yconic - CS course at Waterloo for first year student?
Hide Menu

My Feed Money for School Student Help Brands Winners Support Center



Explore yconic
Explore Student Life Topics
Scotiabank
STUDENT CHAMPION
yconic proudly recognizes Student Champion Partners who are providing our community with superior support for their student journeys. Learn More
Student Help Brands

CS course at Waterloo for first year student?

A photo of Ny Ny
Can people(like me) who have never taken Computer Science in high school will be able to suivive in CS135? Apparently there are only two computer sciences courses for first year students: CS115-Introduction to CS 1 and CS135 Designing Functional Programs?
Was this helpful? Yes 0
16 replies
 
A photo of caesar caesar
You'll be fine.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Cpinto2 Cpinto2
i took CS in grade 10, 11 and 12. My teacher told us that students in 3rd year at Waterloo cant program the things that we can. Assuming he is correct, you should be fine :D
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of airhog airhog
I took both CS135 and 136. I also took high school cs.

Get ready for long, long nights of coding each week. The learning curve for CS at UW is very steep. The cs youve taken at hs is in an imperative language (probably) and CS135 (and parts of 136) are in a functional language. Taking hs cs does help but not as much as you think so.

Lastly in hs you probably wrote entire programs (the GUI, error testing, etc.). At uw you're going to be making functions that are parts of larger programs and/or functions. And you won't be doing a lot of error testing within the program. Efficiency also matters a lot.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Stranger Stranger

@Cpinto2 wrote
i took CS in grade 10, 11 and 12. My teacher told us that students in 3rd year at Waterloo cant program the things that we can. Assuming he is correct, you should be fine :D



... Seriously? :|
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of pepper pepper

@Cpinto2 wrote
i took CS in grade 10, 11 and 12. My teacher told us that students in 3rd year at Waterloo cant program the things that we can. Assuming he is correct, you should be fine :D



I highly doubt that, you can never say your high school comp sci courses is better than a universities 3rd year course no matter how crappy the universities comp sci program is, and U of Waterloo has one of the top comp sci programs in canada so that is not true.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of greygoose greygoose

@Cpinto2 wrote
i took CS in grade 10, 11 and 12. My teacher told us that students in 3rd year at Waterloo cant program the things that we can. Assuming he is correct, you should be fine :D



So you code in ARM and MIPS assembly? Yeah, that's what I thought... I know third year students at Waterloo being paid over $5300/mo for their co-op jobs. I don't think that's because their skills are inferior to that of a high school student. Granted, there are always going to be some people barely passing that you might be on par with. Waterloo isn't overly aggressive in failing people out.

CS 115 is for math students (non-CS majors) that can't grasp computer science or don't want to. The assignments are more contrived and dumbed down than 135. Unless you're convinced you want nothing to do with CS and just want a credit, don't take this course.

It's definitely an over-exaggeration that assignments take many nights up late (unless you leave them to the last second all the time), especially in first year. Assignments in CS 135 and 136 took me between 2 and 10 hours depending on the week, usually more between 6-8. This is really not that unreasonable. Since they're due weekly, split this over 2-3 nights and you're golden. Really, when you get into that coding funk you don't notice the time go by. It's mostly testing that is time consuming.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Cpinto2 Cpinto2
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of caesar caesar

@Cpinto2 wrote
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right



Hah!

HAAAH!

Please recall the difference between PROGRAMMING and COMPUTER SCIENCE.

What you have been doing is PROGRAMMING in your High School computer science courses. You have had very little exposure to COMPUTER SCIENCE.

And FYI, your teacher is a bit of a boost. By stating that your class has achieved such a high caliber in computer science, he is also stating that he is a magnificent teacher for being able to teach you such skills. Utter bullshit. There is a 0% chance your high school courses can put a candle close to UW's computer science courses, unless 90% of your class failed within the first few weeks of each one.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Cpinto2 Cpinto2

@caesar wrote

@Cpinto2 wrote
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right



Hah!

