Sophomore self-funds popular class-picking guide Firehose

Firehose, a class-picking guide for MIT students, has been updated to reflect the schedule and available classes for the Spring 2018 semester.

Flyers around campus advertising Firehose call it “just like course picker but better.”

This iteration of Firehose with scheduling features was created and launched in April 2017 by Edward Fan ’20. Fan independently develops and maintains the site.

“Picking the right classes is an incredibly important decision for any student,” Fan wrote in an email to The Tech. “Choosing well-taught and interesting electives and HASS classes is difficult, and Firehose helps significantly with that problem.”

Firehose is currently completely self-funded, and the MIT administration does not pay for or endorse Firehose. Fan explained that apart from a “small ProjX grant,” he has paid for all costs related to Firehose. MIT ProjX is branch of the student-run organization TechX that provides funding for MIT student projects every semester.

Firehose has been well-received among the MIT student community. Fan reports that during the two-week span of Aug. 27 to Sept. 9, 6,545 unique devices visited Firehose for a total of 22,140 page hits. On the first day of class registration (Sept. 5) alone, Firehose was accessed 3,624 times.

“Firehose made my transition into MIT much easier by simplifying the course selection process,” Varsha Sridhar ’21 said in an interview with The Tech. “The ability to plan out my schedule as I wanted helped with my time management this semester.”

When asked about the future of Firehose, Fan wrote, “I'm committed to doing anything that will help students get the most out of their time at MIT. Expanding and making Firehose better are steps that could help students, and they're on my radar.”