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Student Resources

New Incoming Graduate Students

Step 1: Enroll in Courses

Enroll in the required courses as listed on each program's page under Degree Requirements.

If you have any questions, ask your faculty advisor listed on your admission letter.

Step 2: Attend New International Student Orientation

Register and attend the mandatory virtual New International Student Orientation (NISO), which will include valuable information for new students.

You should have an orientation tile in E-Services that takes you to NISO. Although all orientation options will be visible, you will only be able to register for the orientation that matches your admission type. New international students will be directed to the August 17 session for NISO. After registering for orientation, you will receive a Zoom link via email.

Step 3: Find Your Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor can help you plan out your degree plan, find available courses, and determine which courses offer waivers.

Once you find the correct advisor, you can contact them directly via email. For more information, contact Computing Sciences Academic Advising:

College of Science and Engineering
Phone: 281-283-3700
Advising: 281-283-3711
Email: cseadvising@uhcl.edu


Course Waivers Request

If you are a CS or CIS major and want to request a waiver for a course, you will need to fill out the form that lists your major and submit it to your academic advisor for processing. The request process takes typically six weeks, so if you think you need one, speak to your academic advisor as soon as possible.

Advising

Your Advisors in CSE

You have two advisors: your faculty advisor and your academic advisor.

CSE Academic Advisor

  • Assist with registration issues
  • Enforces university and CSE rules and policies
  • Draft, finalize and update your official degree plan (CPS) for Financial Aid, Veteran's Affairs, International Office, etc.
  • Manage holds for excess credit or probation
  • Provide academic advising for probation/suspension students, and assist with reinstatement from suspension

CSE Faculty Advisor

  • Approve CPS Drafts
  • Select degree electives
  • Assist with anything else involving the content of your degree plan
  • Assists you in exploring career possibilities

Your CSE faculty advisor is listed on your admission letter, along with their contact information.

Schedule a session with your academic advisor as soon as you arrive. Read CPS Procedures to prepare for your session.

Before meeting with the faculty advisor, be sure to:

  • Select the elective courses you want to take.
  • Contact the academic advisor to ensure that the faculty advisor has your file.

Senior Project

The senior project course (CINF 4838) is the capstone course for undergraduate computer science students. Students work in teams on real-world projects that demand computer science knowledge, techniques gathered from other academic subjects, and competence in software team development. External companies may sponsor projects or faculty members may serve as internal mentors for projects.

To enroll in the course, you must have completed SWEN 4432, Software Engineering; and CSCI 3532, Advance Data Structures and Algorithm, and be within six hours of graduation. The course is controlled, so you need to get permission from the department to participate in the project. Contact the suite secretary at 281-283-3860, Delta 161. Please contact the instructor before the semester begins for information on the course and available projects.

This project is designed to:

  1. Direct students in a practical experience of solving a real-world problem and implementing its solution from requirements to testing and maintenance. 
  2. Train students to develop and use proper design methodologies and existing tools.
  3. Help students examine professional ethics and globalization as they relate specifically to computing-related professions. 
  4. Strengthen students' skills in verbal and written communication, formal and informal presentations; listening; problem solving; and teamwork. 
  5. Gives students a foundation in project management.

Topics Covered

  1. Team building
  2. Project management
  3. Ethics
  4. Global issues
  5. In-class work on project

The senior project, the capstone requirement for the B.S. program, is more demanding than the average CINF course. Despite the rigorous study involved, many alumni enjoy the benefits of the course, finding them invaluable to advancing their 

Capstone Project

The capstone project course gives students comprehensive experience working on real-world projects as part of a team. It demands intensive, face-to-face communication with other team members, the faculty instructor, and the project mentor. UHCL's industrial partners sponsor most projects. These firms provide initial project specifications and mentoring. Partner companies include Dell, Tietronix, AtLink Communications, United Space Alliance, GHG Corporation, and MiniCheck-OCR. This partnership offers the students invaluable industrial experience, significantly helping them find jobs after graduation. Some students are even hired by the mentoring companies.

Many projects use leading-edge technologies, such as:

  • J2EE.
  • Mobile Internet using J2ME and PDA.
  • VoIP.
  • NET technology.
  • XML and XSL.
  • SVG.
  • Ruby on Rails.

The nature of the teamwork varies from project to project. Popular areas include web development, application development, database-driven application, network programming, scheduling, workflow, and graphics. The teams have displayed examples of recent projects sponsored by our industrial partners on their websites, including:

Each project has different requirements, and not all project information appears online. The capstone project takes place within the last 12 credit hours of study. Check with the instructors before the beginning of the semester to learn more.

CPS Change Form

If you plan to take a course that is not listed in your original CPS, you must contact your faculty advisor and get his/her approval.

CPS Change Form

Thesis

If you are considering the master's thesis option for your degree, visit the Master's Thesis webpage to learn more. Worth six credit hours, the master's thesis is a rigorous process requiring both scholarly research in your field and a mind for detail. The next section contains an excerpt from a discussion by Dr. Bun Yue that explains the benefits that the thesis path offers to students engaged in research.