HAAAH!

Please recall the difference between PROGRAMMING and COMPUTER SCIENCE.

What you have been doing is PROGRAMMING in your High School computer science courses. You have had very little exposure to COMPUTER SCIENCE.

And FYI, your teacher is a bit of a boost. By stating that your class has achieved such a high caliber in computer science, he is also stating that he is a magnificent teacher for being able to teach you such skills. Utter bullcrap. There is a 0% chance your high school courses can put a candle close to UW's computer science courses, unless 90% of your class failed within the first few weeks of each one.



yea you're right, even though its CS its mostly just coding . by the way he only said it to about 4 of us not the whole class. Just because he told us this it doesnt make him an amazing teacher :S, he can teach us whatever he wants, whether we understand it or know how implement it is a different matter. Also you have misread what i said, so before you try and act like a smart crap and TYPE IN CAPS, maybe you should re read " My teacher told us that students in 3rd year at Waterloo cant [size=8]PROGRAM[/size] the things that we can. Assuming he is correct, you should be fine :D"
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of caesar caesar

@Cpinto2 wrote

@caesar wrote

@Cpinto2 wrote
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right



Hah!

HAAAH!

Please recall the difference between PROGRAMMING and COMPUTER SCIENCE.

What you have been doing is PROGRAMMING in your High School computer science courses. You have had very little exposure to COMPUTER SCIENCE.

And FYI, your teacher is a bit of a boost. By stating that your class has achieved such a high caliber in computer science, he is also stating that he is a magnificent teacher for being able to teach you such skills. Utter bullcrap. There is a 0% chance your high school courses can put a candle close to UW's computer science courses, unless 90% of your class failed within the first few weeks of each one.



yea you're right, even though its CS its mostly just coding . by the way he only said it to about 4 of us not the whole class. Just because he told us this it doesnt make him an amazing teacher :S, he can teach us whatever he wants, whether we understand it or know how implement it is a different matter. Also you have misread what i said, so before you try and act like a smart crap and TYPE IN CAPS, maybe you should re read " My teacher told us that students in 3rd year at Waterloo cant [size=8]PROGRAM[/size] the things that we can. Assuming he is correct, you should be fine :D"



Computer science is not "mostly just coding". He may have said it to 4 of you, but he surely does not know what he's talking about.

If you think he is not trying to say that he is an amazing teacher, you are implying that you taught yourself to program so well that he is amazed in the process. I'm not trying to "act like a smart crap" or typing in caps. There is not a single doubt in my mind that 100% of the 3rd year Waterloo Computer Science class is stronger than you and the others in your class in programming, especially considering they got past the first year of the program.

Anyways, you're the Waterloo reject. Suit yourself.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of greygoose greygoose
Come now, children, let's not try to emphasize the fact that we're still in high school. Your shouting match screams of a lack of maturity. Neither of you look particularly hot coming out of it.


@Cpinto2 wrote
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right



Why would an engineer studying mechatronics be programming at all beyond some basic utility stuff? You should be asking someone in computer science.

First year CS at Waterloo is an introduction to CS for two reasons:

1. People in CS aren't actually required to have taken any CS in high school, or at least I wasn't
2. It is a new, more formal introduction to wipe the slate clean and give you a proper introduction

If you're been programming in Java, the mindset you've developed is going to be more of a hindrance than anything else, especially when dealing with Lisp in first term. You are most likely going to have learned many bad habits that you'll need to break.

I will say this now: if you finish 135 and you don't appreciate the power of Lisp, you didn't get anything out of the course. Keep this in mind.

You've been emphasizing programming, which I am sure you know is not all there is to computer science. If all you want to do the rest of your life is write code, specialize in software engineering. Computer science transcends writing code, far and beyond: there is a lot of really cool math involved. Actually, to be honest, that statement even obscures the truth. Programming is just a field of the mathematics that are the science of computation. Take for instance relational algebra being applied in relational database management (we're talking SQL and all that)--very interesting stuff.

