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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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Three bad things about being an ICS student?

  1. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that you essentially don't have a life anymore, especially if you're taking a full load of credits and trying to keep a job, even a part time one. I don't know how some CS students manage to take more than 12 credits. In any case, I miss having spare time to myself, as my CS courses take up a huge amount of time.

  2. Another bad thing about being an ICS student, I suppose, is directly tied into the first problem which is that if you're a full time IC student it's hard to work full time, or even anything over 20 hours. This is difficult for someone like me who's a bit older and need to maintain a job to pay my bills. I'm about to leave my "proper" job of 11 years to take on a campus job with less hours and less pay, but this will put a HUGE strain on my finances. So in essence, being an ICS student is making me poor? At least temporarily.

  3. The last downfall of being an ICS student is that you don't have a lot of chances to take CS classes over summer. I don't recall seeing any 300 (or 200) level classes in the last 3 summers, and for someone like me who is on a time crunch to get my degree, not being able to make the best use of my summers to get through the program efficiently is a major disappointment. 

These are three ways that the UH's ICS program could improve:

Credits

Allow for more credits to be given in an ICS class to help students fast track their educational goals. 

Fun

Not all projects and assignments are fun, but teaching students how to have fun with doing these things will improve mindset and completion rates.

Interests

Being more concerned about students finding their direction. I commonly see fellow classmates switch their track, this could be avoided if more effort was made to show students what they are getting into, plus the work involved. 

1. The ICS department could add more opportunities for Freshmen to assimilate into programming easier. While some people come from a background of programming, there are a vast amount of those unaccounted for who have never programmed in their life, and would like to learn. By having either more tutors, or more hands on projects that would help push those students to challenge themselves, students would be forced to become better programmers. 

2. More opportunities for undergraduates in Computer Science who are interested in teaching. Whether it be teaching elementary, middle, or high school, I think that being able to teach what you know makes you a better programmer. 

3. More requirements for students to be able to create projects in school that can add to their portfolio that shows their growth as a future professional in the field of computer science. 

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

1) One of the major ways that it could improve is by helping students choose a specialization a little more early on. Of course many are just going through the basics needed for the specialization, but I'm already 2 years in and I'm wondering which type of field I wanna get into later on.

2) Better recommendations for which classes to take per semester because although it is well explained through counselors, they don't actually show how difficult a specific class is in comparison with other classes required with it (i.e. ICS 314 with ICS 311).

3) Make the environment feel more social friendly. I know that a lot of the students in this field have trouble with communication and linking with other students, so perhaps more facets for people to meet in and outside the classes.

1. Some professors in the ICS department don't really convey the subject well leaving students with more questions than they started with.

2. Professors already emphasize it, but more emphasis on how much of a foundation the lower division (ex. Discrete Math) courses are to the thought process of programming.

3. It would be nice to have ICS courses with more focus requirements. I found myself in a spot where I have to take a whole bunch of WI's to just meet those requirements when I really want to do more ICS related work.

1. I find that ICS professors often have such extensive knowledge on the subjects they teach, that they sometimes overcomplicate subjects while they explain them. This can leave you very confused.

2. The class availability is sparse, sometimes forcing commuting students to stay on campus for extended periods of time.

3. Stress! My computer science classes are the most stressful out of any other subjects, and they require a lot of time; leaving you with very little time to de-stress.  

I do wish that they had more options for the classes in different times on different days. I have the hardest time trying to select classes that I want to take. Some classes are only at night, which can be really hard to pull off for the early risers. And sometimes the classes get filled up pretty fast that some students don't get to take their 'planned-to-take' classes. Some classes are not even taught in certain semester which extends the years of being an undergrad. It would be very helpful and beneficial to have more options for the students to keep going and their schedule being flexible as possible for them. 

  1. Start times of some classes. I don’t mind that a lot of the classes are later in the day, but evening classes could pose problems for students who need to bus home or live far away. This is also a problem for those who also work or have other important commitments later on in the day.
  2. Insight into the program for incoming students. I think that having some CS students go to local high schools and doing orientations regarding the program for the students in technology-related courses/clubs would be nice, such as discussing their experiences, answering questions, giving advice, etc. It would be good for incoming freshmen to have that sort of first-hand insight as it will help them in deciding if it’s something that they really want to pursue.
  3. More courses that can help with fulfilling general requirements.

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

1. The department may be more helpful to ICS students if it can hold more career fair events for a year. Most of students want to have a job right after their graduation. If they can have more connections to the companies, they will be more likely to be employed later.

2. The program may be more powerful if it has more campus jobs that will give the students the future-related job experiences that will be put on their resumes. If more undergraduate students can be hired as research assistants or junior developers, they will learn real programmings and be a better programmer later.

3. The number of the clubs can be the factor to make the program powerful. There are already some clubs, but if there were more clubs, there would be more students to join. They are also relevant to learn things and participate in competitions.

1) Stress! 

Similar to many other majors, ICS requires most if not all of your time dedicated to classes or finding internships/jobs. It's also very difficult to both work and be a full time student while still getting good grades. This leaves a student with little time for relaxation and other hobbies (...like surfing!).

2) Class times

I noticed that a lot of the upper division courses are scheduled in the afternoon/evening around 2-6pm. This can be added stress on a commuting student because of the traffic and long breaks between other classes.

3) Flipped classroom shock

As I just transferred from LCC to UH Manoa this semester, it was like a classroom culture shock now taking ICS 311. I actually support the flipped classroom model, but I think it would be a good idea to implement it from the beginning ICS courses at all UH campuses. I'm finding it a little difficult to adjust my habits for the flipped classroom since I have never experienced it.

I am in the Computer Engineering program rather then the ICS program, so my biggest complaint is that if I want to take any ICS sources I am required to get an override. Better integration into the Engineering program would be great.

1) I believe that many students learn well through a lecture, a face to face interaction where they can take notes and participate live. While I understand that certain students zone out, I would have preferred having a lecture and also the videos for reviews. There are some teachers that aren't very effective in teaching and teach very textbook.

2) Hearing from my upperclassman and my intro experience in this major, there isn't a lot of opportunity within classes to do hands, real career work.

3) From my previous classes that I took, many of the assignments, and exams were driven on memory and less on problem solving. 

  

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