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. Implement more presentation-based team work into the curriculum to produce not only better programmers, but also better communicators.

2. Connection of information. I hear, and now see via this discussion, that many ICS majors may overlook the importance of BS requirement classes. If more relevance can be established throughout courses, students may feel more of a connection to non-ICS classes and get first-hand experience of just how applicable computer science is to nearly all fields. For instance, building on concepts learned in physics classes for an ICS final project.

Note: I am not an ICS major. These are my views on the UH ICS program from an outside perspective.

3. From my side, it would be easier if my equivalent EE classes on STAR would automatically fulfill the proper requirements for ICS classes. I feel bad for always bothering Gerald with override requests. However, I understand that this may be done to preserve the integrity of the registration system and prioritize actual ICS majors.

1. The amount of information thrown at us at the intro-level courses can be overwhelming and feel as if we don't understand it now, we'll be in a constant uphill struggle later in the future. There's a lot to take in, and it can be stressful with the number of different languages that we have to learn and utilize.

2. Although there are a few options for class times, the time disparity on some of them can be painful for someone of they're not used to being as flexible as before in terms of spending time on campus, and on school. Classes can go into the night, and for some, that may be detrimental to their learning experience if they have better times focusing in the afternoon or morning. 

3. The tech used can be costly for someone who has other obligations that they must also attend to. For example, the developer level laptop, although is an investment definitely worth doing, the cost can sometimes add up and have to be delayed, or delay something else that may be important. However, students do get access to many programs for little to no cost these days, so that does help alleviate the cost of everything. 

Considering this is my first ICS course, I have all of 1 week of exposure so take everything with a bag of salt!

1. Spec requirements are fairly demanding, mainly the RAM. Offer some sort of support program to help mitigate, whether it be offering discounts on an approved models or, on laptops that allow, buy RAM sticks in bulk and install it at a discount. Alternatively, let us stream from a desktop to our laptop, where you could provide the desktop or allow us to use our own.

2. Restrictive development environment. You've restricted us to using the IDEA IDE, Meteor, and Semantic UI. I can guarantee that these are not the only applications that do the job. Maybe there's one that runs faster, or is less hardware hungry, or one we're more familiar and comfortable with. 

3. WODs. Everyone has their own rhythm when it comes to working. For me, I know I work best at night, hence I will do most of my work (especially coding) during this time. I'll work faster, better, and smarter during this time, things needed to complete a WOD. Let us start them anytime, and give us the allotted time to complete them.

1. Maybe the language requirement. I am not very passionate about learning a new language; I find it to be boring and tedious work. Also I do not really find myself using it outside of class at all, hence it never really sticks. Instead, I wish I could choose something I am more interested in, like history, music (piano), or even some other kind of science. I think these could be appropriate substitutions. I guess if language was not required not many people would take it, thus the department could potentially fall apart... which is why it is probably a requirement.

2. Security-focused classes have a lot of pre-reqs, which slows down students wanting to reach those classes. For example, many security classes require courses like ICS 311 and ICS 222 (which are basically just math courses). I wish we could be exposed to security practices and software earlier without having to go through these extra hoops and whistles.

3. ICSpace can get really loud, which is why I prefer to go to the library.

1. Being in the field of computer science, I feel that the courses should try to be streamlined onto one website/platform. For example, ICS 314 has its own website separate from 311 which are both separate from laulima which the school provides and they all essentially do the same thing. It can get confusing going from website to website trying to remember what is due for what class and when.

2. I agree with others below that more ICS classes should find a way to incorporate more focus requirements. If I am majoring in computer science, I shouldn't need to take a dance class to graduate when it has nothing to do with my field of work I am pursuing. This problem is not necessarily what is wrong with the ICS program, but more a problem with college as a whole.

3. Less late night classes. It is hard to have energy and be focused by the time the night class starts because some other classes are only morning time so it is a cycle of waking up early and going to bed late. 

The ICS program at UH could improve in a couple of ways. It has improved a lot in the recent past or might have just recently solved some of the problems but nevertheless. If the department had a clearer path, or paths depicting what classes should be taken in order to best prepare students for more specific kinds of work, that would greatly help prepare students early on for the harder classes they need to take later.

It might be helpful for some students if the department were to loan out laptops to students on a semester to semester basis, since not everyone who doesn't have a laptop can spend extra time on campus in the computer lab.

It would benefit many students if all of the sections of a class were to fulfill the same requirements, for instance this semester ICS 314 is writing intensive for Phillip Johnson's classes but not for the other teachers sections.

1. It would be nice to build something one might actually use in real life

2. Limited classes. You need to take things you might not be interested in just to get a degree

3. Some professors make the class difficult on purpose, when there could be an easier way to learn the same material.

1) It would have been have nice if the school could organize study groups.

2) The lab classes have to many students per lab assistant. 

3) Some of the syllabus are expensive.

1. It might cost a fair bit of money to acquire a laptop suitable for ICS needs,. 

2. A student will need to put in the quality time and effort outside of class in order to perform adequately. May prove to be a problem for those who have a busy schedule. 

3.  Classes will require different amounts of software, all of which you are responsible to learn.  

1. I noticed that ICS classes are generally held later in the day. This is something I want to change as I work best in the mornings. 

2. There are not many classes in my field of interest of Data Science. I wish we could take a lot more in depth classes into specific predictive modeling techniques, for example, a class only revolving around neural networks. 

3. Another way that the UH ICS program could improve is by working with other departments more formally. For example, working with the business school/math department for formal projects with their students. 

1. By reviving the tantalizing bioinformatics courses that are staring at me from the catalog

2. Making more interdisciplinary courses, for people who want to specialize in more sciencey topics

3. Making python more prevalent in the core classes since its convenient and easy to learn

1. Python, instead of Java for introductory courses. ACM actually published a survey in 2014 that says Python is more popular than Java when it comes to languages for teaching programming.

2. Have large classes for lectures with small lab classes the same way they do it for Physics or Chemistry. In small classes, we can focus on writing programs or implementing what we have learned from the large classes. 

3. Provide career-related internships.



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