I still find your comment silly. In third year, CS students here are writing real-time operating systems, compilers, etc. among other pieces of software. I've seen them in action. It is good that your teacher wants to boost your confidence, but maintain a sense of realism at the same time. Third year CS students here know what's up. You can't base your view of the majority on the bottom of the classes, unless that's where you want to be!
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Cpinto2 Cpinto2

@greygoose wrote
Come now, children, let's not try to emphasize the fact that we're still in high school. Your shouting match screams of a lack of maturity. Neither of you look particularly hot coming out of it.


@Cpinto2 wrote
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right



Why would an engineer studying mechatronics be programming at all beyond some basic utility stuff? You should be asking someone in computer science.

First year CS at Waterloo is an introduction to CS for two reasons:

1. People in CS aren't actually required to have taken any CS in high school, or at least I wasn't
2. It is a new, more formal introduction to wipe the slate clean and give you a proper introduction

If you're been programming in Java, the mindset you've developed is going to be more of a hindrance than anything else, especially when dealing with Lisp in first term. You are most likely going to have learned many bad habits that you'll need to break.

I will say this now: if you finish 135 and you don't appreciate the power of Lisp, you didn't get anything out of the course. Keep this in mind.

You've been emphasizing programming, which I am sure you know is not all there is to computer science. If all you want to do the rest of your life is write code, specialize in software engineering. Computer science transcends writing code, far and beyond: there is a lot of really cool math involved. Actually, to be honest, that statement even obscures the truth. Programming is just a field of the mathematics that are the science of computation. Take for instance relational algebra being applied in relational database management (we're talking SQL and all that)--very interesting stuff.

I still find your comment silly. In third year, CS students here are writing real-time operating systems, compilers, etc. among other pieces of software. I've seen them in action. It is good that your teacher wants to boost your confidence, but maintain a sense of realism at the same time. Third year CS students here know what's up. You can't base your view of the majority on the bottom of the classes, unless that's where you want to be!



i agree with pretty much everything you've said. And tbh i dont want to sit at a desk and code all day :S, that is far from what i want to do. I've been scared thinking about Jobs and just coding 24/7, doesnt sound fun at all :/
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of caesar caesar

@Cpinto2 wrote

@greygoose wrote
Come now, children, let's not try to emphasize the fact that we're still in high school. Your shouting match screams of a lack of maturity. Neither of you look particularly hot coming out of it.


@Cpinto2 wrote
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right



Why would an engineer studying mechatronics be programming at all beyond some basic utility stuff? You should be asking someone in computer science.

First year CS at Waterloo is an introduction to CS for two reasons:

1. People in CS aren't actually required to have taken any CS in high school, or at least I wasn't
2. It is a new, more formal introduction to wipe the slate clean and give you a proper introduction

If you're been programming in Java, the mindset you've developed is going to be more of a hindrance than anything else, especially when dealing with Lisp in first term. You are most likely going to have learned many bad habits that you'll need to break.

I will say this now: if you finish 135 and you don't appreciate the power of Lisp, you didn't get anything out of the course. Keep this in mind.

You've been emphasizing programming, which I am sure you know is not all there is to computer science. If all you want to do the rest of your life is write code, specialize in software engineering. Computer science transcends writing code, far and beyond: there is a lot of really cool math involved. Actually, to be honest, that statement even obscures the truth. Programming is just a field of the mathematics that are the science of computation. Take for instance relational algebra being applied in relational database management (we're talking SQL and all that)--very interesting stuff.

