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Reflections on round two of registration for Fall 2023 (#1222)

Topics/tags: Registration, data, boring

_**n.b.: Some of the data in this musing may be misstated; I was relying on what I saw on the list of course offerings, and that does not provide as accurate a picture as I expected. See the musing on round three for more details._

Round two of Grinnell’s registration for Fall 2023 finishes tonight. For those who don’t know what round two means, you can check my somewhat rambly musing on round one. I’ve spent enough years looking at data in the old model that I still need to get used to reading numbers after round one or round two; many excellent courses have spaces remaining after round one. I wonder how things are going after round two?

It’s still a bit before midnight [1]. I think it’s close enough that I can report on some trends, more or less.

I recall seeing that a few courses remain over-enrolled. Which ones? Let’s see …

SOC/GWS-395 remains significantly over-enrolled, with twenty students still in a class with a capacity of ten. Have they decided to make that a larger seminar, or are they still cutting? I’m not sure. When I checked at noon today, twenty-four students were still enrolled. So maybe the Registrar has another day of painful cuts [2].

Beyond that are the courses that faculty probably allowed to over-enroll slightly. Or perhaps that’s not entirely correct. For example, I see CSC-161-02 listed as over-enrolled by one, but it also has the cap at 18, and we usually set the cap at 24. I suppose that’s the approach the Registrar uses to hold slots for students in lower years [5].

  • PHY-131-02, General Physics I w/lab, is over-enrolled by eight students.
  • BCM-262L-01, Introduction to Biological Chemistry Lab, is over-enrolled by four students, for a total of 16.
  • CHM-221-01, Organic Chemistry I w/lab, is over-enrolled by three students, for a total of 23. I thought section 2 was the one that was previously over-enrolled.
  • CHM-221L-01, Organic Chemistry I lab, is also over-enrolled by three students, for a total of 23. Is there room in the lab for 23 students/ I hope so.
  • PHE-100-47, Fishing, is over-enrolled by three students, for a total of eight. I don’t know where students fish. If they drive, Coach Jaws may need a bigger van.
  • PHY-132-01, General Physics II w/lab, is over-enrolled by 3, for a total of 27. Hmmm … If I recall correctly, the fall General Physics II is a workshop-style class. I wonder if they’ll use an extra class mentor to help handle the overload.
  • CHM-221-02, Organic Chemistry I w/lab, is over-enrolled by two, for a total of 22. Given that it had 43 at the end of round one, it has been cut heavily. Fortunately, there was room in the other sections.
  • PHE-100-18, Beginning Raquetball, is over-enrolled by two, for a total of eight. I think we have enough racquetball courts for that [6].
  • PHY-131-03, General Physics I w/lab, is over-enrolled by two, for a total of 26. Will there be room in Physics I for incoming students in the fall? I only see slots for six in section 2. Or perhaps it’s better that students wait until spring when they can take the workshop-style General Physics I.
  • ART/FMS-255-01, Fundamental of Video Production, is over-enrolled by one, for a total of 16. I’d prefer 16 to fifteen: eight teams of two or four teams of four [7].
  • CHM-221L-02, Organic Chemistry I Lab, is over-enrolled by one student.
  • CSC-161-02, Imperative Problem Solving w/lab, is over-enrolled by one student for 19. But we normally cap that at 24. So there’s room left for some rising second-year students. I mentioned that already, didn’t I?
  • EDU-295-01, ST: Mapping Racial Trauma, is over-enrolled by one student for a total of 21.

And that’s it for the courses that remain over-enrolled. On to the list of courses that are full. I’ll probably re-list the courses above—at least if I remember—since the primary purpose of this list is to help students and their advisors plan during a future registration period. Maybe the Registrar will give us this info in a convenient form.

In Anthropology …

  • ANT-291-01, Methods of Empirical Investigation.

In Biological Chemistry …

  • BCM-262L-01, Introduction to Biological Chemistry Lab. Section 2 has three slots.

In Biology …

  • BIO-251-02, Molecules, Cells, and Organisms w/lab. Section 3 has 17 slots. Section 1 has five slots.
  • BIO-368-01, Ecology w/lab.
  • BIO-380-01, Molecular Biology w/lab.
  • BIO-395-01, ST: Medical Genetics.

