Makerspace manager, sophomore in software engineering create web application for E-Day

Published: Mar 22, 2024 1:55 PM

By Joe McAdory

What if there was a means to gather E-Day visitors’ information – accurately – without cumbersome spreadsheet programs or Qualtrics? What if there was a simple way for prospective students and their families to create their own departmental tour schedules?

There was.

Garon Griffiths, Auburn Engineering Design and Innovation Center (Makerspace) manager, and Matthew Clegg, a sophomore in software engineering, utilized the latest computer software tools – including Javascript, PHP, HTML and cascading style sheets – to create a painless application to make Feb. 23rd’s E-Day registration and data collection simpler than before for the 3,371 registered visitors.

“We always want students who visit the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering to leave our campus wanting to come back,” said Jessica Taylor, director of recruiting and scholarship in the Office of Recruitment, Outreach and Scholarship. “E-Day is a large-scale recruiting event. The E-Day registration system Matthew and Garon created has completely transformed a prospective student’s E-Day experience. The system allows a student to tailor their itinerary, and I think it directly impacts their experience. Ninety-eight of the participants had a positive experience on campus this February. The registration system plays a big part in this statistic.”

It started with an idea.

“Sydney Riley, administrator of K-12 outreach programs, works tirelessly to ensure this event is unparalleled,” Taylor said. “A few years ago, Sydney came to me to explore changing the registration system. She had a vision and wanted each individual to have the opportunity to tailor their schedule for the day. We met with several vendors, but nobody could do exactly what we needed.”

Enter the Makerspace.

“We had a meeting and learned they (Outreach) were going to use spreadsheets and try to handle all of this on their own,” Griffiths said. “I immediately realized that was going to be very taxing and I didn’t want them to have to suffer through that. I approached them and said, ‘myself and Matthew recently designed a website for the Makerspace. We have experience with this. Perhaps we can make things significantly easier.’”

Griffiths handled the app’s visitor point-of-view, while Clegg programmed the administration’s side. Visitors registered for tours either remotely or via home computers/laptops, and the data trickled into Outreach, automatically.

“There was a good deal of trial and error and was a very intensive process,” said Clegg, an Auburn native. “We received the assignment in early October and by Dec. 1, visitors had the opportunity to fill out their demographic information and register for whatever tours they wanted, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and so on, and the time slots they wanted for those tours. They built their entire schedules.

“It’s very rewarding to take a bit of the knowledge I’ve picked up from what I’ve learned in classes and turn around and apply it to something we could give back to the university. This is particularly cool because I’ve come full circle with E-Day – I attended one here when I was in about the ninth grade.”

“We’re glad we were able to contribute to the continued success of E-Day,” Griffiths said.

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Design and Innovation Center manager Garon Griffiths, left, with software engineering sophomore Matthew Clegg.

Design and Innovation Center manager Garon Griffiths, left, with software engineering sophomore Matthew Clegg.

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