SBIR Phase I: Optimal Enterprise Timetabling for Academic Institutions

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$141,450.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0945559
Award Id:
98889
Agency Tracking Number:
0945559
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
2B
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
823 Holmdel Rd, Holmdel, NJ, 07733
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Ronda Potter
PhD
(732) 739-2132
rmpotter1@aol.com
Business Contact:
Ronda Potter
PhD
(732) 739-2132
rmpotter1@aol.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project is aimed at providing integrated software solutions that will help academic institutions address critical issues of cost reduction, operating efficiency, program management, student retention and revenue generation. Every academic institution has to regularly develop and update course schedules that are intended to satisfy program requirements, student needs, teacher preferences and space constraints. Additional pressures arise as institutions try to keep costs low and/or increase revenues. This challenging optimization problem, called "timetabling" in the literature, has never had a near-optimal theoretical or practical solution for any but the smallest institutions, or limited versions of the problem. Moreover, there is no existing integrated, near-optimal software solution that can support studies of strategic issues such as new buildings, new programs, parking, environmental impacts, security, etc. This research will focus on extending methodologies, successfully developed for complex manufacturing applications, to enterprise timetabling in academic institutions A significant dichotomy exists between the societal need to make higher education accessible, and data showing college costs rising much faster than inflation. Today, most institutions control costs crudely with across-the-board budget cuts, layoffs, larger classes and tapping into endowments. A commercialized product based on the proposed research would provide institutions with vastly improved planning and administrative capabilities, enabling them to better control costs, develop new strategies for critical issues, improve student experiences, increase revenues and more rapidly update programs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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