Using Emacs 44 - An org-mode workflow for application processing

One of my titles at Hunter College is Director of the Daedalus CS Honors program. It's something like a Hunter specific, CS specific version of the CUNY Macaulay Honors program.

Hunter gives all its students the ability to get a great computer science education at a fraction of the cost of a private institution and if you're a Daedalus scholar you also get a scholarship, a laptop, special classes (with me :-) ), activities and more. Just the other day we visited Samsung Next accelerator and earlier in the year we made our annual visit to Catskills Conf, arguably my favorite event of the year.

When deciding on which students to recommend for acceptance, I try to glean as much information as I can about each applicant. When I feel there's not enough information, I've been known to reach out to recommenders and other sources for more. But first I go through the applications. For each student, I'm provided with a pdf file with a bunch of data and also an entry in an internal Hunter online form with even more.

For the first cohort, this wasn't a big deal. I hadn't even started at Hunter when the applications closed so there was no outreach. Everything was after the fact so there were very few students to evaluate.

Last year, I was able to do some outreach and we had around 60 or so applications for a little over 20 spots.

This year, there are well over 100 applicants (and we're looking to grow the program by a large number of students). All of a sudden, it wasn't so easy to navigate all the pdf files.

Emacs to the rescue. Using a combination of org-mod, pdf-tools, and org-pdfview I've come up with a workflow that I very much like.

Take a look and let me know what you think:


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