Sunday, March 30, 2008

interview with lynn fujioka

To all who support STEM education in Hawaii: Take a look in your Honolulu Advertiser today for the third annual STEM Hawaii, a special supplemental edition, published by The Honolulu Advertiser's Newspaper in Education Program, in partnership with isisHawaii.

Led by main sponsor, The Women in Technology Project/MEDB, this annual compendium brings community partners together to showcase successful science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs currently offered throughout the State of Hawaii.

This year's edition was also "unveiled" at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Boston this week by Jeff Piontek, HIDOE State Science Specialist.

If you are interested in learning more about STEM Hawaii, please contact Lynn Fujioka at Mahalo!

i met Lynn last year and i can barely keep up with the millions of things that she does. the amazing thing is that nearly all of those things are for the betterment of the children of hawaii. and that is really awesome.

lynn is the executive director of isisHawaii. in this interview we learn much more about lynn, isisHawaii, her other organizations, and what really drives her.

here are some pictures from the various events that lynn and her organizations support:

Can you give our readers a short background information about yourself and the isisHawaii organization? Also, what motivates you to work so hard for this cause?

First of all, Happy Easter! Thanks for inviting me to participate in your blog.

isisHawaii is a non-profit organization that offers mentoring programs and connects industry to education. Our vision is to help provide the knowledge and skills necessary for our children to live and work successfully in Hawaii.

Since 2003, isisHawaii's primary focus has been on developing programs and collaborating with a network of stakeholders to excite students about science- and math-based fields.

What motivates me to work so hard for this cause? The realization that this nation -- once a world powerhouse and leader of industry and innovation -- has been losing its edge to emerging countries, particularly in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

This loss is not just a national pride issue. America is not producing enough qualified graduates to replace the huge numbers of medical professionals, scientists, technologists and engineers leaving the field in the next 5-10 years (primarily due to retirement). It is already negatively impacting our healthcare system, innovation industries, education and national security. It affects us all.

The inspiration and preparation of students to consider entering these fields begins at a very early age and requires a sustained effort
throughout the child's education all the way through to workforce. It is not just the educational system's problem. Parents, administrators, legislators, industry, academia, media and the community at large should be focused on this crisis and how to work together towards solutions.

It's a long road and a very broad one. My hope is that isisHawaii can play a small role in helping to strengthen this pipeline

That is a very noble cause. I really identify with the vision; "Our vision is to help provide the knowledge and skills necessary for our children to live and work successfully in Hawaii."

Let's focus on some of the specifics a little.

What are some of the unique challenges that Hawaii faces?

From a STEM education perspective: Our multi-ethnic population provides us with the best of everything. It also creates challenges in education where these differences, from a national point of view, are not necessarily taken into consideration. In some cases, it is divisive. We are also geographically "isolated" (both from the Mainland and as an island state) and do not have direct access to many of the resources that Mainland school systems have (internships, funding, mentors, etc.). Travel expenses can be prohibitive, even from island to island, and often times prevent schools from participating in some very effective programs.

What is Hawaii doing right with respect to your vision? And, what can we do better?

I am seeing a lot of positive collaboration going on right now in STEM education. We live in a very small community and it really does "take a whole village to raise a child." The more we can work together, the better off everyone will be. Isn't that what we try to teach our children? Then, we must first set the example.

In your opinion, what is Hawaii's technology goal? Meaning, do you think that Hawaii wants to compete with places like Silicon Valley?

The business climate needs to be attractive to investors and innovators in order to grow the industry and diversify our economy. I do believe there is potential. Geographically, we are in a prime spot for global participation. I don't think it's a matter of choice anymore. It is a national imperative.

Thats great!

What are some specific examples of the "positive collaboration"?

A few that I am honored to be involved in include the recent surge in participation in scholastic robotics programs. Government, higher ed, industry, and like-minded organizations are banding together to support these programs from kindergarten through college with program coordination, mentoring, curriculum integration and funding.

The Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii has developed many successful outreach initiatives and continues to expand its scope. One highly successful program from the Maui Economic Development Board, Inc.'s Women in Technology Project is Project EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technologies). This program offers an in-curriculum project-based elective for middle and high school students. EAST provides the students with advanced technologies, like GPS/GIS and 3D animation software, to help solve real challenges in their own communities. Students work alongside community partners and industry mentors to fulfill program objectives. Already in 9 Neighbor Island schools since 2000, EAST is currently in the process of expanding to 4 more schools on Oahu.