Why Research?

"If your future career goal is in the academic area, or in the R&D section of industry, then research is a must. Period.

Even if you want to work in industry after your graduation, research in the form of thesis and — to a lesser degree — capstone projects and independent studies will provide invaluable experience for you. Regular lecture-type courses do not simulate a true working environment. Assignment specifications are well defined. Their scopes are limited, and they tend to be 'quick and dirty' to be thrown away after grading.

In the real world, the higher the career level you are in, the less defined the problems (and opportunities) you will face. Frequently, high level (and high-paid) jobs are about (1) identifying problems (and thus challenges and opportunities) and (2) solving problems (through research and experimentation). Regular courses are good at equipping students with basic knowledge of the subjects. They are, however, relatively passive and, thus, do not provide training and experiment in identifying problems and researching solutions. This is where research may be very helpful.

Another big advantage of research is the opportunity to interact deeply with a faculty member on a given subject. Much can be learned through frequent and direct interaction with the supervisor, which is missing in regular courses. Many have argued that the apprentice system, where a student learns closely with the master, is one of the most effective way of learning. Thesis is closest to this system (though I do not claim to be a master in any way).

Other benefits of research, especially thesis, are:

  1. A better-looking resume.
  2. The potential of publishing good technical reports.
  3. Developing deep expertise in a subject. Depth is what many companies are looking for when hiring.

Mostly importantly, with enough dedication, research can be fun and exciting!

If you are interested in thesis, first identify the faculty member in your area of research interests. Schedule meetings with faculty members to discuss potential thesis topics. Your most crucial decision is selecting your thesis supervisor. Your thesis supervisor helps you through the process, including preparing your thesis proposal, forming your thesis committee, defending your proposal, and completing all the paperwork involved.

The thesis usually takes two semesters to complete. Since you will need to defend your proposal before the semester, you should start working on your thesis at least two months before the semester begins. Some students take an independent study course to prepare them for the thesis proposal. In general, the earlier you plan your thesis the better. Ideally, students should start preparing for their thesis during the first semester of their graduate study.

Most highly successful people say that the key ingredient of a satisfying and prosperous career is to love what you are doing. Even if career advancement is not your number-one priority, it is difficult to imagine spending eight hours every day in work you don't truly enjoy. Many people fail to understand the need to learn to love their work; it's a sense you acquire, like learning to appreciate art. Research is a discipline that helps you cultivate such enjoyment."

-an excerpt from Dr. Bun Yue

Computer Labs and Servers

Computer Information Systems, Computer Sciences and Information Technology programs manages many servers for CIS, CS and IT students. Students administer these servers under the supervision of Krishani Abeysekera, Senior Lecturer and IT Program Chair.

The CSE web server hosts web resources for current students and alumni. Administrators constantly upgrade server space; CIS alumni can keep their accounts indefinitely after their graduation. The server supports a potpourri of server-side technologies, such as ASP.NET, PHP, and CGI-Perl. It also supports databases such as MySQL and MSSQL and runs the Windows operating system.

  • The DCM server is where students host their course files, projects, and assignments for classes which require the use of a web hosting service. Web accounts are provided to students by their professors and are subject to deletion at the end of the semester.
  • Capstone Virtual Machine Information: Each group is assigned a Windows 7 Enterprise x86 virtual machine (VM) which is hosted on the VMH1 server using Microsoft Hyper-V. Before you are given access to your VM you must sign and return the Capstone VM Acceptable Use Policy. Group members are given administrative rights on the virtual machine. You may install only software you require to complete your capstone project, and you must always adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Windows Lab: The machines in the windows lab are now equipped with MSI Crystal desktop's running an Intel Pentium D 2.8 GHz and 2 GB of RAM with 17" Screen. Machines also run new Windows 7 Enterprise delivering you better performance.
  • Administration Lab: The Administration Lab is located in room 119, next to the Windows Lab. The computers in the Administration lab do not have hard drives, an operating system, or internet access. They allow students to use their own external hard drives to run an operating system on. This allows students to perform administrative tasks that they cannot usually do on lab computers.
  • Capstone Lab: The Capstone Project lab is situated in Delta 150. The lab has been designed with the needs of Capstone students in mind. The lab is equipped with dual monitor computers, meeting area, and SMART Boards.
  • Unix Lab: The Unix lab is situated in Delta 158. It is set up so that at any given time, it could be partitioned to hold a class of up to 32 workstations. The lab has been upgraded with latest and faster processing machines with dual boot options, i.e Ubuntu and Solaris 10 OS. The students are free to choose between these operating systems as per their requirement. Not only that, the lab has eight Intel-based iMac computers. 

With the exception of the computer security laboratory, students requesting support should contact Krishani Abeysekera. Direct technical questions to Krishani or to her Research Assistants (RA). Direct questions for the computer security laboratory to Dr. Andrew Yang. UHCL maintains university level servers through the Office of Information Technology (OIT). These servers allow students to use OIT laboratories and access email.

 

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