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Waterloo Engineering Student AMA Thread
UPDATED March 7, 2018

Come check out March Break Open House on March 10th! Registration and schedules can be found here: https://uwaterloo.ca/future-students/march-break-open-house-schedule

I'm a second year biomedical engineering student at UW on my second coop. Some quick facts about me:
-IB alumni from Ontario
-Engineering Ambassador
-Orientation Week Leader
-BioMechatronics Design Team member
-Completed 1 co-op in medical imaging
-Currently working at a digital health/medical device startup

Shadow Days: https://uwaterloo.ca/engineering-student-ambassadors/future-engineering-students

Chances 2018 from Prof Bill: https://profbillanderson.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/chances-for-2018

Also, congrats to all students who received early offers!

I'm an Ontario Student currently in grade 10 and I have to choose courses for grade 11 by next week. I want to go into software engineering (or something computer related) at either University of Toronto (St.George), Waterloo, or Ryerson. As of right now, my semester one marks are:

Math MPM2D1 = 98
History CHC 2D1 = 99
Music AM1 2O1 = 99
French FSF 2D1 = 96

This semester I have:

Science SNC 2D1
English ENG 2D1
Computer studies ICS 2O1
French FSF 3U1

As of right now, here is my grade 11 plan:

Gr.11 English ENG 3U1 (doing in summer school)
Gr.12 French
Intro to Com science
Com Engineering Tech (Mixed)
Com Engineering Tech: Robotics (Mixed)
Gr.12 English

Are these courses good for engineering or should I switch one of them with the following:

Gr.12 Data management
Gr.12 Advanced Functions
Gr.11 Intro to Anthropology
Gr.11 World History before the 15th century (mixed)

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McGill vs Queen's - CompSci
I am trying to decide between Queen's Computing and McGill BA in computer science/software engineering but am really stuck in the middle so any help would be appreciated. I prefer Montreal over Kingston and think that McGill has better development and opportunities in Machine Learning/AI which I am really interested in. Although, I fear that McGill is too theoretical and I would gain better practical knowledge of coding at Queen's. I like the structure that I will get with Queen's, opposed to the McGill BA. Any helps is appreciated and can ranging from factors involving student life to profs, thanks!
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UOttawa Engineering Acceptances?
Did anyone get accepted to UOttawa for engineering yet? Does anyone know when they give out acceptances? I applied to Software Engineering there and I'm wondering when I can expect to hear back. Thanks!
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Is computer science worth taking?
ICS3U is a very difficult program in my school with averages ranging in the mid 60s. I consider myself pretty good at programming but it is unlikely that I can achieve above a mid 80  at best while putting my full effort into the course. I was planning on taking a bird course such as psychology so I could achieve a mark in the 90's but I looked at Waterloo's Comp Sci requirements which is a program I am interested in and they recommended taking ICS3U. Should I take ICS3U or take a bird course and go against Waterloo's recommendations.
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Tips to stop procrastinating!!!
I'm a grade 10 student with an overall average of 93.6% so basically a 94%. I really want to get high 90s in grade 11&12 like 95+ because i want to go to Waterloo for software engineering and i know it's super competitive! I really feel like i'd be able to get like 2-3% more if i would just study every day instead of waiting until the last minute but i just can't get myself to do it. I'm really worried that this habit will make me fail in life. So if anyone has any tips on how to stop doing it, i would appreciate it. 

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What courses to choose for grade 11!
Hi, I'm a grade 10 student and I have to choose courses for grade 11 by February 21. I want to go into software engineering at either University of Toronto (St.George), Waterloo, or Ottawa. My grade 10 semester one marks are:

Science: 95
Civics: 94
English: 92
Com Sci: 94

As of right now these are the courses I'm planning on taking:

English (U)
Math (AP) 
Chemistry (AP)
Physics (AP)
Com Sci (U)

I need one more course! I don't know if i should take biology as i want to keep my options open so i have one more year to decide. But i know that studying for bio can be time consuming so i don't want to waste my time focusing on that if that's not the field i want to go into. And should I take the computer engineering (robotic focus) course? I don't want to take it because there was literally ZERO girls taking it in grade 10 so it's probably going to be the same case next year! (I'm a girl btw) I also really don't like robotics that much but i don't know if it will affect me if i don't take it.