Another opportunity that brings many key stakeholders to the table is our partnership with the Honolulu Advertiser's Newspaper in Education Program and the STEM Hawaii project. This compendium showcases many of the successful STEM programs currently offered throughout the State. It has been a great tool to spark discussion and further collaboration, in addition to serving as a public awareness campaign. Plugging our third annual edition look for its release on Wednesday, March 26th.

What kind of help do you need from industry?

Students always benefit from meeting local role models and working with mentors in fields of their interests. Being on the "front line" and working very closely with school administrators, teachers and students, isisHawaii can help connect industry and education in mutually beneficial partnerships. Particularly in advanced technologies, students need to know what is available in Hawaii and what they have to look forward to.

If I gave 10 million dollars to isisHawaii what would you do with the money?

A $10M endowment would help build an international STEM hub here in Hawaii. Our students need to start thinking globally and connecting them to other states and nations would be wonderful. International exchanges, teacher education, student enrichment, hands-on experiences and real-world application. Think tank for kids. What a concept! They could teach us a thing or two.

Thanks for the great responses. I think that wraps up another great interview. One last thing, can you quickly talk about Women in Technology?

Of course. In addition to running isisHawaii, I am also the Oahu Project Manager for The Women in Technology (WIT) Project. WIT is a demonstration project administered by the Maui Economic Development Board, Inc. and is funded by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education and Agriculture. It is a statewide workforce development initiative to encourage women, girls and other under represented minorities in to science- and math-based fields. Since 2003, Leslie Wilkins (WIT Program Director) has been my inspiration and mentor, as well as providing isisHawaii with its first seed-grant to launch the One+One E-mentoring Program.

Actually, as I was reviewing our discussions I wanted to learn more about the "statewide workforce development initiative to encourage women, girls and other under represented minorities in to science- and math-based fields. "

I don't know much about this area. Can you give us a short intro to the problem and your solutions?

The demand for qualified scientists and engineers is huge, however, the numbers of women and under represented minorities entering the workforce in STEM areas...except for still very low. For example, the percentages of women graduating in engineering has remained relatively unchanged for many years and is somewhere in the low 20's. (Hawaii numbers reflect the national average.) There is even a lower percentage that actually end up entering the workforce as engineers.

Women, ethnic minorities (e.g., Native Hawaiian/Alaskan, Pacific Islander) and people with disabilities represent the majority of the U.S. workforce and and remain the largest untapped market for science and engineering.

The drop off in interest, for girls at least, seems to be at a very early age -- somewhere around upper elementary and lower middle school. With positive intervention, like mentoring and hands-on project-based programs, girls engage and excel in math- and science-related activities. In fact, at that point, attraction isn't a matter of gender or ethnicity. Mentors and project-based hands-on activities engage students from every socio-economic background...regardless of academic standing. When students are shown the relevance of what they're learning in the classroom (i.e., rigor) to application, retention and interest increase dramatically. This effort, of course, must be sustained throughout the student's education until workforce entry. Even upon entering the workforce, mentoring programs continue to play an important role in the ultimate success of the individual.

Excited educators also make a huge difference. Students tend to take their lead from teachers who embrace technology and science. That's where private/public partnerships are critical -- where we, community supporters, can help enable our educators with current information and opportunities for relevant application. Programs, like isisHawaii and Women in Technology, are dedicated to connecting local industry and other like-minded organizations and institutions in support of STEM education in our schools. We offer teacher workshops, after-school activities, in-curriculum and mentoring programs designed to foster and sustain student interest in STEM, from elementary school to college, all the way into the workforce.

[end interview]

if you'd like to learn more about what lynn does please see the following resources:
  • isisHawaii
  • The mentoring gap for women in science
  • STEM Hawaii
  • RoboticsHawaii
  • Women in Technology
  • What is an engineer
  • Society of Women Engineers Hawaii

    there is so much more i want to learn about what lynn does. most of all i want to get involved and help. i hope that you are inspired to do the same too.
  • Friday, March 28, 2008

    google reader process improvement

    today my coworker came up to me and said, "aaron, you share too much stuff".

    i replied, "well, a lot of it isn't for you. and by the way, i don't necessarily share for an audience. sometimes i have a specific person in mind that i want to share it with. sometimes my shares are defining who i am and what i like."

    he replied, "okay, i understand that, but it is still too much for me. maybe the system is broken."

