Two UF computer science juniors were planning out their Spring semester courses when they realized they could make a faster, more efficient course search engine.
Jim Su, 20, and Matthew DeGuzman, 20, created UF Courses in five days to prepare for course registration. They noticed ONE.UF’s course search is slow and they wanted to be able to see professor ratings on the same website as the course catalog.
“I noticed that whenever I searched up a course, I wanted to see which professor was teaching it because who the professor is really makes or breaks the course,” Su said.
Users who search for a class are provided the title and the class’ professor. Clicking on a course title redirects to ONE.UF and shows when the class is offered. Users can click on the name of the professor to be redirected to the Rate My Professors site.
“The nice thing about the website is that you don’t have to jump through a bunch of hurdles just to search up courses,” DeGuzman said. “With our website, all you have to do is search in the domain name and then you can just go searching.”
The website only has data for Spring 2024 courses and evaluations from Rate My Professors data as of Oct. 24. In the future, Su and DeGuzman hope to add data on all professors who teach a course, so students can decide if they want to wait to take a course with a different professor.
They also want to add data from Gator Evaluations to ensure professor ratings are accurate. This data comes directly from students enrolled in a course, so the professor ratings are more likely to be accurate, Su said.
“Rate My Professors is not always accurate,” he said. “Sometimes a single student might be a malicious actor, and they might create multiple accounts to give very bad reviews to some professor.”
On the other hand, professors can write fake positive reviews to give themselves high ratings, Su said.
To create the website, Su and DeGuzman had to build a search engine, which they hadn’t learned in their computer science courses.
The other challenge they faced was writing a code that could efficiently perform the searches in under 10 milliseconds, he said.
They worked together to collect data, create the user interface and write the code. As a two-person team, they didn’t have to worry about dividing tasks and working on a deadline.
Angel Bocalan, a 19-year-old UF tourism, hospitality and event management sophomore said it is difficult to navigate between ONE.UF and Rate My Professors while planning her schedule. She had not heard of UF Courses, but thought the website was a good solution.
“That is a very convenient app because I also had that problem of having to switch between windows while trying to see if the professor was to my liking or if their ratings were high enough,” Bocalan said.
Contact Megan Howard at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @meganmhxward.
Megan Howard is a second-year journalism major and the University General Assignment reporter. In her free time she enjoys reading and belting Taylor Swift songs.