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Timetable problem

  1. Jan 18, 2004 #1
    It is the new school year in Brunei, and already my school has had a run in with a couple of troubles. One problem that stands out is the setting of our timetables.

    Schools here function on a slightly different system than in the US or Europe. At the start of the school year, we are sorted into our classes depending on our average subject scores in the final examinations the previous year. And since only a narrow range of subjects are offered here (around 12 different subjects), once you are in a class, you are only allowed to take the same subjects your other classmates are taking. Hence, you will attend all your lessons with the same people. At the end of a lesson, you move on to the room of the next teacher.

    There are around 1000 students at my school, sorted into around 35 different classes. There are 70+ teachers, with 50 rooms and 8 laboratories available (some teachers do not have their own rooms).

    I have asked and found out that the school administrators at my school do the setting of the timetables for us by hand and without the use of a computer programme/algorithm. Worse still, we are all having a hard time as errors have been discovered in the timetables and I have just received the third reprint of my timetable in 2 weeks.

    Does anyone know of a way of resolving this? Or is there any developed area in mathematics devoted to these kind of things? Where may I find it online?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2004 #2


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    Yes, the "class assignment problem" was studied and solved years ago. Colleges in the US used to have almost exactly the same manual system that you describe, and gradually evolved to autometed systems as software and input-output improved.

    Asode from the algorithm, you have to think about front ends. How would you support the teachers interfacing with the students? With PC's? You would have to write screens for taking the student info and the class info. I do recommend a database backend so the information once established will remain available, and post sign-up modifications can be made (theoretically, of course, there won't be any. Yeah, right). I'm sure we can find a canned algorithm online for you, but I repeat: that's only a small part of the whole problem.
  4. Jan 18, 2004 #3
    A quick google search gave me this link.

    I'm sure you can find some other programs. Try using the words: Timetable Software or some other variation of it.
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