    i said, "you are absolutely right, the system (google reader) is flawed. i work around it by quickly reading the titles and excerpts of things and ignoring a lot of stuff. but, it would be better if google reader allowed you to organize entries in some way. sorry, but i don't know how to do that in google reader. you'll just have to shift through the many entries that we are sharing."

    so i thought for a while about that and figured there is got to be a better way. and i think i found a partial solution. here is my proposal to improve our process of google reading sharing. (note that i'm not inventing any thing new here, i'm just bringing to light some of the google reader features that we are not taking advantage of).

    step 1
    use the tagging mechanism to tag things into different groups. for example, maybe i have something like:
  • google - articles from and about google that i like.
  • environment - i'm interesting in environment and learning more about global warming. maybe this category also contains things like space exploration. i'm interested in that too.
  • programming - my programming and technology shares; from stuff about friendfeed to stuff about static vs dynamic typing.
  • other
  • all kinds of other stuff that doesn't fit into categories.

    so, in the following example i tag something as "p-google". i'll explain why i put the "p-" in front a little later.

    step 2
    once you tag an item, you can switch over to the tag settings. in the tag settings i security settings on the "p-google" from private to public.

    step 3
    by changing the tag "p-google" to public, google provides a separate public feed and public page. here is the page that will just contain the "p-google" stuff.

    step 4
    just keep in mind that the "p-google" feed is separate from the public one. you could share and label it. but that kind of defeats the purpose. anyway, i bring this up. because no one will know your special public tag feed exists unless you tell them.

    this might address my coworkers concerns about making it easier to shift through the content in google reader. its not the best solution, because it removes things from the public shared feed and moves it to a separate one. well, we shall see how it goes. we are trying to figure out how to make this all work effectively and efficiently for our group.

    what do you guys think? let me know if you have some better ideas.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    more people are sharing

    there has been a slight change in culture in my circle; more people are actually google reading, twittering, and sharing. it is actually an interesting time right now as we all are trying to figure out how best to make this all work. there is no formula.

    with that being said, let me revisit my triumphant post: i got 2 people to use google reader today. a lot of what i wrote still makes a lot of sense (i guess i didn't write it that long ago).

    but, i do want to keep on reminding myself about the 10 second vignette of knowledge concept.

    anyway, i'm totally psyched about the recent culture and tech change. yay! gotta get more people involved.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    driving a project with hackystat

    in CSDL (the collaborative software development laboratory) we explored a permanent display of metrics in our telemetry wall. basically it was a control center for trends on a 9 monitor display. we played around with that for a little while but lost interest in it - it sat there for months without using it. i came up the idea of the telemetry wall 2.0, which made the telemetry wall a little more collaborative; not just metrics.

    the UH ICS software engineering students are working on this idea in the informative workspace project. they are making good progress.

    but, i had a realization the other day about what else i want to have on the informative workspace. i don't want the informative workspace to be just a useful tool in passing. i want it to be able to also drive the project. i want it to be the place where we go to give our scrum meetings. i don't think we are quite there yet. there are a lot of things to figure out. but, basically, i think the telemetry wall (or informational workspace as it is called now) can help focus on day to day management of the project. help project managers and the team manage their project by providing a more robust and higher fidelity set of information. i don't think we focused a lot on this in the past; telemetry and even trajectory focuses at a different set of problems.

    you can't even ask them to push a button

    fogcreek put out a blog advertising their integration with timepost:

    Timepost is a desktop time tracking solution that integrates with web-based project collaboration software. Timepost offers reliable offline time tracking for Basecamp, Cashboard, FogBugz, FreshBooks, Harvest, and Tick.

    wow.. so that sounds like LEAP's time recorder to me. well, i'm not surprised by this little recorder thing. fogbugs has pushed their evidence-based scheduling (EBS) for a while now. within EBS is a timesheet function:

    To get good results from EBS, always let FogBugz know what you’re working on, so it can fill out timesheets for you. All you have to do is click on the Working On menu when you start on a different task, and FogBugz takes care of the rest. It even stops the clock automatically at the end of the workday, and restarts it the next morning. You can preprogram your lunch breaks and vacations, too. That way you only need to tell FogBugz when you switch from one case to another.

    haha. preprogram lunch breaks. omg. thats pretty funny. i wonder if the guys at fogcreek seen this paper:

    You can't even ask them to push a button: Toward ubiquitous, developer-centric, empirical software engineering, Philip M. Johnson, The NSF Workshop for New Visions for Software Design and Productivity: Research and Applications, Nashville, TN, December, 2001.

