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. Python, instead of Java for introductory courses. ACM actually published a survey in 2014 that says Python is more popular than Java when it comes to languages for teaching programming.

2. Have large classes for lectures with small lab classes the same way they do it for Physics or Chemistry. In small classes, we can focus on writing programs or implementing what we have learned from the large classes. 

3. Provide career-related internships.

All in all the university of Hawaii provides a diverse and dynamic education environment.

however it is my opinion that if there were anything that could be changed it would include the following.

1. It can be very difficult for students that are required to work to also pursue a computer science degree at U.H.

and even more so to pursue in a 4 year timeframe.

2. certain important courses are only available at inconvenient times.

3. It can be difficult to find parking

  1. Need more specialized degree opportunities, EE has students choose separate tracks that focus on specialized topics (Electro Physics and Systems) and Computer Engineering provides an opportunity for a "Cyber Security Certificate" upon graduation. If ICS could offer similar "tracks" that provided higher level specializations for students perhaps in fields such as Cyber Security, Virtual Reality, Data systems, Hardware etc.
  2. Job fair or harder push for internship opportunities, the college of engineering puts on its own job fair every semester, separate from the main job fair, this allows employers to market to the students of an appropriate major. An ICS job fair with more tech and programming jobs would be an excellent idea and help create more opportunities for students.
  3. x96 projects or capstones, EE/CEE require students to start doing project classes in sophomore year continuing into senior. These project provide valuable experience and give them a good talking point for their resumes as there are a wide range of projects to choose from. Most professors are involved in a lab or perform their own research, and I'm sure they would welcome the help from a student.

1) Lack of internship opportunities compared to schools from the mainland.

2) We are required to take classes that are not even remotely close to our major (language) and most likely will not use. 

3) Some classes are slotted in weird/ inconvenient hours.  

As I am an exchange student for a semester here from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (UMN), these three bad things may or may not be related to UHM ICS.

1. Not enough tracks at UHM to let students pursue what they want to learn and to be curious about. (15 tracks at UMN).

2. Constantly looking at our devices to do our homework, work, and other tasks. This leads to poor eye visions in the short & long run.

3. At UMN, you must take several technical courses that require the use of calculus in order to complete your BS of Computer Science, such as psychology, earth science, chemistry, ect. I think it's unnecessary and doesn't relate to our field of computer science at all.

1) Inconvenient times for classes, It's very hard to take some of the required classes if you commute every day.

2) There should be more ICS courses that fill other requirements such as Writing Intensives and Ethics.

3) Not enough sections, classes fill up quick and if you're not able to register early there's a chance that you might not get into a class you need in order to graduate on time.

1. Considering computer science to be more like engineering than a "natural science" would show the college was cognizant of what the field entails.

2.  Understanding and respecting the amount of time it takes within the major could be better.  It seems that the amount of study and work needed for this major is higher than for others, yet the credits are about the same.  I may be forced to take 4 ICS classes simultaneously next semester (if I want to continue using my GI Bill to pay for it), and I don't know if I'll have the time in the week to make it through.

3.  Again, a basic lack of understanding of what the major entails.  I understand requiring chemistry classes for natural science majors such as biology, but wouldn't other computer classes be much more relevant to computer science than chemistry?  (I'm not complaining about taking chemistry, I enjoy it.  I just wouldn't say it's worth delaying my graduation for.)

  1. Parking is an issue especially combined with inconvenient time slots for some courses.
  2. More ICS courses that cover the other degree requirements that students would otherwise need to take an off major course to fulfill.
  3. Online options for some courses

1. Adding more attributed courses to the program

ICS 314, 390, and 469 are the only writing intensive courses being offered in the Fall 2019 semester, and all of these are upper-division courses. This means that students will have less experience in technical writing, and have less opportunities to satisfy the graduation requirement of five writing intensive courses.

2. Course availability

Certain classes, such as ICS 212 and 311 are only offered during the evening. For those who live far without a car, this could mean less transportation options (more time commuting) and less time for studying. Offering different time options to select from could alleviate this problem.

3. Adopting the flipped classroom model into more intro courses

Courses such as Algorithms already implement the flipped classroom learning style into the curriculum, yet certain courses such as ICS 141 still use the traditional teaching approach. Since the concepts taught from Discrete Math are important for the Algorithms course, it may be a good idea to give students an early start into the whole idea of problem solving and collaboration in the classroom.

1) The amount of hours needed to be put into the classes are high because of the amount of practice needed to be proficient at the skills taught in those classes. This could sometimes be made worse by making classes flipped because it could eat up more time learning by yourself since some students does not learn better on their own and prefer being taught by a professor.

2) Less professors teach ICS courses hence very limited space and time slots. This makes it pretty inflexible sometimes and requires to work other classes around it.

3) No classes that has something to do with ICS that helps complete our FOCUS requirements. This makes it so that we're forced to go to other classes that contains those requirements even though it has nothing to do with ICS.

1. The first thing that bothers me is the time some of the ICS classes are offered at. I've noticed most of my ICS classes are only available in the evening, usually at 6:00pm. For example, ICS 311 on TR is only offered at 6:00pm. Overall, having more sections per course will help me and other students find a fit for our different schedules.

2. Job opportunities and internships are as numerous in Hawaii as they are in the mainland. From my experience, it seems that many internship opportunities are looking for students who are graduating. As a undergraduate, this is very difficult to get experience before graduating. 

3. Similar to what Kimberly said, I agree that there should be more courses that will help with general requirements. Double dipping for major and general requirements should help those who cannot afford either time or money for these classes. 

1. While working on programs for a long duration, we could develop a bad habit of poor back posture. Normally when coding we are most likely sitting down to complete our assignments.

2. If ICS students are tight on money, it can be hard for them to keep up with the highly demanding laptop requirements. Especially since ICS is a constantly growing field with technology.

3. Some ICS classes may be scheduled later on in the day where you might hit the peak of traffic. Returning home might be a challenge if students live further from campus.



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