lineen said he developed the program for his Special Topics in Computer Science course.

During its short stint on HereAndNow, Brutus drew more than 800 users.

Weinberg sophomore Mike Fong, a candidate for ASG academic vice president, said he wants to “derive a systematic way in which student projects in the future can have an easy route to get implemented by the administration.”

“It is important that we establish the credibility or be able to convey that credibility of these different projects,” Fong said.

The other candidate for ASG academic vice president, Speech sophomore Tamara Kagel, said student input will help the university implement its own search program to assist students in finding courses to fit their schedules.

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Fall class searches to recall Brutus