    Abstract: Collection and analysis of empirical software project data is central to modern techniques for improving software quality, programmer productivity, and the economics of software project development. Unfortunately, barriers surrounding the cost, quality, and utility of empirical project data hamper effective collection and application in many software development organizations.

    This paper describes Hackystat, an approach to enabling ubiquitous collection and analysis of empirical software project data. The approach rests on three design criteria: data collection and analysis must be developer-centric rather than management-centric; it must be in-process rather than between-process, and it must be non-disruptive---it must not require developers to interrupt their activities to collect and/or analyze data. Hackystat is being implemented via an open source, sensor and web service based architecture. After a developer instruments their commercial development environment tools (such as their compiler, editor, version control system, and so forth) with Hackystat sensors, data is silently and unobtrusively collected and sent to a centralized web service. The web service runs analysis mechanisms over the data and sends email notifications back to a developer when ``interesting'' changes in their process or product occur.

    Our research so far has yielded an initial operational release in daily use with a small set of sensors and analysis mechanisms, and a research agenda for expansion in the tools, the sensor data types, and the analyses. Our research has also identified several critical technical and social barriers, including: the fidelity of the sensors; the coverage of the sensors; the APIs exposed by commercial tools for instrumentation; and the security and privacy considerations required to avoid adoption problems due to the spectre of ``Big Brother''.

    haha. i'm poking fun at fogcreek, but today i realized that it would actually be great to know what i worked on and how long i worked on it. i just don't think that a timer and/or a timesheet is the way to do it. the context switching would be too much of a hassle. so i guess the bottom line is that i think it would be cool to read a log of my tasks. but, i'm not willing to click on a timer.

    hackystat takes a different approach than fogbugs. similarly 6th sense analytics wrote about status reports in their blog. they write:

    I like having status reports, but I hate writing them. So I generate them. One of the original aspects of the vision for 6th Sense was that we could generate status reports.

    first of all, the automatically generated status reports are almost as silly as a pushing a button and writing everything down. fogbugs gives you a lot of good context. and hackystat gives you a lot of good objective data. but, i think they are even better when it is joined together.

    context + objective info + automation + reporting = awareness, collaboration, and improvement.

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    attack of the twittering ian

    i just happened to stumble upon twitter's explore blocks visual application. the idea is pretty simple and cool:
    Explore your Twitter Block: Discover new people on your Twitter block by navigating through this animated three dimensional visualization of who follows whom.

    here is what my twitter block looks like:

    (the title is a joke... zoom into the picture. i'm just pointing out that ian twitters a lot, which i think is awesome).

    anyway, so i thought that the twitter blocks was a pretty cool idea on how to explore and find new people. it doesn't work that great. we have a long way to go to make visualizing data useful and intuitive.

    this is an interesting area, but i definitely need to learn more about it. here is one book that is pretty cool: Visualizing Data. here is a recent blog post from palantir tech.

    we are definitely going to focus on this area a lot more in the coming months. stay tuned.

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    google's summer of code

    Here is an email from Philip

    I am happy to inform you that Google has selected Project Hackystat as a participant in this year's Summer of Code

    In brief, this means that students from around the world can apply to work on a Hackystat-related project this summer and Google will pay them US$4500 for their efforts. This is an excellent opportunity and I hope many students will take advantage of it. The timeline is:

    * March 31: Student application deadline
    * April 14: Accepted student proposals announced
    * May 26: Students begin working; Google issues initial payments.
    * Aug 18: "Pencils down" date. Projects should be submitted.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you (or students you supervise) would be interested in participating and would like further details. Please also forward this email on to any students you know who might be interested. Note that as long as the student is enrolled in a college or university program as of April 14, 2008, they are eligible to participate.

    We have published an "Ideas" page with potential summer projects

    However, if you have another interesting idea involving the Hackystat framework, don't hesitate to discuss it with me. We are very open to new ideas.

    Cheers, Philip

    this is great news! congratulations philip and all hackystat hackers out there. i really can't wait to see how this will all work out. it should be a lot of fun. i'm really looking forward to working with the students. even though i don't hack as much as should be on hackystat i hopefully can help with domain expertise. well, i guess this is a lot of motivation to get back to hacking. but, it is really all about the students. it is an excellent opportunity for students. so all you students out there take this opportunity seriously. do that and we'll have a lot of fun!

    i'm ready to help. austen is too.

    google's summer of code is making students awesome!

