DarwinEd – Engineer Trainee @ Foris

Foris logo
About the Job
At Foris
Role Engineer Trainee
Location Chile
Duration 7 months
August 2012 – February 2013
Website http://foris.cl/

Participated in the development of 3 products of this Artificial Intelligence company.

  • Resource Optimization Software for universities
  • Desertion Analysis Software for higher education institutions
  • Labor Market’s behavior analysis tool

DarwinEd: Optimizing resources for Universities

DarwinEd is a resource optimization software developed at Foris in which I worked on part-time during the second half of 2012.

Foris is a company that was founded in 2010 by professionals specialized in Analysis and Software Development that provides solutions based on Artificial Intelligence. Their solutions are mostly oriented to the higher education industry, with two very successful products that have bumped them to the position where they stand today: DarwinEd and Deserción. The company’s headquarters are in Santiago, Chile, and it serves over 40 Universities spread across 8 countries.

DarwinEd Screenshot: Students ProjectionsDarwinEd Screenshot: Managing coursesDarwinEd Screenshot: Course demand estimatesDarwinEd Screenshot: Desertion statisticsDarwinEd Screenshot: Student projections
DarwinEd Screenshot: Students Projections
DarwinEd Screenshot: Managing courses
DarwinEd Screenshot: Course demand estimates
DarwinEd Screenshot: Desertion statistics
DarwinEd Screenshot: Student projections

DarwinEd solves the University’s problem of automatically assigning schedules for all courses. It finds a synchronized solution for all students, academics and infrastructure. The algorithms are implemented through models of Artificial Intelligence and it has proven to reduce the Universities costs in about 15%, not accounting for the automation of the process itself.

DarwinEd student cap vs University student cap comparison

Suggested DarwinEd student cap per course vs frequent Universities student cap per course.

The software exposes a tailor made UI for their users depending on their roles, where administration would input the requirements for the next semester: variables such as classrooms and their availability, student registrations, courses, and any other academic criteria or restriction established by the institution. The resulting assignations are the most efficient in terms of how many resources the University will have to make available to fulfill the semester’s needs.

DarwinEd was built on a CakePHP framework for the presentation layer, plus a MySQL Database for the persistence requirements and a Java module which performs the algorithmic computations for the optimizations on demand.

DarwinEd Development Process tracking spreadsheet

DarwinEd Development Process tracking spreadsheet

The Experience

On my first day at Foris my manager said to me: “Do you know how to do this?”, I replied: “No”, to which he added: “You have until tomorrow to get it done.” It caused quite the impression on me. I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it, so I felt somewhat upset at such an imperative request. It still surprises me to this day that I was indeed able to finish it by the next day and it taught me a valuable lesson on how a good manager can bring out the best out of you.

This was also the first time I worked on a team in a coordinated way, where tools like SVN came to take a lot of value. Learned to appreciate the value of communication and the advantage of working under a strong leadership.


  • Development of Smartphone Applications.
  • Development of Analytics Tools.
  • First time working in a team under the leadership of a Project Manager.

Frameworks, Software and Technologies used

  • PHP
  • CakePHP
  • Java
  • MySQL
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • Ajax
  • Xampp
  • Eclipse
  • Subversion (SVN)