I still find your comment silly. In third year, CS students here are writing real-time operating systems, compilers, etc. among other pieces of software. I've seen them in action. It is good that your teacher wants to boost your confidence, but maintain a sense of realism at the same time. Third year CS students here know what's up. You can't base your view of the majority on the bottom of the classes, unless that's where you want to be!



i agree with pretty much everything you've said. And tbh i dont want to sit at a desk and code all day :S, that is far from what i want to do. I've been scared thinking about Jobs and just coding 24/7, doesnt sound fun at all :/




Yeah it doesn't. That's why I considered UW Computer Science :)
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Cpinto2 Cpinto2

@caesar wrote

@Cpinto2 wrote

@greygoose wrote
Come now, children, let's not try to emphasize the fact that we're still in high school. Your shouting match screams of a lack of maturity. Neither of you look particularly hot coming out of it.


@Cpinto2 wrote
i'm just stating what my teacher told us :S. first year CS at university is more of an introduction to CS anyways (thats why its not a pre req). Plus my brother went to Waterloo for Mechatronics! He's seen the things that my classmates and and I have programmed, when i told him what my teacher said he said that he is probably right



Why would an engineer studying mechatronics be programming at all beyond some basic utility stuff? You should be asking someone in computer science.

First year CS at Waterloo is an introduction to CS for two reasons:

1. People in CS aren't actually required to have taken any CS in high school, or at least I wasn't
2. It is a new, more formal introduction to wipe the slate clean and give you a proper introduction

If you're been programming in Java, the mindset you've developed is going to be more of a hindrance than anything else, especially when dealing with Lisp in first term. You are most likely going to have learned many bad habits that you'll need to break.

I will say this now: if you finish 135 and you don't appreciate the power of Lisp, you didn't get anything out of the course. Keep this in mind.

You've been emphasizing programming, which I am sure you know is not all there is to computer science. If all you want to do the rest of your life is write code, specialize in software engineering. Computer science transcends writing code, far and beyond: there is a lot of really cool math involved. Actually, to be honest, that statement even obscures the truth. Programming is just a field of the mathematics that are the science of computation. Take for instance relational algebra being applied in relational database management (we're talking SQL and all that)--very interesting stuff.

I still find your comment silly. In third year, CS students here are writing real-time operating systems, compilers, etc. among other pieces of software. I've seen them in action. It is good that your teacher wants to boost your confidence, but maintain a sense of realism at the same time. Third year CS students here know what's up. You can't base your view of the majority on the bottom of the classes, unless that's where you want to be!



i agree with pretty much everything you've said. And tbh i dont want to sit at a desk and code all day :S, that is far from what i want to do. I've been scared thinking about Jobs and just coding 24/7, doesnt sound fun at all :/




Yeah it doesn't. That's why I considered UW Computer Science :)


hopefully CS at UofT is just as good. lol
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of greygoose greygoose

@Cpinto2 wrote
hopefully CS at UofT is just as good. lol



It's not quite as good in my opinion but it's still a good program. Just stay motivated, and ultimately you'll be responsible for what you get out of your degree. You'll do fine. (Their grad school is much superior, though.)

As for work, I wasn't interested in development at all when I entered university, which is why I wasn't even considering a CS degree when I started. But now having worked a bit, I can say that development is much more fun than I thought it would be, and especially working on a ton of different projects at once, it keeps my mind refreshed and not overwhelmed. And remember that plenty of CS jobs are not solely development!
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Cpinto2 Cpinto2

@greygoose wrote

@Cpinto2 wrote
hopefully CS at UofT is just as good. lol



It's not quite as good in my opinion but it's still a good program. Just stay motivated, and ultimately you'll be responsible for what you get out of your degree. You'll do fine. (Their grad school is much superior, though.)

As for work, I wasn't interested in development at all when I entered university, which is why I wasn't even considering a CS degree when I started. But now having worked a bit, I can say that development is much more fun than I thought it would be, and especially working on a ton of different projects at once, it keeps my mind refreshed and not overwhelmed. And remember that plenty of CS jobs are not solely development!


yea i know its not as good too lol. Thanks for all the info, i was starting to reconsider CS cuz i cant see myself coding 24/7, i like development and also enjoy math. I'll have to choose between CS at UTSG or CS at UTSC (Co op), i really don't know what i'm gonna do :S
Was this helpful? Yes 0