About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting started

How does BrainChain work?

The goal of BrainChain is to create an online platform where students can find and form study sessions in a fast way. On the Find a Session page, you can see all upcoming study sessions that have been created by other students. If there’s one that interests you and works for your schedule, you can click on the session to join the session. If there’s not a session created that works for you, you can Create a Session that all other students can join.

Who can create a BrainChain account?

All Brown and RISD students and faculty can create an account on BrainChain. Students / faculty must use their school email addresses ending in @brown.edu or @risd.edu to create an account. No student / faculty member may create more than one account. You must have a @brown.edu or @risd.edu email address in order to create an account.

How does the color coding of the Find a Session page work?

On the Find a Session page, sessions that are currently occurring or starting within 30 minutes have a light blue background color. Sessions that will be beginning within 24 hours (but not in the next 30 minutes) have a black background color. Sessions that will begin in 24 hours or beyond have a gray background color.

Creating / joining sessions

Can I change the details for a session after I create it?

No. We do not let a user change the details for a session because we do not want to affect other students who have joined the session based off the details you initially provided it.

Can I see the names of the other students attending a session?

BrainChain is an anonymous platform, which means that you can’t see the names of any other study session participants (including the session creator) until you arrive at the location for the session. BrainChain believes in giving all students a fair chance to study with others, and an anonymous platform allows this mission to be achieved.

If I create a session, who can join it?

Anyone who is a BrainChain user can join a session; note that BrainChain users are restricted to Brown and RISD students / faculty who have an email address ending in @brown.edu or @risd.edu. Please also note that BrainChain does not verify that students are enrolled in courses that they list in their profile or for which they join study sessions.

What happens if it no longer works to hold the session in the location indicated in the session details?

If the location of the session needs to change, you can leave a comment in the comments field on the session details page. All other students who have joined the session can see the comments, as well as the public. To visit the session details pages for sessions you’ve joined, go to My Sessions and click on a session.

What happens if I can’t attend a session that I’ve created / joined?

You can leave the session by visiting the My Sessions page, clicking on a session, and clicking “Leave Session.” Note that if others have already joined the session, the session will still occur, even if the session creator can no longer attend.

For how long will a session appear on the Find a Session page after it has started?

Sessions will appear on the Find a Session page until 30 minutes after the session has started. At that point, the session will disappear from the Find a Session page.

Exam schedules

How does the exam schedules part of BrainChain work?

BrainChain aggregates exam information/dates as reported by students to create a listing of exam dates for most classes at Brown. Please note that BrainChain does not verify exam information/dates with professor’s, and BrainChain assumes no liability or responsibility for incorrect exam dates.

What happens if the date or time for an exam changes? How do I tell BrainChain this?

If the date or time for an exam changes, we encourage you to please tell us by visiting the Enter Exams for your Classes page, choosing the course, and inputting the new exam date/time, and selecting “Yes” for the Date/Time Changed? question.


When will BrainChain send me reminders? How can I change my notification settings?

If opted-in, BrainChain will notify you in the following instances: before a session that you’ve joined (or created); when there is an exam coming up in one of the classes listed in your Profile; when a new study session has been created for a class you have listed in your Profile; and when someone leaves a comment on a session you’re registered for (within one hour of the session’s start time). You can change your notification settings by clicking Edit Your Profile on your My Profile page.

How long before a study session that I’ve joined (or created) will BrainChain send me a reminder?

You can choose how long before sessions that you’ve joined (or created) you want to be reminded. Options include: when session starts, 5 minutes / 15 minutes / 30 minutes / 1 hour / 12 hours before session starts. You can change this setting by clicking Edit Your Profile on your My Profile page.

How long before exams will BrainChain send me reminders?

If opted-in, you will receive an email notification 7 days and 24 hours before an exam in a class listed in your profile.

When will BrainChain tell me about a new session that has been created for a class I’m in?

If opted-in, you will receive an email notification as soon as a new session is created for a class you have listed in your profile.

Can I change the email address to which notifications are sent?

At this time, all email notifications from BrainChain will be sent to the @brown.edu or @risd.edu email address that was used to create your account. You cannot change the email address corresponding to your account.

Academic integrity

How does BrainChain comply with the academic integrity policies of Brown University?

BrainChain’s goal is to connect students with one another so that all students have the opportunity to study with others and benefit from the value of collaboration. Students are expected to collaborate in a manner that is in accordance with the collaboration and academic integrity policies of their professor, department, and Brown University. If students are unclear about the collaboration and academic integrity policies surrounding a class, they should speak with their professor. In no way is BrainChain liable or responsible for any student’s academic conduct or violation of the academic integrity policies at Brown. More information regarding this policy can be found in the Terms & Conditions and the Privacy Policy.


I created my profile, but I didn’t receive the email to verify my email address? What should I do?

The verification email might have gone to your spam email. Please check your spam mail. The verification email should be coming from verify.brainchain@gmail.com. If you don’t see it in your spam, please reach out to questions.brainchain@gmail.com and we’ll get it sorted out.

I’m not receiving all the email notifications. What can I do?

If you’re not receiving the email notifications, they might be going to your spam folder. We recommend adding the following emails to your address book to avoid having the emails go to spam: confirmation.brainchain@gmail.com, reminder.brainchain@gmail.com, and comment.brainchain@gmail.com.

If I think I hit a bug, who can I contact?

We hope your experience is bug free, but if you think you’ve hit a problem, we’d appreciate if you please reach out to technical.brainchain@gmail.com and tell us about the problem with as much detail as possible.

What's with those email addresses that send us automatic emails?

Emails are the best way to send you notifications, since you receive them both on your computer and phone. The different email addresses are intended to make it easy to determine what each email is about.

What devices does BrainChain work on?

BrainChain is designed to be used on a computer (laptop or desktop), tablet, and smartphone. BrainChain can be used on all browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

More questions

Will I be able to change my classes when the semester ends?

Yes! At the end of each semester, your courses will be removed and you can add your new courses to your profile.

If I’m in a class that has more than one section, how does BrainChain know which section I’m in?

When you create your profile and choose your classes, all classes are followed in parentheses by their meeting times. By choosing the correct section, you can be assured that you will only receive notifications for exams and new sessions (if opted-in) that correspond to the section of the class that you’re in. If you think you’ve selected the wrong section for a class, you can go to My Profile to check your classes/sections and edit the classes if needed.

How can I report feedback to BrainChain about the platform? I have ideas to make BrainChain better!

We’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to comments.brainchain@gmail.com.

How can I report someone who took away from the productiveness of a study session?

Please reach out to us at questions.brainchain@gmail.com.

Can I delete my account?

We’ll be sad to see you leave, but yes you can delete your account by going to the My Profile page. If you’re getting too many notifications, we recommend you Edit Your Profile to adjust your notification settings.