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    making students awesome

    making students awesome is the mantra for our internship program. the bottom line is that its all about the students. in my opinion, companies need to commit to improvement; instead of just throwing a job out there.

    on thursday, march 13 the dual use group put on presentations about our companies to attract interns to our companies. here are some pictures from the event:

    referentia's presentation was different from the rest in that we specifically stated what the intern would working on. no, we didn't pick out a project. instead we listed 6 areas that we are committed on helping the intern learn:
    1) learn about real projects
    2) learn about research
    3) learn about software development processes
    4) learn how to learn
    5) learn how to increase their marketability
    6) learn about the industry

    and believe me we have already thought of and the details for each of the 6 areas. in fact, we use these areas of improvement on our selves every day. its part of our culture. if we work on these 6 things we all will be awesome.

    we hope that we set the bar a very high level. we take this very seriously. a good internship can change a student's life. a mentor can change a student's life. we want interns to work with us so we can have that opportunity to share all that we know. its all about the students.

    interesting insights
    here are some random things about the event:
  • a couple of students mentioned that it seemed like ICS 413 with dr. johnson was required for a lot of the companies. 413 is not required. but the expertise you gain from 413 (with dr. johnson) is required. students need that practical software development expertise (that means tools, process, and actual development expertise). i don't understand why the department doesn't require learning certain dev tools; everyone in the department should learn about CM (subversion, cvs, or git), unit testing (phpUnit, csunit, cppunit, junit, etc), IDE (eclipse, jbuilder, netbeans, etc). thats a good start; its pretty basic stuff.
  • a few of the companies talked about their projects. it was interesting for me to see what business areas these companies were targeting. but, i think the presentations about the software within the projects were too general. i think the students are interested in the specifics. what algorithms are you using? what programming languages? what type of math? etc, etc. this helps them prepare and understand about what we really do.
  • there are probably many more opportunities to help students other than internships. i think we (as a industry) just need to figure it out. how about mentors? how about presentations about specific technologies that the students can learn from? how about working with high school students? how about mentoring student projects? how about sponsoring student projects? how about helping provide scholarships? there are so many things that the industry can do to help the students.

    this semesters industry internship presentations were better than last time. my hope that it will continue to get better and better.

    by the way.... great presentation austen! you were great... err. awesome!
  • Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    rubiks cube conquered

    i've conquered the rubiks cube. i can solve any cube in less than 3 minutes; the first two levels in less than a minute and the last level in 2 minutes. but thats with the slow/beginner algorithm. i'll work on the advanced algorithm and be even more awesome.

    solving the rubiks cube was really fun. i suggest that you give it a try. we have had many discussion about visualization, math, and algorithms because of the cube. haha. i told you it was fun!

    i guess it seems like one of those geeky things to do. right up there with juggling and playing hackysack. any self respecting hacker gotta to be able to do one of the three. (by the way, i don't count ultimate frisbee)

    Saturday, March 8, 2008

    ics alumni lunch!

    on saturday, march 8th 2008 we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the University of Hawaii Information and Computer Sciences department. it was a great day for the department because it was the first time we had an alumni/department lunch in 40 years. hopefully, this will be the start to a lot more things from the department. more activities, events, fund raising, high school/intermediate expos, etc. i plan on helping and even leading the department in these new areas. it will be great.

    back to the event... the day started with a poster session (an LIS tradition) from all ICS and LIS research. faculty and students were there explaining their research. it was great to see all the different things that were going on. after the poster sessions, we had a lunch. the food was pretty good. after lunch, Dept. Chair Martha Crosby made some introductions. the ICS department is lucky enough to have its founding faculty still around; and actually teaching. some of the first students of the ics department even attended; one traveling from minisota. martha even introduced the industry alumni. referentia was very well repersented. after martha's introductions, president David McClain gave a speech. his speech reminded us about how far we have come. how our work (computer science) has changed the world. from punch cards to high performance computing in 40 years; not bad at all. i can't wait to see what is going to happen in the next 40 years. after the lunch and the speeches, the faculty gave tours and demos of their research in the post building. it was fun to talk about academic research again.

    here are some pictures from the event!

    there is so much we can do. here is what i'm working on:
  • march 13 - the dual use group will present the students about our internship programs
  • march 14 - coe/ics career fair day
  • i'm starting an ics alumni association. we have a facebook group and i'm starting a google groups for our email distribution.
  • i want to help the department figure out fundraising options. fundraising is important to help student groups like the ics club and student projects. student projects are student led projects that help give them experience.