I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY ADVICE!! If you're in computer/ software engineering, please tell me if you had to take computer engineering course in high school! I really want to be sure before i submit my courses. 
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What Program Do You Reccomend?
I'm interested in engineering and CS. 
I have an average of 93% right now, with all my courses being 90%+. 
Looking forward to comments! 
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waterloo's computer engineering competition
so apparently a lot of qualified applicants applied to ce instead of se this year. this means that ce admissions will have a similar standard as se.

 "The application numbers for computer engineering seem to have grown by around 30%, so it may be approaching a similar level of competition as software engineering" (source: profbillanderson).

i personally have a 97 and horrible ecs. rip uw ce admissions.
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Volunteering opportunities
As a grade 10 student interested in going into the computer engineering or the software engineering field, are there are volunteer opportunities related to that? If not, what volunteer opportunities would you recommend that would be beneficial no matter what career path?
I'm just trying to do things that will make my resume look good because I don't have much ECs.
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Carleton Engineering Acceptance
Hello everyone, 

         I was wondering what is the realistic average FOR A FOR SURE acceptance into Civil Engineering at Carleton, also into their Comp Science or software engineering. I know at their website it says that the ranges of average admission is 75%-85%-above. I know that this averages is varies on some factors such as the amount of students apply and the competition. My question is what is the realistic average to get into their Civil and last years cut off? 

    I hope someone will be able to give a me precise answers, thank you!
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Career and University planning advice from current undergrads

It’s new years time; university admissions and scholarship deadlines are just months away. This is a crucial time and what you decide today will stick with you for the next few years.

You’re trying to figure out which institution you want to attend, and what you want to study--but more deeply you’re trying to figure out what you actually want to do in life.

I know first-hand how difficult it can be - I have been through it. I’ve assembled a few friends in different disciplines who have volunteered their time to help out. If you want to figure out which university makes sense, if you need advice, please reach out.

Comment on this thread if you need any help, no matter your age, grade, or if you’re in University already!


Rahim Shamsy
Western Engineering and Business (Ivey) 2018
Doing Grade 12 English in summer school
For grade 9/10, I was a high 80/90 student without putting in much effort, but I knew that I would have to put the effort in grade 11. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how much effort I would need to put in, and I currently have a low 80 average with a 70 something in English. My plan is to take grade 12 English in summer school and devote all of my attention too it. English has always been my worst subject and the grade 12 teachers at our school mark harder than average from what I can tell. I want to take Computer Science/Software Engineering, will doing this affect my chances of getting into U of T or any other well-regarded university? 

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is Software Engineering for me?
How is it that people know what they want to do? I'm interested in software engineering but I am not exactly sure if it's is a good fit for me. What would be a good criteria? I enjoy and am good at my computer science and math classes. Would that mean software engineering is a good fit?
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Will univeristy look at the grade 11 courses i don't need for the program I want to go in?
So, I'm a grade 11 student that wants to become a computer enginner  and i'm in a dilema right now. I don't know if i should take spanish online or bio even though i don't need them so it can be a distress for my next semester that has chemestry, advanced functions and french. I speak really good spanish but at the same time i don't know if i should take bio. Please help. BTW i`m aiming for early acceptance
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SE and CS
This is going to be really dumb. I'm interested in computer science and software engineering, but I'm not sure if I should apply. Based on the descriptions of the two, I think I'd really enjoy SE: I really don't mind taking courses like physics and whatnot and I do prefer the idea of SE focusing on creating the most reliable, consumer-friendly product over CS focusing on tackling interesting or challenging CS problems, etc. I also like that there's some hardware, not that that's important to me at all, but I certainly wouldn't mind learning it. However, I'm wondering if I should bother applying to UW SE at all since I don't feel that I realistically stand a chance. 
Mark wise I'll likely end up in the low 90s (92 lowest possible, 95 highest possible – I think). Currently my marks are around:
ENG4U: 90% (lowest 88%, highest ?? maybe 92? 93?)
MHF4U: 94% ? (I don't remember but it should definitely go up) lowest 93%, highest ~97 (teacher thinks it can go higher though)
MCV4U: predicted to be around MHF, give or take 2% (same teacher)
SCH4U: 91%
SPH4U: 88% ??? (I have no idea what's going to happen to this one, my teacher seems convinced I'll do great since I did very well in Gr 11 but I'm clearly not doing so hot now)
My highest non-required course will be Vocal which is likely to be either 98 or 99. I have one 4U 94% (history) and a couple other bird courses that should all be within the 90s.

