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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. There should be more TA's in the labs because it's more time efficient for multiple students to get help at once rather than one student getting help and multiple students waiting for their turn. If there were more TAs, the grading for homework wouldn't be late.

2. There are a lot of ICS students (and engineering students) in UH and not enough time slots for required courses. It's unfair that students graduate late because they couldn't take a mandatory class that was filled.

3. Sometimes the load of homework that professors give is too much. If we were just taking that one class, then it would be fine, but we have other mandatory classes that also gives a lot of homework too. Most students also have jobs and can't dedicate everything to school work because of other important obligations.

1) Being more proactive in making sure it's students have everything they need to graduate, beyond just the ICS department curriculum.

2) A variance in instructors in courses. Sometimes the way an instructor teaches just doesn't make sense to you, but they are the only one who teaches the course.

3) More opportunity to learn outside of the class. Often the instructors have little to no useful material online, it's just what they lecture in class. Sometimes I can't make it due to having to work. It feels like you're being punished for trying to make a living and improving your education.

Coming from the Computer Engineering department, I haven't taken any other ICS courses and am not very familiar with the problems ICS majors face. However, based on what I've experienced so far and what I've heard from previous upperclassmen, I've listed three things that could be improved below:

1. Limited class sizes and limited classes offered.
From skimming through other comments, I can tell that many people share the same opinion. ICS 314, for example, was full before my registration (even with senior credits) had even started, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who had that experience. I understand that this is a problem that every department has and will continue to have so long as there are limited resources and restrictions on WI courses and the like, but I hope that in the future, something could be done to decrease the amount of students who have to experience late graduation because they couldn't take a course when it was being offered.

2. More opportunities for collaborative ICS/Computer Engineering projects.
As a major under the Engineering department, Computer Engineering majors are required to do projects yearly starting from sophomore year. While there are many interesting projects in the Computer Engineering department, if there were more integrated projects open to both majors, students would be provided an oppurtunity to learn under a variety of professors and connect with a different group of peers.

3. More programming events / clubs / activities.
As I touched on in my previous answer, I've noticed that there aren't many ICS/Computer Engineering activities, clubs, or events. This is a problem that falls on both the ICS and Computer Engineering departments. Because many Computer Engineering students become software developers and because we have different skill sets from ICS majors (ex: soldering, electrical circuitry, etc.) integrated clubs and events would benefit both majors greatly.

There is always POST 318b, but do we really study in there? Haha

Daniel A said:

What are three ways that the UH ICS program could improve?
Its a little late for me since I am graduating next May (I hope) but for the future generation of ICS students.

1) Because computer science is such a broad topic it would be nice if the department could offer focused areas of study such as database design/management, security, system adminstration, etc.

2) A study area for ICS students would be nice.

3) More ICS professors who are able to teach focus courses i.e., writing intensive, ethical, and oral.

Daniel Arakaki

1. We definitely need something to promote collaboration.

2. We need to be given more opportunities career wise.

3. We have to encourage people to work and improve their skills outside of the class if we want to compete with other schools.

1. Greater selection of courses being offered.

2. More beginning level classes to get students familiar with the types of ICS related fields.

3. Have more classes that are writing intensive or provide some other sort of focuse to help ICS students graduate easier.

1. The flipped class style that some professors implement put too much pressure on the the student because they're expected to fully understand the topic immediately since, a quiz will be most likely given out in the beginning of next class. 

2. Not enough clubs, unlike business majors, the CS department lacks in the amount of clubs.

3. More collaborative style projects. I've experienced spending lots of time on CS projects and if professors implemented more collaborative projects, then students would benefit. Not only will students have to spend less time on projects but also, we will be able to experience what it is like to work in a group to build/finish a CS project.

1. Not a lot of free time. This field demands a large sum of time to be invested with it. Some days I forget what the sun looks like. 

2. A lot of hard work. Not only is there a large quantity of work for many ICS classes, the work involved is usually far more difficult than any of my other classes. Life would be so fun if I was a liberal arts student. The only problem with that is that I would then have a liberal arts degree. 

3. What is relevant to know is constantly changing. This field is requires one to be up-to-date with what is being used by professionals, from languages to software applications new tools and methods are constantly under development. One's skill set can easily become antiquated and lose its relevance if one doesn't maintain his or her knowledge base. 

Speaking as a transfer student, one of the difficult things about being a ICS student is that there was/is no real introduction to the department that I am aware of.  I have heard rumors that there are a lot of good resources available to ICS students (i.e. rooms in the POST building, computer labs, free software, access to hardware, student groups, ...) but how do we access it.  It would be nice to have all this information presented in some sort of introduction or welcome packet for new ICS students.  

Secondly, another difficulty of being an ICS student attempting to schedule courses that work with a schedule for people who have other commitments outside of being a student.

Lastly, being an ICS students is difficult because of the disparity between the amount of course credits versus the amount of hours expected by the class is vastly increased.  In a typical course, you are expected to do up to 3 hours of homework for every hour of lecture, but in ICS it is generally a 3-hour minimum.

1) One bad thing about being an ICS student is the requirement to be updated on our tech. For some students, it is hard enough to worry about tuition and books but the fact that you have to have top of the line tech for those edgy coding software is a little much.

2) Another thing is being stuck on the computer screen for long periods of time. This may not apply to some students but to those that have a full load, have jobs, etc, there is little time away from the monitor screen. several classes require you to code a plethora of lines and a lot of your hours in the day are spent in front of the monitor.

3) A third thing is falling into the mindset that you can do your assignments quickly. I think this is an easy trap to fall into because almost every medium that you work in this major is done trough the web or your computer. It is easy to think that you have time because of these resources which can lead to procrastination. 

So I'll preface this with saying that this is a skewed opinion because I'm technically not in the ICS program (I'm in computer engineering) and ICS 314 (soft. Eng) is my first and only ICS class. But homework is homework so I'll try my best to answer what I can based on what I've heard and seen...

1) tutoring - I went poking around last semester for Java tutors at the learning emporium (where there are advertised ICS tutors) and there actually weren't any tutors available for that semester (Sp. 2017). I asked around the LAVA lab and they pointed me to the ICS lounge in Post to meet people that could help, but there still were no official tutors that I could find. I can't blame faculty for their students not looking for the position, but it would still be a great asset to have. 

2) class availability - I'm not sure if this is the same for other ICS classes, but I noticed that this is a very difficult class to get into. I appreciate the opportunity to be in this class, but I feel like I must speak for those that were not given an opportunity to have a voice on this matter. I have several friends that either had a difficult time or were never able to get into this class. I feel like our department has possibly played a role in this (based on updated graduation requirements), and I'm not sure who can and/or should be the one to confront the matter, but if you're asking whether it is having a negative affect on the students from both majors: absolutely. 

3) business connections -  it will bring more crowds of students because they will be looking for jobs 

1. I feel that UH could improve the ICS program by having tutors easily accessible resources to learn other programming languages that may interest students. 

2. Lessons are usually taught by screen casts, which many were made quite a long time ago without updates. An example of this would be for ICS 311 there was a screen cast that had a clip that visualized the insertion sort with a folk dance. However, after the quiz in the class the professor mentioned how that clip did the insertion sort the wrong way.

3. Lastly is class availability I know many people who couldn't sign up for classes because it was all filled. And thus had to wait a semester or two to take it causing quite a setback.



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