Grad creates app with course listings

| Senior News Editor

A new iPhone app, released last Friday, allows students to check course listings on the go.

Former Washington University student Dan Brewster developed the app, Course Monkey, as part of his iPhone app development class in the 2010 fall semester.

It is the University’s first course listing app.

“Basically I was thinking that this was something that all students will use over the course of their time at the University, and a lot want to use it in a social setting, not just in front of their computer,” Brewster said.

Although students can access course listings through WebSTAC on their iPhones, Brewster believes that the app’s interface is easier to use.

“Having information displayed in an easier format makes the experience run a lot more smoothly,” Brewster said.

For the purpose of his project, the University provided Brewster with the course listing data necessary to compile his app.

Students see the value of the app, which was released last Friday.

“I feel like most people have iPods or iPhones, and it may be easier to search than on your computer,” junior Sammita Satyanaraya said.

Still, not all students think that the app has many advantages over the more traditional course listings page on WebSTAC.

“The only time I could see it being effective would be people trying to register or check up on classes right before their registration times,” sophomore Brady Borcherding said.

According to Brewster, the app has been downloaded 250 times since its release.

While developing the app, Brewster worked with the University through its new Mobile Computing Initiative.

This program, organized by Information Systems and Technology (IS&T), enables students to develop mobile software applications with the help of the University.

The program provided him with the materials necessary to implement his idea.

“We hope the guidelines developed by the initiative will assist students, faculty, staff and schools who are interested in mobile development,” John Bailey, manager of technical services and support in Student Technology Services, said in a press release. Bailey is also chair of the Mobile Commuting Initiative.

Brewster first thought of the program when he was working at IS&T in the fall.

He expects future students to take advantage of the program when designing mobile apps.

“I would really encourage students to take advantage of this opportunity. This is a really unique thing for Wash. U. to have,” Brewster said.

Course Monkey is now available for free in the iPhone app store. It is also available on the iPod Touch.

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