In Chemistry …

  • CHM-221-01, Organic Chemistry I w/lab.
  • CHM-221-02, Organic Chemistry I w/lab. Section 3 has five slots. Section 4 has one slot.
  • CHM-221L-01, Organic Chemistry I Lab.
  • CHM-221L-02, Organic Chemistry I Lab.
  • CHM-221L-03, Organic Chemistry I Lab. There don’t seem to be any other lab sections.
  • CHM-363-01, Physical Chemistry I w/lab.
  • CHM-363L-01, Physical Chemistry I Lab.

In Computer Science …

  • CSC-161-01, Imperative Problem Solving w/lab.
  • CSC-161-02, Imperative Problem Solving w/lab.
  • CSC-207-01, Object-Oriented Problem Solving, Data Structures, & Algorithms).
  • CSC-207-02, Object-Oriented Problem Solving, Data Structures, & Algorithms).
  • CSC-208-01, Discrete Structures (also listed as MAT-208-01).
  • CSC-213-01, Operating Systems and Parallel Algoithms w/lab.
  • CSC-213-02, Operating Systems and Parallel Algoithms w/lab.
  • CSC-281-01, Learning from CS Alumni.
  • CSC-301-01, Analysis of Algorithms.
  • CSC-301-02, Analysis of Algorithms.
  • CSC-324-01, Software Design and Development w/lab.

You may find yourself asking whether we have any spots remaining in CS courses. The two sections of 161 have hidden spots. CSC-151 has spots. CSC-341 has four slots left. CSC-395 has nine. So, we have a little slack, but not very much.

In Economics …

  • ECN-280-01, Microeconomic Analysis. Section 2 has four slots.
  • ECN-286-02, Econometrics. Section 1 has six slots.

Of course, Economics also does separate registration for their upper-level seminars. So all of those are effectively full [8].

In Education …

  • EDU-295-01, Special Topic: Mapping Racial Trauma.

In English …

  • ENG-395-01, ST: History and Future of the Book. Maybe Erik will offer this again when I’m next on leave in Grinnell. Or when I’m retired.

In Environmental Science …

  • ENV-125L-02, Intro to Earth Systems Science Lab. The other lab section has eight slots available. Unfortunately, it’s a Monday 1:00-3:50 lab, which makes scheduling other classes difficult.

In Film and Media Studies …

  • FMS-255-01, Fundamentals of Video Production (also listed as ART-255-01).

In Gender and Women’s Studies …

  • GWS-395-01, ST: Gender-Based Violence.

In Humanities …

  • HUM-120-01, Introduction to Material Culture Studies (cross listed as SST-120-01). Yay Kelly! I wonder if this is an offshoot of an Innovation Fund project. On a separate note, some slots may be reserved for incoming first-years.

In Mathematics …

  • MAT-208-01, Discrete Structures (also listed as CSC-208-01)
  • MAT-215-02, Linear Algebra. Section 1 has 13 slots. Section 3 also has 13 slots.

In Physical Education …

  • PHE-100-47, Fishing.
  • PHE-100-18, Beginning Racquetball.

In Physics …

  • PHY-131-02, General Physics I w/lab.
  • PHY-131-03, General Physics I w/lab. As I mentioned earlier, section 1 has 6 slots available.
  • PHY-132-01, General Physics II w/lab. Section 1 has 15 slots available.
  • PHY-132L-01, General Physics II Lab. Hold it! I’m confused. I thought the fall offering of 132 was the workshop version. It shouldn’t have a separate lab. Oh well, perhaps things changed. In any case, section 2 has 11 slots available.
  • PHY-462-01, Advanced Laboratory.

In Political Science …

  • POL-101-01, Introduction to Political Science.
  • POL-101-03, Introduction to Political Science. Section 2 has only one slot available. I wonder what opportunities there will be for incoming first-year students.
  • POL-352-01, US Foreign Policymaking Process.

In Psychology …

  • PSY-214-01, Social Psychology w/lab.
  • PSY-222-01, Industrial Psychology.
  • PSY-348-01, Behavoral Medicine w/lab.
  • PSY-395-01, ST: Neural Basis of Consciousness.

