Finding Out Class Is Cancelled

Learning and visualizing the spread of knowledge of class cancellation at Illinois

Published: January 29, 2019
By: Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider
In consultation with Craig Zilles, Karle Flanagan, Tina Abraham, Kelly Mack, and the CS 225 Course Staff

The E-Mail

Just after 9:00am, The University of Illinois began sending out e-mails cancelling class due to the extreme windchill tomorrow. Many of us found out about it from a friend, long before we heard ourselves!

After collecting nearly 100 samples, we discovered that when you heard about it depends directly on your NetID! It does not matter if you are faculty, staff, or a student, we all played the same waiting game until we got the e-mail! Let us predict when you received it:



This visualization came about as part of the pilot of the lab section in STAT/CS 107: Data Science Discovery. Not long after 9am, one of the students was so excited that class was cancelled tomorrow -- but everyone thought he was was joking, no one else had received the e-mail! Not until a second student also received the MASSMAIL did the class (and myself) begin to believe class was really cancelled tomorrow.

When we found a trend, it was worth investigating. The result is this work. Thanks for checking it out! :)

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