Qingqin Hou: MS Final Oral

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:00pm
223 Atanasoff
Event Type: 

First Name: Qingqin
Last Name: Hou
Major Professor:  Gadia, Shashi
Committee Member 1:  Gadia, Shashi
Committee Member 2:  Basu, Samik
Committee Member 3:  Mitra, Simanta

Status:  MS Final Oral
Date: Tue, 2017-11-21
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Atanasoff Hall 223

Title: An XML-based framework for maintenance and query of course catalogs at
institutions of higher learning
Abstract: Course catalogs play an import role at institutions of higher
learning. A catalog has a complex structure that is difficult to capture in
rectangular containers for information such as relational databases and
spreadsheets. Using rectangular containers for catalog greatly convolute
strategies for storage and processing. XML technologies provide a versatile
and flexible platform for storing and processing a variety of information.
XML is very useful for course catalogs as well.
A catalog is revised and published periodically (perhaps every year). This
can be a massive and complex exercise in which faculty, departments,
colleges, various standards committees, and offices belonging to central
administration such as registrar and provost, participate in deliberation,
decisions, and approvals in hierarchical but intertwined ways. Aggregate
reports are also generated at various levels for the befit of others in the
administrative hierarchy going all the way up to Board of Regents. During
this development process of future catalog being assembled, changes in an
intertwined manner of which various participants need to be aware of is
required but it is difficult to assemble. Finally, the catalog is published
that takes all the approved changes into account; unapproved changes are
carried to the next catalog cycle.
We have a project where XML is being deployed to store and develop a course
catalog in a web-based client-server architecture. XML has the added benefit
that the catalog can be queried for preparation of reports relate courses and
how they related to administrative considerations.
In this thesis we further the catalog project in some significant ways. We
develop and implement the procedure for publishing. On publication, the
catalog, together with catalogs of previous years become available for query.
The development version of a future catalog is also published that absorbs
ongoing but yet unapproved issues. Many internals have been greatly refined.
These include refinement of a builtin feather weight text editor and a
clearer version of logistics for revision of courses. A role-based enrollment
of participants has been implemented. The quality of code was examined for
dependencies and efficiency, leading to fine tuning.