Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Have to rank courses for course selection next semester. Trying to outsmart the course registration system by ranking in such a way that I take advantage of the peculiar details of the computer algorithm. They gave us the details. They're funny if I exaggerate a bit. So here goes:

1. Randomize students
2. Try to enroll first student in student's first choice.
3. System crash. Start over.
4. Randomize students
5. Enroll first student in second students' first choice and second student in first student's third choice.
6. Check for time conflict. Enroll fourth student in three classes that all meet at the same time.
7. Check year and credit limits. Ignore them.
8. Check whether the course is full. If so, kick out random student and replace with student who doesn't even want the class.
9. Re-randomize students
10. System crash. Start over.
11. Note that rising 3Ls have priority over all courses over sinking 3Ls and unleavened 2Ls.
12. Enroll sixth student in eigth student's ninth choice.
13. Carry the 4 to the next column and add 7.
14. Artichoke.
15. As a consoloation, place the "bumpee" next on the priority list for that course and attempt to enroll the bumpee in his or her next choice using the tests above.
16. If the course is full with no eligible bumpee, add the student to the priority list and go on to the student's next choice until the student has been enrolled in a course.
17. Re-randomize students.
18. Repeat all steps.

6 of these steps are real. 12 are not. Can you guess which 6?