Implementation of magnetic strip/smart card technologies and their applications at NPS
Dollete, Rodolfo G.
Shimeall, Timothy J.
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Various student management functions at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Monterey, California are still using manual, labor-intensive, and inefficient methods. One such activity is the tracking of students attending the weekly Superintendent's Guest Lecture (SGL) series which requires a representative from each curriculum office to collect attendance cards for approximately 15 minutes and at least another three hours to sort out all the collected cards and generate the necessary reports. Is it possible to enhance student management functions, such as this, through implementation of Card Technologies? In order to answer this and other related questions, two card technologies were investigated. These were the magnetic stripe and smart card technologies. Included in this thesis is an in-depth look at both of these technologies with emphasis on general technical characteristics, their strengths and weaknesses, and their current applications. In addition, three simple applications have been developed for NPS as proofs of concept of the potential benefits that the school might gain from utilizing these technologies. We found that magnetic stripe/smart card technologies can enhance various student management functions at NPS. The result of an experimental application developed to keep track of students attending the Superintendent's Guest Lecture showed that an absentee report, an important management document that is non-existent under the current system, can be generated rapidly with significant cost savings in terms of manpower requirements. Other applications utilizing smart card technology such as military ID, credit/debit card, and student check in/check out have been developed and tested successfully in the computer laboratory.
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