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) Expensive, need a pretty decent laptop usually around $800 to $1200 as well as books.

2) Class availability is scarce for the amount of ICS students often having to take a semester later or certain sections of the same class do not offer the same graduating requirement.

3) Maybe more focus degrees since there only security, bioinformatics, and IT. Maybe like a focus for software/web development or database system.

1)   Finalize requirements for the degree.  I'm in my junior year of computer science, and every year a new rule or class requirement has been changed and caused confusion for students.

2)   Course availability.  Too many ICS classes that are pre-requisites or required classes are instantly filled up and only taught every other semester.  We need either larger classes, more professors, or more sections.

3)   Our own college department.  Being under the college of Natural Sciences means we have to take 2 years of a foreign language, when I would rather be using these credits for ICS.

1. Various courses are not always available. 

2. ICS courses can become very rigorous and daunting

3. At least at the moment, the time availability for classes is not ideal.

The ICS program has developed significantly over the years but there's still room for opportunity.

1) We've recently added a focus in Security Science. Asking students what focuses they would like to see come to life at UH and adding some focuses may be beneficial for other students.

2) Availability of courses. I know this may have budget ramifications, but my biggest issue thus far has been getting into the classes I need. I've had to delay taking a number of courses due to the limited number of seats.

1. When I first came into the UH ICS program and met with my major advisor, we were looking over the degree requirements for the BS in CS and I noticed that a full year of chemistry was listed. I didn't see the correlation between computer science and chemistry so I asked my advisor and he said "oh there is none." I was really discouraged by this since I was never strong in chemistry in high school and a full year of lecture of labs felt like a daunting obstacle, especially since it doesn't have to do with the degree. Not to mention the extra cost tacked onto my tuition.

2. Many would say the copious amount of time needed to put into this degree is a benefit to the student, but at times it can get intense. A little more intense than it needs to be, in my opinion. I'd say the expectations for a lot of the ICS classes are a bit much when considering the heavy curriculum for ICS students each semester.

3. I feel like a lot of ICS students have similar personalities, i.e., we're introverts. This can be a huge hinderance especially when the classes are a challenge and it's sometimes near impossible to do everything on your own without at least a little bit of collaboration. However, I think this is more of an issue in the lower division ICS classes where it's a large class and no one knows each other and are too shy to talk to anyone/ask for help.

1) I wish that the ICS program could cover more of UH's focus requirements. 

2) Registration for courses are a bit stressful sometimes. I believe that there should be more seats for certain courses that are more popular than others.

3) I think more tutors at the emporium to help out students would also be beneficial.

1.) Registration can be really frustrating for ICS students.  Classes required to progress through their major often have 2 sections open.  These classes fill up extremely quickly and for students with lower-priority registration its very hard to get these classes. Often I had to settle for a class with inconvenient lecture hours or take the required class at a community college to keep moving towards my degree.  I think increasing the class size might not be the answer here because it'll reduce the "quality" of learning for a specific class period.  Maybe creating additional classes will help, but it might create more stress for the professors and the TA's.

2.) Some concepts are hard to understand at first.  This isn't a problem by itself, but it would be nice to have access to additional resources that break down concepts to make it simple to understand.  Sometimes the explanations given in the textbooks are hard to read and make understanding simple concepts difficult.

3.) One of the questions I ask myself is "when will I get my degree?"  It really makes me worried because there are many classes that I need to take and many requirements that I need to fulfill.  If more ICS courses covered some of the graduation requirements such as WI credits, it would make it easier for ICS students to earn their degrees sooner.

1) Registering for ICS classes can sometimes be a pain to do. This is mostly due to the fact that there aren't many seats available in the classes and some classes only have one or two sections.

2) I feel like the workload is a little intense even though it is only the beginning of the semester. 

3) Maybe having other learning material or sources like videos or online tutorials may help us learn the content.

1. Better class availability. It seems like many students have issues with classes running late.

2. The amount of work needed to be done can sometime affect my performance in other classes. This is especially true towards the end of the semester.

3. It would be nice if there were tutors outside of class.

1. The classes fill up very quickly. As a student transferring from KCC, I couldn't get into the 314 class that was offered earlier in the day because I wasn't allowed to register for it until the end of November. I'm glad that another 314 class was added for those who couldn't get into the earlier class!

2. As mentioned by many other students, the fact that some classes are offered only once a year sometimes makes it difficult to progress. 

3. From my previous ICS classes, I've learned that homework for ICS can get incredibly time consuming.  

1. Reducing or removing the language courses graduation requirement could allow students to learn more in-depth ICS subjects and ideas.

2. Classes are sometimes hard to get into and have to be taken at a later semester.

3. Students don't need to take any project based classes. Examples of such classes from engineering include ME481 and EEx96.

1) As others have probably said, I believe that there should be more classes offered so that there won't be overcrowding, plus more options and flexibility to students needing to take classes that get filled up quickly.

2) For the BS degree specifically, I don't think that there should be that much emphasis on physical sciences (biology, physics, chemistry) because although they help in forming a student's critical thinking process, they end up taking too much time to complete, time that could've been spent toward better understanding of computer science.

3) I think there should be more forced one-on-one time with professors or TA's in class. This ultimately would help students expand their technical vocabulary when seeking help and also their social skills in a work-type environment. Most students (ICS students specifically) are too shy to voluntarily ask for help, so having mandatory face-to-face time with an authority figure would be beneficial.



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