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. Needing to pass ics 314 and 311 in order to explore the fields that you want to learn about.

2. Needing to pay not just for tuition but for additional materials, such as buying textbooks and buying a capable laptop.

3. Some of the courses can be math-intensive and may require plenty of time to grasp the concept. So you may find yourself needing to look up additional resources for help.

1) Despite offering a wide variety of classes, the ICS program at UH does not advertise this variety to incoming/new ICS students who are trying to explore what they want to specifically get into.

2) It is easy to switch between the ICS genera and ICS data science track, but again this is not often advertised.  (EX: taking MATH 307 and 372  instead of ICS discrete math)

3) As the ICS degree is part of UH Manoa, anyone graduating needs to take the required two years of language and a semester of hawaiian studies.  Having grown up on island, I have taken a hawaiian studies class nearly every year of my school career so far.  I have also taken two years of a foreign language in high school, but need to redo it for UH.  While I know this cannot be changed, I would love to explore different topics in ICS instead of these core classes.

1. As I have already read in other posts, the costs of required equipment and books we need it quite high. I understand that books cost money, but sometimes the expenses can get quite high.

2. I think the program could improve by creating more spaces for the ICS community. By creating more spaces where we can come together, I think it will be easier to collaborate and ask for help. I think that would definitely improve a lot of grades and experiences.

3. I really liked the idea of internships for credit. I read it in some posts below mine. I think that will definitely give us some "real-life" experience and it would count towards credits! Now it is hard to find the time to gain real-life experience without other responsibilities suffering because of it.

1. The cost of materials can be a burden for some students.

2. A lot of the classes take many hours outside of class to prepare for.

3. While taking the lower level ICS classes I sometimes had a hard time because I felt that some of the instructors were not able to explain things better which can turn some people away.

Three ways the CENG program could improve:

1. Less circuit classes/general electronics classes.

2. More classes for learning other common languages such as python.

3. More computer engineering project; many of them are EE.

Since I do not have a lot of experience with UH's ICS program, I will list three ways I believe the CENG department can improve.

1. Choosing classes can be confusing, since there are many prerequisite requirements and specific courses are only offered in certain semesters.  An improvement would be creating some type of database or spread sheet that would list courses and their prerequisites, along with which semesters they are usually offered.

2. I believe the ICS department has some interesting classes, some of which can count toward Engineering credits.  I think if the EE/CENG and ICS departments had a stronger connection, students would be more inclined to take 'cross-over' courses without the risk of being behind or at a disadvantage for future classes.

3. Some of the upper-level courses can be difficult and sometimes the professor's teaching style may not suit you.  An improvement could be providing tutors for the 300 and 400 level classes or more professors.

I feel that taking Chemistry 2 & Physics 2 for Computer Science major is a wast of time because of the niche connection it have with Computer Science, it would be nice if it serves as a elective instead of a requirement.

Class schedule get more difficult each semester, many ICS courses starts lat, or is full, causing huge down time in schedules.

Many ICS courses require a huge amount of time from the students, so having multiple ICS courses and a job could be difficult.

Class availability. Certain courses are offered only during certain semesters. It is often a stress-inducing factor when planning one’s schedule. Although this might be the case, it is somewhat of a good component when it comes to improving one’s flexibility and planning abilities. In an ever-changing industry, one must be able to plan and adapt when necessary. But despite how great one may be when it comes to planning…having more accesible opportunities to learn a course is never frowned upon.

Costly Materials Compete with Priceless Learning. As we are all aware being an ICS students demands materials that are sometimes beyond our desired budget. From books to computers that meets the requirements…those are just a few to list. While there are textbook sites that may provide more affordable price— going into your institution’s book store and coming out with no concerns about how much you just spent…is indefinitely different and often plays a significant factor in one’s motivation to learn.

Decoding the Perfect Pathway. In my earlier semesters, I never did comprehend just how vast the Computer Science career path truly was, until speaking with an ICS advisor about the pathways provided in the UH system. As many other students may have mentioned, introduction courses that goes into detail about the areas in C.S. could help individuals to confidently branch themselves out. Clarity in what aspects of C.S. are provided enables to build interest and strengthen knowledge in a more precise manner. Whereas, if a student has little to no knowledge about the discrete areas, they find themselves taking courses to fulfill credit requirements— and therefore not truly gaining a learning experience.

I think that the top 3 things the ICS program could do to improve would be:

1: Update classes/class requirements. Some classes have been around for a while without much development to their curriculum and it shows. Such classes are designed with odd artificial difficulty added to the course, such as using dated text editors to program or not presenting examples demonstrating material.

2: As the university has opted to use Laulima, it would be beneficial to have all courses in the same space. While the MOREA site provides many strong advantages, it separates course information from Laulima, and, I think, ultimately detracts from the overall experience. It becomes more difficult to effectively manage tasks, as the assignment information and schedule are spread across multiple sites. 

3: Either the use of alternate teaching methods (like flipped classrooms) should be dropped, or effort should be made to understand how to properly use them. Incorrect use of these teaching methods is something I find problematic; they require a significant understanding of the theory behind them and proper execution of said theory to function correctly. From the classes I've taken so far, I haven't seen these teaching methods being applied to their full effectiveness.

1) There is so much new information to learn. Some people have a really easy time with assignments and some find things extremely difficult. I think a big factor comes down to experience. Some people join ICS already having experience and background knowledge in programming. Others come in ICS with little to no experience programming but have a love for technology. Sometimes the amount of information can be overwhelming.

2) Time. ICS requires a lot of time. You'll spend a lot of time studying and doing research in order to understand topics. You will spend a lot of time fixing bugs in code only to realize you forgot a semicolon hours later. You will spend time learning a programming language if you haven't learned it yet. On top of that many classes start late at night. I've had to stay on campus 12+ hours and commute back home.

3) Classes are not always available. Plan out your future before hand. The higher up you go the harder some classes may be to get into. Some classes are only available certain semesters. Some classes will fill up and you wont get in. Some classes may interfere. Talk to Gerald and have a plan for what classes you will take for your college career.

1.  I feel like some of the times for classes are too late. This really messes up my schedule for other classes.

2.  I feel like everyone is going to say this but the price of getting a good laptop that satisfies the class requirements alongside books and other things we may need.

3. Not sure if there's a way to improve this but I feel like taking a foreign language is kind of annoying when learning code along side it.

This is about CENG,

Some things that the CENG program could improve on:

1: The plan template for CENG track can be slightly vague, and does not include Hawaiian studies, which was confusing.
2: More options for x96 projects, would be better for flexibility with what people want to learn about/their schedule.

3: Specific to the current situation of Covid, but perhaps a way to remote login to the computers in the labs, to use software that students can't install themselves.



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