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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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1.    Similar to what others have mentioned, the ICS department need more focused tracks that might better align with our interests and capabilities. At another college I briefly attended, they had multiple different tracks that as well as a general track to match the different options a computer science major could be.

2.    The number of well-organized academic organizations seems very limited. UH's ACM branch hasn't updated their webpage for multiple months and for other organizations, it is a bit difficult to find out what they do. Other majors like those in the engineering department feel much more easier to locate.

3.    Lastly, I feel as if the language requirement, which isn't required in the engineering majors, aren't of much use within the computer science majors as well. When we do program, it is not in another language (not programming languages of course). Though I feel languages do have their uses, I find them to be quite limited within the computer science field (unless someone can convince me otherwise).

My three bad things about being an ICS student is as follows

  1. School becomes a part of life and you lose some parts of your social life if it was really an important thing, assignments can be due at anytime and if you are not able to finish them ahead of time because of a bug or two you will be stuck till the very end trying to solve your problem. Improving this does not really come easy, it is really just a problem that you have to encounter and learn how to work through.
  2. Flipped teaching becomes a common thing and students are supposed to learn the material outside of class via screencasts, a big problem with this is that a student may not be able to fully understand it or ask questions while attempting to learn. This could be improved by going back to lecture based teaching that could implement some aspects of the flipped course teaching. Maybe even doing flipped teaching and then also give a small lecture that covers some of the harder material before being tested or quizzed on the material.
  3. In order to access all of the ICS classes you have to pass the 6 "core classes" of ics 111, 211, 141, 241, 311, 314 if you have trouble in a certain class, reaching the higher classes may seem impossible. I feel that there is a need for tutors in these classes.
My experiences with the ICS program are pretty limited, so I'll keep my answer to a single, but very important thing: class availability! I really, really wanted to take ICS 314 last semester, but it was just far too full. If there were more professors available and willing to teach required and high-demand classes such as ICS 314, I think that would go a long way.

Three ways the UH ICS programs could improve are:

1) I have had a couple classes in the ICS department where in class we only come in to take a quiz and review code, but all the actual teaching is done by watching pod casts online. I feel like when im in these classes im self teaching myself and dont fully understand the material and i then have to wait till class possibly 2 days later to ask questions on the lesson. But it is to late by then because i have a quiz on the lesson first thing in class. So maybe if teaching of the subjects learned stayed in class that would be good.

2) Having more than 1 TA per class would also be very helpful.

3) the ICS program could also improve by simplifying and lessening the work load, because some projects given usually take a lot of time and if a student is taking multiple ICS classes the workload can get ridiculous.    

1)    The classes in the ICS department typically take up far more time outside of class than classes in other subjects, which is understandable given the nature of coding, but it still makes balancing a schedule difficult.

2)    There is a tendency in the ICS program to hit the ground running when classes start up with little wind-up or time to acclimate due to amount of content that has to be covered during the semester. A step back is never really taken to make sure no one got lost or veered off course.

3)    The ICS department itself has a lot of amenities and services, but they are never really introduced formally, so either you end up knowing about them or you do not.

Disclaimer: I am a computer engineering major so I am new to the ICS program

1) There are a huge variety of classes but there are not many time slots for these so getting into classes are difficult

2) Informing students about internship opportunities

3) I noticed that a lot of classes are late Tuesday Thursday time slots. In my opinion I do not like this setup.

I am not a ICS student but a Comp engineer so I can't comment too much on how the UH ICS program could really improve. One thing I did notice is that the program should set up more sections on classes that Comp Engineers need to take as well now to graduate because it is required. I believe that as the departments converge into a more meaningful track for the Computer Engineers with ICS requirements they should also be considerate of how many computer engineers will need the class to graduate on top of the students in ICS already.  

While going through the program there are things I would like to see changed. 

1) There are not enough sections for the classes that you're required to take in ICS. I had to take a lot of my classes out of order, like for instance this class, in my last semester due to not being able to register for some of the required classes. I definitely hope that in the future more sections will be available.

2) This doesn't really have to do with the ICS program itself, but it does have a bit to do with the requirements; I don't really understand why we need to take 1 year of Chemistry if you're trying to get the BS in Computer Science. I feel like 1 semester should be good enough.

3) I wish there were more networking classes we could take.

1. Time conflict between required classes.

2. Very limited spots for classes and sections compared to amount of students that require the classes

1)  Limited amount of sections for a course.

I have noticed that some courses, especially upper-division courses have a max of three sections for a single course, and some courses only offer one section. It can be hard sometimes when you wanna take a class but it is full.

2)  Late-afternoon to evening courses.

There are some ICS courses being offered that are only limited to late hours of the day. It is a little hard (for example) when a student has only two classes for a day where one class takes place early in the morning but that student would have to stay back because his/her ICS class is in the afternoon/evening. Of course, sometimes it cannot be helped because section times are based on the availabilities of the professor(s) teaching the course.

3)  Ratio between female and male students

As you move up the ICS degree program, you start to notice the decline of females. There was an instance where I looked around the classroom of one of my ICS classes and noticed that I was the only female present. It was really eye-opening because it goes to show that there is still a lack of females pursuing ICS as their major.

1. Often times I hear the instructors ask the students, "Did / didn't you guys learn _____ already from ICS ___?" In a good way this surveying the students' current level of knowledge in the class; in a bad way, this is a sign that the instructors are not doing their background research or communicating with the other instructors. Collaboration within the department can be hard, but if there is good collaboration, it will really help the students out to steadily build up their knowledge in ICS without any gaps in between or starting a new class with incongruities between two different subjects.

2. At my first visit to the Wetware social, I could really notice the disparity between talking to an ICS student and talking to a non-ICS student. For example, a marketing student that I met at the event really knew how to lead conversations without making the other person feel uncomfortable and awkward. Of course, I can't generalize this for all ICS students and non-ICS students, but it certainly gave me some thoughts that perhaps as ICS students, we should also focus on refining our oral communication skills. As such, it would be nice for the ICS program to consider putting more emphasis on that.

3. This is sort of building on top of my second point, but I feel that there could be more communication / negotiations between the people within ICS programs.

1. There are a lot of specialties to the field, a survey of those different fields that could help general students gauge their interest in different specializations would be nice.

2. More opportunities to network with other students and teachers in our department outside of the classroom.

3. More programming jobs run through the school that students could use to build up their professional portfolios.



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