Building a Modern Course Catalog Search

TIE11 Technology in Education

Location: 103B, Wisconsin Center

TUESDAY, 2:00 - 2:45 p.m.

Have you ever wanted to replace the out-of-the-box course catalog search from your student information system? At Ohio State, we worked to export the data and build a modern search interface that prioritizes user experience above all. Taking concepts and ideas from Google and Amazon for the search interface, we were able to create an experience that users love. This talk will explore working with several groups around campus as well as the technical details of how we exported the courses from our student information system, indexed them with Elasticsearch, built a REST API to expose them, and created an accessible, responsive, and easy to use Angular.js web application to present everything. We’ll also talk about how the same REST API endpoint powers Ohio State's native iOS and Android mobile applications, while still empowering the desktop and mobile web users with more advanced functionality. Finally, we’ll wrap up with challenges we faced and how we waged through the political battle of accomplishing the successful replacement of the out-of-the-box search interface.


Jim Muir
Senior Mobile Developer, The Ohio State University

Jim Muir is a mobile developer for The Ohio State University in the Office of the CIO. He joined as a student for University Libraries and was then hired full-time as a web developer. After six years, he left the libraries to become a member of the OSU Mobile team within the OCIO. He dabbles in all sorts of tech, such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Ruby/Rails, Node.js, Angular, React, Bluetooth LE, and the Internet of Things.

Scott Mascio
Web Application Developer, The Ohio State University

Scott Mascio is a web application developer at The Ohio State University. Prior to working in software development, Scott was a trader on the Chicago Board of Trade for seven years. Scott migrated to the developer community after attending Dev BootCamp in Chicago. While mainly writing code in Ruby on Rails, Scott enjoys learning and exploring the latest technologies and improving his skill set.