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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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Three bad things about being an ICS student

1) You have to buy a laptop. I built a machine learning desktop for $3000 and it broke my bank, but figured it would be useful for school and work. However my teacher requires that we bring laptops to class that are very high-end and so I had to fork out another $1000 for a minimum qualifying laptop, which was put on my credit card.

2) As an ICS student we are sitting a lot. This is very bad for our health. I'm currently battling severe stomach issues because of this and have been to the hospital about 30 time in 2019.

3) It's harder having a full time job for ICS studenst than it is for people in other majors.  This is because ICS students have much harder classes and much larger work loads.  Most other majors don't have to complete Calculus 2 or Physics 2, which are classes that many ICS students fail because of the difficulty.

1. Not many courses that can help complete focus requirements

2. Not many ICS tutor for tutoring

3. Some ICS courses have limited seating space

1. The physical and mental stress that you will have to encounter and overcome while solving problems. Sometimes you don't know where to even start, or how to ask a question when stumped and you can easily be overwhelmed. It feels worse when someone tries to explain things to you and it is still very difficult to understand. 

2. The availability of classes and the time constraints of these classes. Sometimes the only classes that are offered are late in the evening or afternoon and usually, students plan to be at home or work around this time. 

3. Knowing which resources to use online and deciding the most effective way to learn is also a challenge because while there is so much information out there, it is easy to be fooled and use the wrong resources, which can lead to ineffective learning. 

1) I wish there were more introductory level courses besides the ICS 100 ones for those who are willing to learn 

2) Higher frequency on the amount of upper divisional ICS course offerings

3) A better ICS lab or easier access for students who are taking ICS courses 

Three bad things about being an ICS student?

  1. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that you essentially don't have a life anymore, especially if you're taking a full load of credits and trying to keep a job, even a part time one. I don't know how some CS students manage to take more than 12 credits. In any case, I miss having spare time to myself, as my CS courses take up a huge amount of time.

  2. Another bad thing about being an ICS student, I suppose, is directly tied into the first problem which is that if you're a full time IC student it's hard to work full time, or even anything over 20 hours. This is difficult for someone like me who's a bit older and need to maintain a job to pay my bills. I'm about to leave my "proper" job of 11 years to take on a campus job with less hours and less pay, but this will put a HUGE strain on my finances. So in essence, being an ICS student is making me poor? At least temporarily.

  3. The last downfall of being an ICS student is that you don't have a lot of chances to take CS classes over summer. I don't recall seeing any 300 (or 200) level classes in the last 3 summers, and for someone like me who is on a time crunch to get my degree, not being able to make the best use of my summers to get through the program efficiently is a major disappointment. 

These are three ways that the UH's ICS program could improve:

Credits

Allow for more credits to be given in an ICS class to help students fast track their educational goals. 

Fun

Not all projects and assignments are fun, but teaching students how to have fun with doing these things will improve mindset and completion rates.

Interests

Being more concerned about students finding their direction. I commonly see fellow classmates switch their track, this could be avoided if more effort was made to show students what they are getting into, plus the work involved. 

1. The ICS department could add more opportunities for Freshmen to assimilate into programming easier. While some people come from a background of programming, there are a vast amount of those unaccounted for who have never programmed in their life, and would like to learn. By having either more tutors, or more hands on projects that would help push those students to challenge themselves, students would be forced to become better programmers. 

2. More opportunities for undergraduates in Computer Science who are interested in teaching. Whether it be teaching elementary, middle, or high school, I think that being able to teach what you know makes you a better programmer. 

3. More requirements for students to be able to create projects in school that can add to their portfolio that shows their growth as a future professional in the field of computer science. 

What are three ways that the UH ICS program could improve?

1) One of the major ways that it could improve is by helping students choose a specialization a little more early on. Of course many are just going through the basics needed for the specialization, but I'm already 2 years in and I'm wondering which type of field I wanna get into later on.

2) Better recommendations for which classes to take per semester because although it is well explained through counselors, they don't actually show how difficult a specific class is in comparison with other classes required with it (i.e. ICS 314 with ICS 311).

3) Make the environment feel more social friendly. I know that a lot of the students in this field have trouble with communication and linking with other students, so perhaps more facets for people to meet in and outside the classes.

1. Some professors in the ICS department don't really convey the subject well leaving students with more questions than they started with.

2. Professors already emphasize it, but more emphasis on how much of a foundation the lower division (ex. Discrete Math) courses are to the thought process of programming.

3. It would be nice to have ICS courses with more focus requirements. I found myself in a spot where I have to take a whole bunch of WI's to just meet those requirements when I really want to do more ICS related work.

1. I find that ICS professors often have such extensive knowledge on the subjects they teach, that they sometimes overcomplicate subjects while they explain them. This can leave you very confused.

2. The class availability is sparse, sometimes forcing commuting students to stay on campus for extended periods of time.

3. Stress! My computer science classes are the most stressful out of any other subjects, and they require a lot of time; leaving you with very little time to de-stress.  

I do wish that they had more options for the classes in different times on different days. I have the hardest time trying to select classes that I want to take. Some classes are only at night, which can be really hard to pull off for the early risers. And sometimes the classes get filled up pretty fast that some students don't get to take their 'planned-to-take' classes. Some classes are not even taught in certain semester which extends the years of being an undergrad. It would be very helpful and beneficial to have more options for the students to keep going and their schedule being flexible as possible for them. 

  1. Start times of some classes. I don’t mind that a lot of the classes are later in the day, but evening classes could pose problems for students who need to bus home or live far away. This is also a problem for those who also work or have other important commitments later on in the day.
  2. Insight into the program for incoming students. I think that having some CS students go to local high schools and doing orientations regarding the program for the students in technology-related courses/clubs would be nice, such as discussing their experiences, answering questions, giving advice, etc. It would be good for incoming freshmen to have that sort of first-hand insight as it will help them in deciding if it’s something that they really want to pursue.
  3. More courses that can help with fulfilling general requirements.

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