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What are three good things that the UH ICS program is providing for its students?

If you can only think of one thing, that's OK too.

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Three good things about being an ICS student:

1. Free licensed software from Microsoft. Yes, it is great to get free software from Microsoft and it is licensed too! It would also be great to get licensed software from other companies (that is left to be talk about in another discussion). Getting Microsoft Vista Business Edition for free was awesome, and it also gives a CD key – isn’t that great! Vista for free!

2. Yes! Online classes. I do not need to show up to school every day, I can go school right at home. Read up on lectures, lessons, and turn homework in online. Online classes are great.

3. Classes are not that expensive comparing it to other universities. It is still expensive but if comparing the price for ICS courses to mainland colleges – mainland universities are expensive.
1. Free software from Microsoft - Microsoft has really gone out on a limb by providing software to computer science students for free. By offering their programs for free, students can learn how to use Microsoft's tools without having to break the bank and gain valuable experience for the future, a win-win for both the company and the student.

2. Better understanding of computer science - Most people think that computer science is only about programming when it actually encompasses much more than that. Throughout the major, we learn that programming is not the goal, but rather a tool to accomplish the goal, whether that be robotics, security, or even discrete math. It's much more than just the programming side of it.

3. More computer-saay instructors - Some professors in other majors are still using outdated or archaic means of teaching a course, such as using overhead projectors with transparencies or requiring strange, old programs to view their material. In comparison, computer science professors are more computer-saavy than those from other majors and will be using more modern tools that the students are more likely to be familiar with.
1. The island is so small that meeting up for group projects are convenient. Living in Kunia, I commuted to and from school/work everyday for the past 4 years. As far as I go, there isn't a location that is too much of a hassle.

2. The culture/aloha-spirit sheds on the professors. You don't have to expect your professor to be a stuck up person who only has a strict work ethics on their mind. They are residing in Hawaii; you figure that there is some aspect to this island that they liked over teaching somewhere else in the nation. The professors that I've met are always friendly, professional, and knowledgeable.

3. Classmates aren't pricks. More than willing to help just as long as you ask.
Here's an interesting blog posting about 3 things the author wished he'd learned about during his university years:

http://www.skorks.com/2008/08/3-things-they-should-have-taught-in-m...

Interestingly, 2 out of the 3 (open source and agile techniques) are taught in the ICS software engineering curriculum.

His third topic is relationship building. Hmm, does participation in TechHui count?

Finally, read the comments for some interesting additional perspectives. Some people unequivocally denounce his position.

What do you think?

Philip
1. The ablility to use free microsoft software from MSDN alliance. Thanks UH!
2. Learn a variety of programming languages.
3. Having classes with some enthusiastic professors that teach well.
1. Excellent professors. I have learned from some professors that really do love their subject and what they teach.

2. Free MSDNA software.

3. An excellent atmosphere to learn in.
1. Most assignments can be done on the computer so there is no need to bring paper or pencil to class
2. Free software from MSDNAA
3. Online classes are available including graduation requirements
.
1. ICS classes are fun. You work hard and get what you paid for: knowledge and experience.

2. The ICS adviser is fun to talk to. When you get a chance, ask Mr. Lau to share some of his stories.

3. There is a genuine atmosphere of camaraderie in the ICS department. You meet someone in an ICS class, take classes together, and become friends.
1. MSDNAA is a huge plus for being an ICS student.

2. Meeting people that share the same interests as you.

3. Gerald Lau is the best advisor I've ever talked to. He helps you out a lot by guiding you to the right direction. The job emails from him are also very helpful.
1. Professors that are knowledgeable about the outside world in terms of computer science. Up to date knowledge.
1. Access to free software through MSDN.
2. Notification of job opportunities and other resources through emails from my adviser.
3. The ICS program is not as competitive as other programs so I've found that people are generally willing to help you, whether it be a programming assignment or telling you about job openings. It's more of a "we're all in this together" attitude versus an "I want to be ahead of everyone" attitude.
1) There is a good sense of camaraderie among the majors. When I first started taking ICS courses, I felt a little out of place because I had only a couple friends in a class, and there were typically only one or two other girls in the courses. However, over the past two years, I've been able to meet many more majors, and I can now walk into a class on the first day and feel comfortable sitting down and saying "hi" to an old classmate or introducing myself to a new one.

2) As others have mentioned, Gerald Lau is a wonderful advisor, and I personally feel much more comfortable talking to him than I do with my math adviser. He really helped me to plan out my courses so that I would be able to add an ICS major and still graduate on time, which is something that I initially thought would be impossible, and I feel that this additional degree is really going to pay off in the long run.

3) We have the opportunity to learn from brilliant professors who are experts in their fields. Over the summer I was doing a research program, when I looked through the bibliography in a paper and saw an ICS professor's name; further searching revealed that he was an author on papers cited by all of the textbooks I was using as well. It wasn't until that point that I realized the resources we have within the department's faculty members.

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