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Students create ‘Alertification’ website to ease enrollment and online shopping

Didn’t get into that class you wanted because your enrollment pass was too late? Yep, we’ve all been there.

Faced with the same problem, Brian Roizen, who graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a Masters degree in mechanical engineering, joined up with his brother Robert, a third-year electrical engineering student with a computer science option, to start the website Alertification to notify students when a class they want opens up.

“We try to find problems that exist or just things that are frustrating online or in real life and try to make it easier,” Brian Roizen said.

Usually they draw from firsthand experiences, Roizen said. The enrollment process at UCLA, for example, was something that had bothered him since his time at UCLA as an undergraduate.

“It was so annoying to have to keep refreshing the schedule of classes page over and over again when I didn’t get into a class that I wanted to enroll in,” Roizen said.

He and his brother decided to make it easier for students by automating the process – meaning you no longer need to manually (and obsessively) check the schedule of classes, or any other website for that matter.

Set up an alert on Alertification, and when a class opens up or a price drops on Amazon, you will instantly receive a text or an email notifying you of the change.

To use Alertification, simply enter the URL of the page you want to be alerted about, then click on whatever you want to be alerted about (the price for Amazon, or the number of people enrolled in a class or on the waitlist, for example). After that, you can remove the bookmark from your browser and just sit back and wait.

Since its launch last Thursday, the site has gained 300 users, Roizen said. There are alerts set up for other universities across the United States, including Penn State, UC Berkeley and even USC. The most popular UCLA alerts were for science and political science classes, Roizen said.

While Roizen is aware that there are similar course and price tracking services out there, he said that he and Robert intentionally made Alertification very general so that it can be applied to any website or any college’s schedule of classes.

“The beauty of Alertification is that it works everywhere,” Roizen said.

The brothers have been making websites together since 2006 when they launched sheetmusicfox.com, a website that offers free sheet music for musicians. The site currently gets about one to two million hits a month, and the brothers were able to fund their undergraduate educations through the advertising revenue on it, Roizen said.

Richard Wiley, a fifth-year computer science and engineering student, said he tried the service before it was open to the public. When the number of students enrolled in a general education class dropped below the full enrollment capacity, Wiley received a text message and managed to successfully sign up for the class.

“The whole process literally takes three clicks. Zero time investment,” Wiley said. “It worked for me.”

Have you tried Alertification? Did it work for you? Let us know by tweeting us @dbmojo or commenting below.

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