#1) Every ICS course I've taken so far has been thought provoking and challenging, thank you faculty for reassuring that I'm where I belong.
#2) I'm so great-full to have learned the C Programming language, should never be done away with, no matter how much everyone complains.
#3) Gerald Lau, he's friendly, he's thoughtful, he's always willing to talk or help, and he tells great stories.
1. You learn a lot about not just knowing how to code, but about the industry and what it really is like to work in groups and using certain IDEs.
2. There are a lot of classes to learn CS from all the different types of languages.
3. The classes seem updated, using modern technology to teach us how it really would be like to have a job in the industry.
1. Students in the UH ICS program learn how to improve on their interpersonal skills. We learn to get more comfortable with others and communicate with them. Communication allows others to work together to complete difficult tasks while also expanding their network of people.
2. You learn how to manage time better rather than procrastinating like most of us are used to doing. Along with other classes in the semester, managing time is an important thing to handle. This helps us have the right amount of time to work on a project or homework assignment. Coding/programming isn't always easy for everyone, so others need more time.
3. There is always help available. The TAs and the professors understand that computer science may not be easy for everyone and they are there to support us with different types of knowledge.
1. Having professors who are not only interested in the subject, but interested in teaching the students as well. Knowing everything about the subject isn't really enough when it comes to learning from what I've experienced. Having professors who are excited talking about what they're teaching (despite doing it for who knows how many years) is encouraging. The fact that they don't just reuse the same material or methods for every year. As although the subjects may stay the same, the people do not. Which leads them experimenting the most optimal routes to make sure that we students succeed.
2. Discipline. As I'm sure it has been many times, ICS is a very time consuming major. Especially with implementing these 'flip flop' teaching methods, it just has us students learning the best way to manage our time. It's more than just clocking in the hours recommended but actually creating a schedule. Where if I decide to study one more hour than planned ends up being wasted because that extra hour was really inefficient despite feeling as though it would be okay. Or thinking that studying everything in one go is the best way to do it. Of course every student is different and so is the way they learn but essentially, this program has helped me understand that about myself.
3. Forcing us to communicate with other people. It's been a long stereotype that computer science people are introverted or unsociable and perhaps that may be true however, down the line in a work environment we'll need to be able to communicate with other people. So to experience this road bump here rather than in the future is something that I really appreciate yet, since I am one of those people who would rather keep to themselves, hate at the same time.
1. Great professors and teaching assistants. They always try their best to help the students. Although I personally couldn't make it to their office hours most of the times, they were always available via email and guided me through the assignments that I did not have clear understandings of before. They are always willing to help as long as the students themselves are willing to work and strive to improve and learn.
2. Hands-on assignments and projects. I've noticed from my friends who attend other colleges that the CS courses offered in the mainland colleges mostly focus on the theory behind the concepts discussed in class. While I think it is always good to learn about the theories and build concrete foundation before getting into the business, it can be challenging to take in the abundant information all at once. Hence, I think it is good that the courses offered here require students to do a lot of hands-on assignments that get them to familiarize themselves with the programming environment and then inspire them to dig deeper into the theories behind the concepts.
3. Great community and outside resources. I know there are tutors available at the Learning Center and the Learning Emporium who give up their time to help any students that need help with their assignments. Also, I know that the ICS department has its own Slack channel where many internship opportunities are shared amongst the students to build their career. All of these people as well as the academic advisors are extremely helpful resources as long as the students are willing to allocate some time to reach out for them.
1. Professors with occupational experience. I have had many professors that have had actual work experience in the ICS field that were able to give us more insight and knowledge on the course material. This can eventually be an advantage when networking for internships or a career position.
2. Usage of different learning techniques. This semester I am taking ICS 311 and ICS 314 where both professors are using the "flipped" classroom to better utilize class time for collaboration and group exercises/projects. These skills will come in handy for our future careers in ICS when having to work in teams.
3. Options for online courses. I took complete advantage of the online ICS courses that were offered at UH because it was really convenient for me. Nearly all of my lower-level ICS courses were online, which I think will now help me with the "flipped" classroom styles used in my upper-level ICS courses since the lectures/learning material is online.
1. Gerald Lau, that man is a legend.
2. I think It's great that AI and Machine Learning courses are provided.
3. The collaboration between the mathematics and ICS department in terms of minoring and double majoring has resulted in an incentivizing integration.
1. One thing that I appreciate about the UH ICS program is the inclusion of group work and in-class discussions as a part of the learning process. Not does this make the learning experience more enjoyable, but it also incentivizes students to study more effectively in order to contribute to their group.
2. Something else that I appreciate is the faculty. In particular, I appreciate how the professors are receptive to feedback and are willing to experiment with different teaching methods. I admire their constant dedication to improving the experience for future students.
1. There is a great ICS community at UH. Resources are easily accessible and there are numerous ways to contact professors or fellow peers. The work environment is very friendly. TechHui is one such example.
2. Great variety in courses. There are mandatory courses in the first two years of ICS. However, when the 400 classes are reached, there are many diverse courses. Students do not need to follow the same course path as everyone near the end. Students have the ability to branch out and choose what they want to do.
3. Great professors/TAs and small "population" of students (compared to other departments). Professors are very helpful and descriptive in their teaching. Due to the smaller population of students in this department, professors or TAs have more time to help each student. ICS can be challenging after all, and access to any form of help or guidance is crucial.
On the flip side, the satisfaction of finally solving the problem, learning creating efficient and elegant solutions is one of my favorite things about being an ICS student. I think this time is an incredible opportunity to develop problem solving skills that apply to my coding skills, future career and everyday life. Also, I believe that building a background in technology will give me the power to make significant impacts in any job or industry I choose to work in.