Gates is an academic program sheet management system. The system provides a means for a student to design a program of study that achieves his academic goals and at the same time meets the academic requirements of his university.
As an example of an example, click on the link shown below. This worksheet provides a means for a student to design a program of study that achieves his academic goals and at the same time meets the academic requirements of his university.
The worksheet includes a listing of courses available to the student. At the bottom on the left, there is a pie chart indicating the proportion of his selected courses in various subareas of Computer Science. In the middle, there is an indication of the number of units of credit the student is requesting for each selected course. And, on the right, there is a listing of professors responsible for those courses.
The student can change his program by selecting courses in whatever order he likes. Clicking an empty checkbox adds the corresponding course to his program of study. Clicking a checkbox that is already checked removes the corresponding course from his program. Once a course is selected, the student can change the number of units of credit for each course by using the slider associated with that course.
An important part of the update process is constraint checking. As each change is made, the worksheet checks that all academic requirements are satisfied. If there is a violation, the corresponding requirement turns red, indicating that there is something wrong. Once the requirement is satisfied once again, the requirement turns black.
As the program is modified, as changes are made, the worksheet is updated accordingly. For example, as each box is checked, it is added to the course list, and a photo of the associated professor appears. Moving the slider for a course changes the requested credit; and, as such changes are made, the pie chart automatically adjusts to show the portion of time the student is devoting to various subareas of the department.
This is a simple example, but it illustrates the key features of interactive worksheets - visibility of all relevant data, the ability to modify that data, automatic checking of constraints, and automatic calculation and display of consequences.