Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

What are three ways that the UH ICS program could improve?

If you can think of more than three things, then please limit your response to your top three!

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1. More time flexibility of ICS courses. For many of the upper-level ICS courses, there are sometimes only one option and not much flexibility in the class times/days. It would be more beneficial if there were more options and openings for ICS courses because otherwise some students do not get to take their required classes needed to graduate on time.

2. More occupational knowledge. I am in my third year as an ICS student and I still feel uneasy about going into the workforce. I do not know what will be expected of me or how my knowledge will aid my success in my future career. It would be very beneficial for us all if we were given information/experiences of working in the ICS industry.

3. Correlation of degree requirements across the UH system. I am a transfer student from Leeward Community College where I got my AS in ICS. It turned out that more than half of my ICS credits earned for my AS degree was completely useless for my BS in Computer Science when I transferred to UH Manoa. I think there should be a better system or correlation between the ICS degrees throughout the UH system.

1. The material covered in the introductory courses at the UH community colleges, at least at Windward CC, is in need of a serious overhaul.  I took it upon myself to discover what would be required in the upper level courses, and since then have devoted much of my free time to self studying as a means to prepare.  Although, the real issue is communication, by happenstance I realized what the classes were providing would not suffice.  If there were some disclaimer saying, "<important> material will not be covered, but is highly recommended," that would have made me a happy camper.  At least I would have been aware, not caught off guard.

2. More writing intensive applicability!  Code is written in a language, that has to count for something.  Forgot about 1,000 word essays, how about 1,000 lines of code you smile at like it's your child.

3. More caffeine on campus.  This is a big one for me. I am a coffee junkie, and resources are limited. 

Productivity, we'll call P, where P(x) = - log(x), where x is the distance at any given time of the nearest caffeine source.

1. There is a lack of free time. This is the most obvious. ICS courses tend to be very time consuming. A student must be ready to devote hours upon hours in learning and understanding code. 

2. ICS is difficult. Some fellow students may disagree but it is undoubtedly no "walk in the park." People would compare it to being the same difficulty as learning a new foreign language. I would say it is more difficult than learning a new foreign language. With programming, it is vital for the user to understand exactly what they are doing. They cannot "kind of" understand what they are doing. A mistake in coding could be disastrous. With foreign languages, you can get away with knowing "just enough." Sure, it is best if you master that foreign language. However, you can still communicate with that language with only elementary knowledge and semi-fluency. 

3. It could get very expensive. First off, if you do not have a laptop with viable specifications for programming, you must buy one. That laptop will likely cost more than a thousand dollars. Books could cost over a hundred dollars each. There are many other expensive equipment that you will need to purchase, depending on what courses you plan to take in the future. 

1. There isn't a lot of professors compared to other majors at UH, which results in confining schedules for students.

2. Some gen-ed class classes required for the major seems unnecessary.

3. More specialized classes would help students focus on areas of computer science that interest them.

  1. Registering for some of the core classes can be difficult due the low seat availability. 
  2. The discrete math courses can be hard to digest. This eventually leads to students struggling with classes like 311 down the road. 
  3. Having a language requirement for ICS students means less available course time for more ICS courses. 

As an ICS student, I feel spending so much time in front of a computer screen detracts from the time I could spend engaging with people and experiencing the beauty that Hawaii has to offer. Also, I worry about the opportunity cost of subjects and topics I lose the chance to learn because I chose to study ICS. Lastly, I sometimes hate the frustration about not being able to figure out the problem in my code. 

1. The class scheduling, either not enough seats or a really bad time

2. The amount of time outside of class you have to spend on each class

3. The way some classes are taught by like lectures at home, screencasts, etc

  1. I think that they should offer more seats or class sections available for certain courses that are extremely popular and difficult to get into. (ICS 311, 314)
  2. ICS 311 is notoriously difficult for many students. I think that they should break this course into two different classes so that we can spend more time on the tougher topics to ensure that we are understanding and comprehending the subject at hand.
  3. A larger portion of studying is done outside of class compared to other majors. Similar to learning a foreign language we need to be able to practice every single day for numerous hours.

1.  We are required to take foreign language classes despite learning 4+ languages over our time here 2. Inconsistencies between the same courses taught by different professors 3.  Class availability 

Although this is only my first semester, some areas that I noticed that could use improvement would be:

1) Class Options:

When I first saw the ICS catalog, a couple of classes immediately peaked my interest, such as ICS 443: Parallel algorithms and ICS 432: Concurrent and High Performance Programming. After further inspection, I realized that these and other 400+ level courses that I was interested in wasn't offered this fall or last spring. This makes me concerned about how limited my class options in the future will be. 

2) Class sizes:

Similar to the first improvement, the class sizes and number of sections available for core ICS class could be increased. ICS 311 is a prerequisite for a lot of the ICS catalog, but only one section was offered this fall, and it was online. Since I am a transfer from KCC, I had no chance of getting into this class, which may delay my graduation.

3) More Concentration Options:

It's cool that there is a security concentration for the BS in CS degree, and it would be awesome if there were other defined concentrations, such as web development.

1. Class availability

Like others have said, it is hard to get into some classes in ICS.  I had to speak to my counselor to get into ICS 311 this semester since there was only one class.

2.  Class curriculum between colleges

I took as many ICS courses as I could at WCC before going to UH Manoa.  When I finally transferred, I was completely lost especially when it came to discrete math subject.  I felt as though I didn't learn a lot of the things I was supposed to.  It seems difficult to go from a community college to a 4 year university.

3. Homework
Homework is very time consuming.  It's very difficult to take a full course load while having a job.  You need very good time management skills in order to succeed.


1. Heavy workload.

2. Not enough class sections

3. More teachers would be nice.



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