RPI Course Alerter – Get Notified Via SMS!

At RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), it seems inevitable that you will come across a course you want to take and then be left in dismay when you notice that all the slots are taken. The good thing is, students do drop courses with time. However, you’re then competing with everyone else that wants the slot in question. To give you the edge, I developed a tool to send you a text message within a few minutes of someone dropping a course. So let’s walk through how it works.

Say you want to take the course “Speech Communication”. If you don’t care which section, this would be your message “watch writ2340″. The second word represents the department and course number. If you do care about the section, you send the word “watch” with the crn. For this particular course, a target crn is 97962. Your message would be “watch 97962″. Get it?

Send that message to N/A.

What if you want to remove a particular watch? Just send the watch message to that number, with “kill” substituted for “watch”.


8 thoughts on “RPI Course Alerter – Get Notified Via SMS!”

  1. Thank you so much for this tool! It’s super fast, and helped me get one class so far, I’m hoping for the next few!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Awesome app, just curious what you’re using in order for this to work? Is it a Google Voice -> email -> php post type of server or are you running a ruby on rails type of server? Thanks!

    1. The registrar has a publicly accessible file that is updated every five minutes with lots of information about courses. I have a script that runs right after an update and checks to see if there are any watch requests that need to and can be fulfilled. The way those watch requests are managed is through a service called Twilio, which works with another script. Those scripts are written in PHP by the way.

  3. Hi Aktarer,

    I am in charge of the RPI Student Senate’s Web Technologies Group and we are working on ways to support innovative and useful student developed projects here at RPI.

    I was wondering if you were interested in hosting the RPI Course Alerter on our infrastructure.

    Please contact me if you are interested.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>