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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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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
The main problem is buying the required > $100 text books. Those books just eats up the budget.
But other the expensive books and coding till 3:00AM to finish assignments, i enjoy the ICS program at UH Manoa.
That's a great idea. To create a specialized program like security or network administrators within ICS.

Daniel Arakaki 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. The amount of time we put in to our work. A lot of things suffer because of the extended hours we work: your health, your relationships, your other job, your free time. I guess the same could be said of all students in college, but I'd imagine to a greatly lesser degree for most.

I don't think there's a reasonable way to improve that, but it is one of the bad things about being an ICS student.

2. The UH ICS program should have a work area for its students, like Daniel said.

3. The graduation requirements for students are quite "bloated" already. Not having any focus courses (with the exception of Software Engineering) can put some students in jeopardy from graduating in a timely manner. Especially with tuition skyrocketing over the next few years.
1. I like the study area idea Daniel mentioned. College of Business has all those towers. I would settle for nice study areas for ICS students. Also if ICS courses could be held in POST or HOLM, that would be better than stinky, old Kuykendall.

2. It would be great if we had a required (or elective) course to participate in internships to gain real life experience. I know it is possible to find opportunities on our own. But internships add to the work load throughout a semester. It would be great if we could receive credit that counts toward graduation. What would be absolutely awesome is if UH could collaborate with actual software firms to help students find such opportunities. It would be even more awesome if they could do it before I graduate... =)

3. Female-to-Male Ratio. How are we suppose to meet the opposite gender if majority of our time goes toward staring at our codes? All jokes aside, the ICS program is one of those studies where it's mostly male populated. ICS courses have 1 female to every 5 male at best. I've taken some accounting and economics courses. The ratio for those courses of male to female is almost 1 to 1. This is out of UH's hands though.
1. Like what John mentioned about the internship elective course....that would be awesome.
Especially, nowadays most employers are looking for someone who has enough or long years
of experience on a certain job area that they are looking for. I've always wanted to at least take an
internship class prior to my graduation and if the ICS program will offer that then it would not just
help me but also the majority of computer science students, as well.

2. More "good" ICS professors who are able to teach focused courses namely web development,
database security, etc.

3. Finally, perhaps a program or some kind of organization to encourage more women like me in
the field of computer science.
1. Provide more opportunities (lectures, seminars, round-tables, etc.) for students to learn about current developments in computer science and technology.

2. Foster a greater sense of community. Providing a student lounge/study space certainly helps, as does hosting more departmental activities. Perhaps having some sort of online community (discussion board? Facebook group?) would work.

3. Building stronger ties with employers and the local professional community, especially in terms of internships for credit, is a great idea.
1. I also think ICS should offer more classes for web development. If I take a class at ITM, the first thing they teach is PHP + MySQL and they teach how to make a shopping cart system. I think it is very interesting and useful skill. We have ICS 415 and it mostly covers Ajax, it is also interesting but different topic.

2. I think each class should have more TA. I heard some universities have 5 TA in each ICS class. I think ICS is one of the hardest major in this university and if we get a difficult teacher, about half students cannot pass the course, so we need more TA.

3. As other people mentioned, it would be better to have an internship opportunity. We have covered many different languages, but most of them are introduction. It is good to know what professional programmers do in their real life.
1. There aren't enough web development courses to take at UH. Just as others have mentioned above, I think UH could definitely offer some more web development courses for those students who are interested in that field. I am taking 415 this semester and after that the choices are limited for web programming.

2. Classes get dropped a couple weeks before the semester starts. I know there is probably a legitimate reason for this, but when I was told both ICS313 and ICS415 weren't being taught this semester, I was disappointed in the program on a whole. ICS313 is a required class, and ICS415 is one of the only web development courses available at UH. These should definitely be taught in person. Although there are online versions being offered, I would much rather take a real class.

3. Some classes you still need a windows operated machine. I don't really know if this true for more than one class, but in ICS321 you need to own or have access to a pc to use the software needed. I am a big mac user and haven't owned a pc for awhile now, so it is a bit of a challenge for me to meet the requirements. The lab computers don't even have the software available for use. That at least should be done. I wouldn't mind having a pc but the cost is just too much for me right now.
1. Lab availability is poor and computers are often lacking the programs required for current courses.

2. Vague, inconsistent, and unknown class schedules. It is very difficult to plan a student's next year of school, let alone putting together even a loose plan to encompass all the semesters until graduation. Courses are taught irregularly making it a guessing game as to whether certain courses will be taught in the spring when you're registering for the fall. Also, ICS 490 selected topics courses end up having no description easily available to see what you would actually be signing up for.

3. Lack of focus courses, as mentioned by others. This, along with my number two, make it that much more difficult to plan ahead and create a solid future plan. It would also be nice to be getting more writing intensive experience in actual computer science related courses, instead of something completely unrelated (though any sort of writing practice is certainly of some help).
1. As other people have mentioned above, the cost of text book and required equipments are relatively higher than other majors.

2. We can have various programming experience at school, but it is hard to combine all experience together. We can find many cources at university that teach some specific programming language, however, it is really hard to find a course that teaches how to use combine the skills that students learned.

3. ICS students are expected to learn a lot background skills and informations by themselves before they take some cources.
A lot of the bad things I have in mind are already posted, but here is what I think:

1) I agree with what Daniel Arakaki said that the ICS department should offer "focused areas of study". I understand that knowing the basic gist of ICS is very important because Computer Language is changing all the time, but it would be nice to get out of college and say that I've specialized in studying, for example software/internet security.

2) I agree with the other students that the ICS department should have designated areas for ICS students. There should at least be a lab with decent powered computers available for ICS students 24-7 (or at LEAST all day and most nights).

3) Another bad thing about being an ICS student is the amount of time it takes to do work for the classes. It would be nice if a lot of ICS classes could double up as a WI, ETH, OC, etc. It would save a lot of time and money if I didn't have to take that extra English class this semester just to satisfy a WI. And yes, I would rather write papers about a program I already wrote rather than writing papers about a book I would spend extra hours reading on.

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