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)  Varied course times.  During my first semester I was unable to take ICS 141 due to all classes conflicting with the one available class time for MATH 253.  While I don't expect the ICS department to go around checking with all the other departments for scheduling conflicts, it was frustrating given the number of sections, that none of them would fit in my schedule.

2)  Computer availability.  Although it doesn't trouble me much personally, it would be good if there was an ICS lab room open to students.  It would be useful to always have access to a computer that already possesses many of the programs we use in class.

3)  Outreach.  I came to UH as a Math major, largely because, although I was interested in the ICS department, I had no experience or real perspective as to what it would be like.  I would have liked it if I could have been introduced to what ICS was like before starting college, through programs in local high schools or similar means.

1. It's been said many times before, but the one of the biggest problems is class availability. ICS314 is a class needed to take upper division classes, so the fact that so many students can't get into it at a sophomore/junior level is concerning.

2. I've only heard of one ICS club, which is Grey Hats. It would be nice if there were a general club that all ICS students could join(maybe there is one). Also a club could provide many services, such as workshops or interview practice, that would benefit students.

3. Language classes. A reason for not taking ICS over CE is the fact that you don't have to take a language class. Maybe changing that requirement could open up the major to more students. 

1. The fact that I can be in ICS314 and not get a WI credit despite the other sections getting the credit is really disappointing for someone who needs them. 

2. As a corollary, I can't even join the other sections because they're both full, and have been for quite sometime. This seems to be the trend for many classes.

3. It'd be nice if we had some sort of programming help lab

1. The class times for some ICS classes. I’ll have a 9am class, but then wouldn’t be able to leave school for the day till 5pm or 6pm because of this.

2. Certain classes in our ICS program are very limited due to class size and section availability. A lot of the classes get filled during earlier days of registration because of this, leaving many students to not get the classes they need. I wish there were more sections for classes that are very “high in demand.”

3. The workload. Sometimes, I spend multiple hours just on ICS homework. I always find myself having to choose one over the other, and 98% of the time, I choose ICS over anything else. Of course, my ICS assignments and exams have a much higher priority in my list from my other classes and job. However, it would be nice to have some balance for schoolwork (ICS and non-ICS classes), work, and fun. 

1) Class availability. ICS 314 is an important class for both ICS and CE students and should be able to accommodate for both majors.

2)  Coding interview preparation. There should be a class strictly dedicated to preparing students for those rigorous software interviews. 

3)  Reach out to more software companies. The program should reach out and establish a strong connection with more software companies. I'm not sure about the ICS side, but I've seen very few at CE. 

1) Better usage of class time. ICS classes expect almost all learning to take place outside the class room in order to succeed. While this alone isn't an issue, students who are well-prepared gain very little from each class because most of the class time is spent towards a quiz/problem-set that simply tests what they studied rather than learning anything new. On the contrary, students who are ill-prepared learn from the solutions to quizzes/problem-sets that are usually gone over at each class at the expense of their grade.

2) Class Availability. Many class sections fill up before students on the intended track can even sign up. For 311, a course intended to be taken after 111->211, a section and a half filled up before a majority of sophomores could even register. For 314, this problem was circumvented by the usage of google forms rather than UH's normal registration system.

3) Industry Connections: The ICS department seems to be lacking in strong connections to the tech companies available in Hawaii. Gaining internship experience as part of the ICS curriculum would greatly benefit a majority of students.

1. Better class availability. It seems like many students have issues with classes running late.

2. The amount of work needed to be done can sometime affect my performance in other classes. This is especially true towards the end of the semester.

3. It would be nice if there were tutors outside of class.

1.Class availability is my biggest problem, some classes are immediately full on the first day and some of them are core classes. Also the fear of the class you are planning to take will not be offered, this can really suck if you need that class to graduate. For example, you are required to take 312 or 331 but usually only of those class will be offered and it can get full pretty fast.

2.Class environment is also another problem. ICS class are very different from other class, traditional classrooms are not very good at delivering ICS materials and professor are limited too. It would be nice to have classrooms with table monitor or computer that student can use during group work. Some classroom doesn't even have enough power outlet for student's laptop.

3.I wish we would have more outside class resource, like computer lab and other equipment that are reserved for ICS student. Maybe short-term backup computer machine for students in case of emergency. Also we need more promotion on new information and event related to ICS and encourage student to participate in them.           

1. Class times: It can be difficult to plan a schedule without time conflicts because there are not enough class sections at different times, leading to some students not being able to take the classes they need in a timely manner. This is especially true since it can be difficult for working students to attend classes run at later times.

2. Spring/Fall only classes: The fact that some classes are also only available in the spring or only the fall also makes it difficult to graduate on time. Even with careful planning, it can be impossible to attend the classes one desires if the class does not have enough sections and fills up quickly.

3. Placement exams: The ICS program should have a placement exam for students who already have previous outside experience with coding. This would allow capable students to save time and money by allowing them to skip required classes in which they already have mastery. 

Although the faculty and their assistants provide pockets of time to assist students with their questions, I would also like to see more tutors available by appointment for additional help. As my peers have mentioned before, I also find class availability to be an issue, however I understand that there might not be enough ICS students in general to provide the allotment of courses year round. I also have the impression that some of the professors feel that students are not prepared for their classes, and have directed to the class with comments regarding the need for review, for what seems to be fundamental concepts. Perhaps these core principles should be touched upon with greater emphasis, more frequently.

1. Better networking system, I've noticed that the Engineering department seem to be more prepared in terms of real world job applications. Mainly through the ECUH they are introduced to a variety and countless numbers of socials, networking, workshops, and more. Maybe we can go off of something similar to that?

2. The program could improve the locations where the classes are held, instead of having it held at Holmes (Engineering building) or the library. It just doesn't help set the right environment to learn CS.

3. Reaching out to high schoolers or even middle school and give them a head start to CS or even give them an idea of what they will be getting themselves into. Get their feet wet in the water before swimming.

1. Class availability is a major problem in the ICS program that seems to not be changed over the years. Looking back at past responses, there is a trend of students not being able to get into a required course and being set back a semester. I personally wasn't going to be able to take ICS 314 because of max capacity, but luckily a new section opened up. When I went in to talk to an adviser before the new section opened, the answer I got was "You can take it next semester and graduate a semester late."

2. When starting in the ICS program, students are only exposed to one language, Java. It would be nice to be taught more relevant languages to the field rather than only one in the first few years of the program. 

3. More ICS student activities. Social events build relationships between the student body which helps during and after school. Who knows, that peer you got to know at a social event may be your partner in your awesome start-up company! 



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