    back to the event... so, the alumni lunch was totally awesome. it would have been great if more alumni attended. hopefully next year more people will know about it. (i guess thats going to be my job). it was also great to see some of the professors that i haven't seen in a while. its great to be able to thank professors for what they taught you. i can't wait till the next ics event!

    if you haven't visited the ics department website in a while; now is the time. take a look at the faculty profiles and pictures. read about the research and keep up with the news and events. go. go. go.
  • Thursday, March 6, 2008

    hawaii high technology industry landscape

    i've blogged about our tech industry before; see know your industry, we need fog creek in hawaii, etc. well, here is another one.

    the idea for the landscape came about because of a couple conversations i had with a few of my friends. basically, these friends are engineers in hawaii that haven't heard of the organizations that i've been involved with recently; for example the dual use group. so in my discussions with my friends, i talked about the awesome honolulu coder meetings, our awesome demos at the COE engineering junior expo, etc, etc. it takes too long to explain everything. there are a lot of organizations and people that my friends can meet. anyway, to help out my friends and others out there; i started on a central listing of everything i know about the high tech industry.

    Hawaii High Technology Industry Landscape

    The idea is that I work on this document till i represent the local high tech scene. my hope is that anyone that needs to know something about hawaii high tech can find useful information here. then go be awesome.

    anyway, i actually don't know how useful this would be. but, i guess i'm trying. my guess is someone will email me and say. are you crazy, we already did that, here is the link.

    i assume you've all seen this by now Hawaii Science & Technology Industry Directory, check out the pacific business article about it

    Saturday, March 1, 2008

    my talk at the honors program

    last week i went to UH to talk to some honors students (UHM Honors Program). these students were just starting out in their honors theses and were forming their ideas and preparing themselves for the real research phases. the purpose of the talk was to share some advice to the students as they start their projects. it was really interesting to hear what the students were researching. here are few things that i observed

  • some students were able to provide a complete sentence of what they are researching some students just gave a very general area. no problem, they have a semester to figure that out, but at some point they should. one thing that i didn't have a chance to tell the students is that your thesis paper can be summarized at different levels. think of your introduction as the 10 page version of your thesis. think of your abstract as the 100 word version of your thesis. think of your presentation as the 30 minute talk of your thesis. and think of that 5 sentence description as mini version of your thesis. in all cases, you need to understand what your thesis is all about and communicate at the right level; only the communication changes not the idea.
  • a student asked about how to start writing their thesis and commented on the fact that it felt daunting to write a 20 page paper. well, it is very important to break up your paper into sections (classic outline stuff is really really important). the most important thing about writing is to just write. don't worry about grammar or even spelling. just type something, then print it out and make it better. type, read, correct; type, read, correct.. continue that process and you can write anything. some sections are going to be stronger than others and you'll know it. keep moving in a forward direction. to do that you need to keep on writing, keep on reading, and keep on correcting.
  • i noticed that there were a lot of english majors. and its very nice to see that the english department fully supports the honors program. the english major students talked about how the professors really help them. other majors like political science, biology, art, and psychology were well represented. they often have a couple of students per major. thats really great, because they can share experiences and help each other out.
  • unfortunately, there were no engineers at all. no EE, CE, ME, nor ICS, LIS, CIS, MIS students. the computer world and electrical world. from what i can tell (via the alumni listing on the honors website) there have been 3 students in the past 5 years that have come from either EE or ICS. that is sad. there might be more that aren't listed on the alumni website. but still; i only know of Seth, Melissa, and I. so why are the social sciences so involved in honors and the hard sciences not? do the professors not know of it. do they not endorse it. do they care? (i know at least one ICS professor that cares). it definitely seems that the other disciplines spend much more time with the undergraduate students. :(

    i'm my portion of the talk i tried to stress how doing the honors thesis really changed my education and possibly even my life. doing the honors thesis allows me to grow "vertical expertise", something that classes really can't provide. (i talk more about that here: why you need to do a honors thesis). i didn't get to stress this as much, but i think learning how to think and communicate is really important; and the honors program helps you do that.

    in all the University of Hawaii Honors Program is awesome. You can see the difference between these students and the rest of the crowd. i'm sure the students that i talked to will do just fine. its the journey that is important. its the journey that will separate them from the rest.