It looks like things may be a bit challenging for psych students.

In Sociology …

  • SOC-285-01, Contemporary Sociological Theory.
  • SOC-291-01, Methods of Empirical Investigation.

In Social Studies …

  • SST-120-01 [10], Introduction to Material Culture Studies (cross listed as HUM-120-01).

In Statistics …

  • STA-230-03, Introduction to Data Science. Section 1 has 13 seats, and Section 2 has 15 seats.

In Studio Art …

  • ART-255-01, Fundamentals of Video Production (also listed as FMS-255-01).

In the Writing Laboratory …

  • WRT-301-01, Teaching and Tutoring Writing.

Strangely enough, some courses that were full at the end of round one now have a few slots, such as Drawing, Intro Stats, and Immunology. However, I see that a few are marked as “Closed (active), even though they have open spots, including BIO-325-01, Fungal Biology w/lab and BIO-366-01, Immunology w/lab. Oh. Wait. It’s only those two.

How many is that? About 40 four-credit classes. A few one- and two-credit courses. About half-a-dozen labs.

Where do we stand for nearly-full classes? I was tempted to say, You can analyze the data as well as I can, and leave it at that. However, it is worthwhile to list their numbers, if not their names.

With one seat remaining: ART-111-02, ART-134-01, BCM-262-01, BIO-325-01, BIO-325L-02, BIO-366-01, BIO-366L-01, CHM-221-04, ECN-326-01, MAT/SST-115-01, MAT-316-01, PHE-100-19A, POL-101-02, and PSY-225-01.

With two seats remaining: BIO-325L-01, BIO-366L-02, MAT-317-01, and PSY-317-01.

With three seats remaining: ART-111-01, BCM-262L-02, ECN-282-01, EDU-101-02, ENG-205-01, MAT-115-02, MAT-321-01, PHE-100-19B, POL-320-01, PST-320-01, SST-115-02, and CSC-341-01.

With four seats remaining: ECN-280-02, ENG-206-01, ENV-120-01, GWS-243-01, HIS-335-01, PHE-100-05, PHE-100-22, PHI-243-01, and SOC-360-01.

Cool. There are still seats available in Bowling! I wonder if Coach Jaws will let me in [11].

Are there things that puzzle me in all this? Almost certainly. I’m surprised there are slots in The Craft of Fiction and The Craft of Poetry after round 2. Those courses usually fill early.

I look forward to seeing what happens in round 3. A lot more classes will fill. But there will be many other options that would be valuable for our students.

[1] Six or so hours before midnight, to be slightly more precise.

[2] The Registrar made the cuts to CS on Tuesday evening. It sounds like it was impossible to meet all the conflicting priorities, and all students must get at least one course in round one triumphed. I already have a colleague who is thinking about ways to use that to help their students game the system [3]. Fortunately, our Registrar is considering improvements.

[3] If you really want a course but are afraid you’ll be closed out, register for Comparative Herb(st)alism and that course. Since the odds are high that you’ll be closed of Herbalism, you’ll have to get your other course [4].

[4] This approach is much easier for students in disciplines in which round-one major registrations are unnecessary.

[5] For example, we reserve some slots in 161 for rising second-year students.

[6] Nope, I don’t play racquetball. And it’s been a few years since I’ve walked by the courts.

[7] Teams of three often end up excluding one member.

[8] That leads to yet another inequity in Grinnell’s new registration process; rising Econ seniors need not register for their Econ seminars in the first round, giving them more freedom to select other courses. I don’t blame anyone in particular for this; Econ needs to arrange its seminars separately to ensure all majors get in. However, our process should take that into account if we want it to be equitable [9].

[9] Damn! I’m becoming such a curmudgeon.

[10] Am I the only one who sees SST and thinks SST Records? It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to, say, Black Flag.

[11] Yeah. Coach Jaws coaches soccer, fishing, and bowling. He used to coach golf, too. If we had a hockey team, he’d probably coach that, too.

Version 1.0 released 2023-04-20.

Version 1.1 of 2023-04-30.