Shorthand Dates

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Shorthand Dates have developed to provide CTY with logical and efficient method for specifying a particular course. Any section of any course can be precisely specified in 15 characters or fewer, in the following format (bolding notwithstanding):

{Course Code}.{Optional Section Letter}.{Site Code}.{Year}.{Session}

The course code is a four-letter abbreviation denoting the course in question, and a section letter is provided if multiple sections of the given course are offered at the given time and place. The site code is a three-letter abbreviation denoting the site. The year is typically given in two-digit form (though if CTY persists into the 2080s it will be necessary to amend that), and the session should be fairly obvious. The section letter is for courses that are divided into multiple classes. Courses are always divided by age, and only if there are too many students: A indicates the youngest class, B would be older, and rarely there exists a C. All the classes have different TAs and Instructors.

For example,


Would indicate the course of Number Theory taught at Lancaster in 1993, session 1. Similarly,


Would denote the older class of Math Sequence offered at Lancaster in 2003, session 2.

This date format is often taken up informally by CTYers, though it is not necessary to use it in its entirety. It may be useful to write merely CAR.98 (Carlisle, 1998), ASTR.JHU, (Astronomy, as taught at Baltimore) or even .1 (Session 1, when the class/site/year are understood). In informal usage, four-digit dates are sometimes used, and the ordering of the letters and numbers might be changed (i.e., the session might be listed before the year). Also, informal shorthand using two-digit session numbers (.01, .02) has been seen, but the author discourages against this practice, due to potential confusion with the years 2001 and 2002.