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. ICS 311

2. Students with no prior knowledge of coding or algorithms may have a difficult time even getting past ICS 111

3. Computer Science is a huge subject that not everyone can cover in one class. It may be hard for students to single out some specific career fields like Software Engineering or Cybersecurity if they do not know what to look for.

1. Having more ics electives to broaden the different interests that students will have regarding software development and what they want to go into when they graduate.

2. Having more ics professors make it easier for students to get into the class they want since there are more available classes. Right now, many students have to waitlist since there isnt enough room.

3. More outside help or resources with the difficult ics courses will help a lot of the students.

Three bad things about being an ICS student and how to improve the ICS program:

1. Having so many career paths to choose from. When I first started working towards my Computer Science degree, it was a little overwhelming because there are so many branches of Computer Science to focus on. After being in school a few years, I have determined that I want to go down the path of either Software Engineering or Cyber Security, possibly both. With that being said, I think it would be beneficial for incoming students to be informed more in depth about each study so that they may have a better idea of what they want to work towards. 

2. Not having the right tools for certain classes. Some classes may require computers/laptops of certain specifications that may be out of the budget for some students. Although I was able to get the appropriate hardware (thankfully), I can understand the hardships some students may face when it comes to these requirements. I think it would be helpful to have loaner laptops specifically for ICS students that meet these specification requirements so that they may be borrowed throughout the semester. Although it can also be said that purchasing a laptop can also be a good investment, especially in Computer Science.

3. Only going over certain languages in the lower level classes (For example, ics 111 and 211 going over Java, ics 212 going over C/C++). Although these classes are essential for developing the mindset of a good programmer, it would be nice to have lower level courses to experiment with the basics of other languages as well.

1. There's not a lot of time slots available, and this results in students not being able to register or classes become large. Some may find the times to be inconvenient, as they are towards the end of the day.

2. It's challenging to decide on what path to pursue. There is just too much material under computer science.

3. Technology is always changing, so as ics students, we have to keep adapting and learning. We have to consistently learn tools, software, and languages to succeed in our field.

1. Informing students in their freshman year, or at the beginning of pursuing an ICS major, what specifications are required for laptops throughout the program, not just the current class.

2. Classes that help to fulfill general requirements like the OC and WI credits necessary for graduating.

3. Courses/Environments that are more encouraging towards ICS students coming into the program with very little, or no, previous experience with Computer Science.

1. Books are expensive for students. 

2. More outside resources would be helpful especially now than we have to learn online. Some people also learn easier and more comfortable if it is face to face. Since we can't do that, more help is needed it can be in the form of class exercises with explanations.

3. Lectures can be very hard to understand that more explanations needed but because of lack of time Professors sometimes can't explain clearly. Creating a video lecture about how to work on the assignment is great. Videos answering a problem. 

1) Cost is always one factor that is accounted for. While it's going to be inevitable that you'll have to buy a laptop or computer that satisfies the class requirements, there are also other hidden fees like textbook costs or lab costs (wherever applicable), and that is on top of the tuition. Additional free resources can definitely help most people who needs to save that extra dollar.
2) While ICS is a fairly broad degree path, the student ultimately determines their own path. Adding a little more diversification in the ICS field instead of some soft requirements could go a long ways.
3) Some topics might require more time than others, either because there is a lot to discuss or because of the difficulty in general. Optional post-class sessions would benefit a lot of students.

1. Needing to pass ics 314 and 311 in order to explore the fields that you want to learn about.

2. Needing to pay not just for tuition but for additional materials, such as buying textbooks and buying a capable laptop.

3. Some of the courses can be math-intensive and may require plenty of time to grasp the concept. So you may find yourself needing to look up additional resources for help.

1) Despite offering a wide variety of classes, the ICS program at UH does not advertise this variety to incoming/new ICS students who are trying to explore what they want to specifically get into.

2) It is easy to switch between the ICS genera and ICS data science track, but again this is not often advertised.  (EX: taking MATH 307 and 372  instead of ICS discrete math)

3) As the ICS degree is part of UH Manoa, anyone graduating needs to take the required two years of language and a semester of hawaiian studies.  Having grown up on island, I have taken a hawaiian studies class nearly every year of my school career so far.  I have also taken two years of a foreign language in high school, but need to redo it for UH.  While I know this cannot be changed, I would love to explore different topics in ICS instead of these core classes.

1. As I have already read in other posts, the costs of required equipment and books we need it quite high. I understand that books cost money, but sometimes the expenses can get quite high.

2. I think the program could improve by creating more spaces for the ICS community. By creating more spaces where we can come together, I think it will be easier to collaborate and ask for help. I think that would definitely improve a lot of grades and experiences.

3. I really liked the idea of internships for credit. I read it in some posts below mine. I think that will definitely give us some "real-life" experience and it would count towards credits! Now it is hard to find the time to gain real-life experience without other responsibilities suffering because of it.

1. The cost of materials can be a burden for some students.

2. A lot of the classes take many hours outside of class to prepare for.

3. While taking the lower level ICS classes I sometimes had a hard time because I felt that some of the instructors were not able to explain things better which can turn some people away.

Three ways the CENG program could improve:

1. Less circuit classes/general electronics classes.

2. More classes for learning other common languages such as python.

3. More computer engineering project; many of them are EE.



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