The announcement that the US Military Academy’s football team, the Army West Point Black Knights, had received a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl on 23 Dec was good news for the team and its fans and supporters everywhere, but it posed a problem for those tasked with scheduling the Term End Exams at the Academy: It meant the rescheduling of 566 exams of 141 affected cadets.
The published exam schedule conflicted - substantially - with the team’s travel to Texas for the bowl game. Fortunately, the Academy is using a system that integrates the registrar’s databases, a scheduling engine based on several GAMS models, and other tools to create a complete exam schedule for both the courses and the students. This schedule assigns each exam to an exam period and each student to all of her exams. The system balances the competing goals and constraints involved in preparing a schedule that is fair and balanced for the students and faculty, limits the number of make-up exams required, and fits within the constraints of the available rooms and the 11-period allocated for the exams.