Report on Undergraduate Forum of Feb. 5, 2009
The CSE Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC) organized the annual
undergraduate forum on Feb. 5, '09 in DL 305. The forum started at
about 5:30 pm and continued till about 7:20 pm, with most students
staying on till near the end. The summary below tries to describe the
main points that were made during the discussions but
does not capture the enthusiasm of the participants.
- Ryan Munsch, junior;
- Jamie Colley, senior;
- Joung-Hyun Lee, senior;
- Corey Zanotti, sophomore;
- Daniel Charnigo, senior;
- Michael Yanovich, sophomore;
- Aaron Joseph, senior;
- Casandra Sampeur, sophomore;
- Alex Bunch, freshman;
- Ritu Biala, freshman;
- Paresh Rawat, freshman;
- Chris Crawford, sophomore;
- Vincent Conley, sophomore;
- Sankalp Sharma, senior;
- Jason Kirschenbaum, BS-CSE alum;
- Derek Bronish, BS-CSE alum;
- Faculty: Bettina Bair, Paolo Bucci, Paul Sivilotti,
Neelam Soundarajan, Bruce Weide.
- Advising Office: Peg Steele.
- Systems Staff: Michael Compton, Shaun Rowland
- Everyone in the room briefly introduced themselves.
DL 172: Students reported on the very positive impact that DL 172
seems to be having on its users. It provides a very accessible and
reasonably pleasant place where students can meet other students with
similar computing-related interests, work on projects for their
classes, etc. All students are strongly urged to take advantage of the
room. Interacting with other students who might be taking the same
classes or may have recently completed those classes can greatly help
student performance in classes. One comment/suggestion was that the
number of power outlets in the room was rather limited. As a result,
students don't always have an outlet to plug their laptops into.
Mike Compton promised to look into it to see if there is a solution.
Student organizations: Jamie Colley from
and Aaron Joseph from the
Open Source group
briefly talked about their respective organizations.
Both are active and provide students with a number of opportunities to
interact with other students and work on a variety of projects. It is
worth mentioning that ACM-W is not, by any means, restricted to just
women; a number of male students are members and active in the group.
The Open Source group provides students an opportunity to work on various
software ("hacking") projects. Students who have not yet participated
in these groups are urged to give them a chance.
On a related note, Bettina Bair mentioned that students might want to
Free Geek, a volunteer
organization that "provides computers and training for
limited-resource populations in Central Ohio through redistribution of
used equipment and the use of Free Software".
Job market: The job market for CSE and CIS majors, despite the serious
recent problems in the overall economy, seems to be holding steady.
Recent average starting salaries for new CIS/CSE grads have been in the
mid-fifties. Companies involved with defense projects seem to be doing
especially well. At the same time, students should do whatever they can
to beef up their resumes. One particularly useful activity is internships
in suitable companies. The
Engineering Career Services
office can be quite helpful in finding both internship as well as fulltime,
permanent positions following graduation. Both CIS and CSE majors can are
eligible to use the services of that office.
Communicating with students: Ensuring effective communications between
faculty, students and staff is obviously essential. Unfortunately,
over the last several years, students seem to have become less
informed about the activities and initiatives in the dept. One
important reason for this is that fewer students seem to read the
electronic newsgroups which, historically, have been among the most
effective means of communications in the dept. It was for this reason
that, some years ago, mailing lists of the osu.edu addresses of all
majors (and pre-majors) in the dept. were created so that important
messages could be sent to those lists. Unfortunately, it seems that
many students are not reading the messages sent out on these lists.
A possible explanation for this is that perhaps too many
messages are being sent out on the list. A possible alternative to the
mailing lists would be social networking sites such as Facebook;
whether these are practical remains to be seen.
(Later note: After the forum, Bruce analyzed the data on the number of
messages sent out on the mailing lists; it turns out to be relatively
modest and all the messages sent in the recent past seem quite
appropriate. Moreover, several students and faculty had concerns about
using something like Facebook for this purpose.
So, at least for now, it seems best not to make any changes.)
BS-CSE Program Objectives and Outcomes: Because of recent changes in
the CAC and EAC Accreditation Criteria for the BS-CSE program, we have
to make some changes in the objectives and outcomes statement for that
program. After extensive discussion, the Undergraduate Studies Committee
has come with a
revised set of objectives
and outcomes. Neelam briefly explained the changes and the reasons
behind them. The BS-CSE majors at the forum felt the changes were
reasonable and appropriate. The revised objectives and outcomes will be
presented to the CSE faculty for its approval before being adopted.
Discussion concerning various courses: There was a somewhat extended
discussion of the RESOLVE sequence. The main concern seemed to be that
although RESOLVE teaches important design principles, many students
don't seem to apply them in later courses possibly because in these
later courses, they use standard C++ (or Java), rather than
RESOLVE/C++. The new CSE 421 should help with this since it will allow
students to transition from RESOLVE/C++ to Java without abandoning the
design principles discussed in the 221-sequence.
This led to the question of how to make CSE 421 a required course without
increasing the number of credit hours in the program. One new idea that
was suggested was that CSE 541 (Numerical Analysis) could be made an
elective course with CSE 421 replacing it as the required course; 541
would be an elective course. This would seem like a very good solution
except for one problem, i.e., ECE (Computer option) majors do not take
541; they do take their own numerical analysis course but chances ECE
would not want to replace that with 421. The Undergrad Studies Comm.
will look into this further.
In addition to CSE 421, a number of other courses have been recently
developed or are in the process of being developed:
The courses have been well received and all are expected to become
- CSE 786: Game Design and Development Project
- CSE 459.24: Programming in C#
- CSE 694X: Applied Information Security Project
- CSE 794Q: Introduction to Cryptography
There was also some discussion of research opportunities for undergrads.
There are indeed several opportunities available. Information about some
of these is available from
Undergrad Research page in the main
Undergrad web site.
For this coming summer, opportunities outside OSU may also be available.
Bettina mentioned one at Hope College in Michigan;
see this site for details.
- Scholarship applications: Scholarship applications are due March 3.
Students interested in applying should check with the