My ECs are not fantastic. They're not tech related at all, but I guess they demonstrate breadth. I was part of a few cultural exchange programs, creator of the school newspaper (and now I write, edit, and do layout for that), am part of a few music groups in school, part of SAC, used to be executive member of Yearbook among other things but being in SAC means I'm not allowed to be exec for other clubs anymore (which sucks). Gr 10 RCM piano, can't really think of anything else at the moment. The killer is I really don't have CS experience beyond whatever I can find online (codeacademy, CS Circles, etc). I'm planning on taking the Euclid but I don't know if I'll do well at all. 

It does help though that I know UW boosts marks from my school since we have a reputation for being a difficult school. It certainly takes a genius (of which we actually have a few) to get 95+ averages (unless you're a business student) and students from my school tend to be pretty successful post-secondary so I know UW takes those things into account during admissions (but of course it won't count for as much as marks and ECs). For example, I have friends from my school that got into chem eng with flat 90s, etc.

I'm planning on applying to CS (I can't not try) since it seems to be less competitive admissions than SE. I don't know if I should apply to SE though... The only thing giving me hope is the odd story of people who got into SE and weren't expecting to, or those who got into SE but were rejected from CS, etc. Should I bother?
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Engineering to Arts?
Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to ask a quick question. Is there any engineering course (basically I'm looking at software eng, comp sci, comp eng, nanotechnology, or mechatronics) which can be bridged with any type of an Arts background to it? Yes, I know that these are polar opposites, however, you see, I'm not very confident with these engineering choices as my future career choices. 

I am in grade 12, and have been debating for the longest time which I should pursue. My parents highly encourage me to take up engineering for obvious reasons, the "6-digit-salary", while I am somewhat more inclined towards pursuing media arts. A little more about myself:

- My grade 11 and 12 averages --> averaged 89-90% which accounted for the whole year's average (not only my top 6), again for both 11 and 12. I am not too happy with these grades based on my program choices. However, hopefully my participation in extracurriculars and volunteering, etc should fill this 89% void to a 90%.
- My dream is to become an animator or create video games.
- I want a dynamic/exciting day at work.
- Obviously, the job aspects after getting the undergraduate degree should be "good enough" as I have stated above with that "6-digit-salary" notion.
- I like technology and working around with it, however, sometimes I feel as if I can't ever get the code to work (I am especially interested in software eng & comp sci). Does this happen to everyone? Or is it just me who is not passionate/knowledgeable enough?
- I don't really know if this is the right choice for me because although I somewhat enjoy coding and building, I do experience difficulties with the same.
- I'd like to say that I have a creative mind and am able to effectively apply advertising/marketing techniques in order to create various projects.
- Also, at this point I am only considering universities: McMaster, Waterloo, Guelph, UOIT, UofT, McGill, Ottawa. {  I probably shouldn't expect much though :-(  }

Lastly, the BIG question --> I want to satisfy my parents' and my own expectations and dreams, so is there any way for me to complete an undergraduate degree in any of the engineering programs listed above and then go on to becoming an animator (by animator, I mean like the proper pixar animators/the people who create anime/visuals in video games, etc)? 

I would sincerely, sinCERELY, SINCERELY, appreciate some honest and informative responses. I am very stressed since it is time to apply for universities, however I keep delaying it since I am unsure. I don't really know anyone who does engineering as part of an undergrad study so I have ABSOLUTELY no idea of what to expect. Any, and ALL, answers are appreciated. 

Thank you so much for spending the time to read this and responding in advance!

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What's the average entry gardes for computer science in York
Hi guys, I'm a international student and currently studying in PEI. My mark right now is 93 on math, 75 on Chem, and 82 on English(already finished in summer school). I'm pretty sure I can keep my math up to 90, and I'm trying to get my chem up to 80. I have calculus, and physics next semester, I'm sure I can get those two up to 80. I just applied to York yesterday for both Computer science and software engineering. I just want to know do I stand a chance to get into York, or the possibility to get in is very slim, because all of my friends are going to York, So York is my top choice.