Tuesday, April 8, 2008

ics alumni association

i've been pushing for more student activities in the ICS department for a long time. and its only in the last year or so that i've figured out that its basically up to the alumni association to provide students with opportunities. too bad we don't have one...

i've been learning about how the college of engineering works a little. and i've seen the great fund raising that the college and alumni association support. these fund raising dollars seem to go to a few places; (1) student activities and (2) outreach to younger kids, and (3) to student scholarships, etc. of course, i'm not exactly sure. but, i do know that a lot of what makes that possible is volunteer time that the students and faculty put in to make a lot of the events possible. for example, i was really impressed with the college of engineering junior engineering expo and asked on COE coordinator what they do to make those events possible. she said:

Donations help assist with the costs associated with these events, but the dedication of our staff, faculty and especially our engineering students to volunteering for this event really makes the event happen.

The engineering student clubs each coordinate one of the games so they create the rules, and set up, run, and judge the competition on event day.

We take care everything else - coordinating with the teachers, logistics involving equipment needs and organizing volunteers, awards, and anything else that needs to be done.

wow! so it is pretty cool how the colleges and departments unite like that. their student projects are also really impressive is the student projects like micro mouse, cube satellite, bridge making, and the baja racer. whats great is that the college provides the students with an opportunity to compete against other schools doing the same projects. that's pretty neat. you can learn a lot more about all their activities at the engineering banquet. it usually is a really fantastic night. its quite amazing to see so many people supporting the college and more importantly the students.

the ics department has those capabilities. we have a lot of great professors, students and faculty. i know we can reach that goal one day. i just takes some initiative to get the ball rolling. so, i'm trying to start an ics alumni association of some sort. here is the startings of our ics alumni association. and here is my first plea for help:


Welcome to the first ever UH ICS Alumni mailing list email. We have a small group, only because I actually know you and your email addresses. But, the plan is for that all to change.

There are a lot we can do, but it seems that we must do it on our own. But, I do have an informal plan. Here it is.

1) Learn from other alumni groups. I have a contact that is a part of the administration of the College of Engineering Alumni group. I hope to learn a lot about how they organize things. Or maybe even borrow a few things.
2) Learn about how to integrate with the ICS department.

thats the entire plan so far. The goal of this all is to help the department but more importantly help the ICS students. We can do that by:

1) mentoring
2) providing industry knowledge to the department and students
3) funding student research
4) funding student programming competitions and other student activities
5) not sure what else goes here, but it will definitely center around the students some how.

help is definitely welcome! if you'd like to help me, just let me know.

thanks, Aaron

join our group!


Russ said...

I was thinking that from an industry/practioner perspective mentoring in the form of putting together something like a "software developer track" would be a good way to guide students. By this I mean a list of suggested classes and/or topics that a software developer should have (highly recommended vs. must have) to be an effective contributor.

My first pass would be: algorithms; data structures; requirements gathering and analysis; software design; software development processes; refactoring; HTML; HTTP; XML; and at least one scripting language (Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, etc.; not in any order). Recommended readings: The Elements of Programming Style, The Practice of Programming, Programming Pearls, Beautiful Code, The Pragmatic Programmer, Test-driven Development, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, and The Mythical Man-Month.

By the way, most of the classes in my list are required courses for the UH Manoa ICS BS degree.

aaron said...

a "software developer track" seems like a great idea.

i also think that a couple of semesters to learn domain knowledge would be useful. or a honors thesis!

lets figure out a way for everyone to vote on classes (or something). some sort of way to recommend what was valuable. how does that sound?