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CS vs CO vs CM vs PMATH !

A photo of xtremepi xtremepi
Hi everybody!
I have a problem choosing my program and my courses at UW.
I'm interested in all of the CS, CO, CM, PMATH .
What program and plan should I choose?
Why are CS and CO separated ?
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
You can choose between CS and a Math major now but other than that, you DO NOT choose your math major until at least second year. Also, even if you do go to Math, you can transfer to CS as long as you have like a 65% avg or something like that.

With regards to courses, the core math courses are the same - just make sure you take CS 135/136 instead of CS115/116 since you are considering a CS Major. You have 2 electives each term, I don't believe CM,CO,PMATH or CS have any required first year electives so you can take whatever interests you.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
If you're wondering why they ask you on OUAC which specialization you want - I'm pretty sure it's just for surveying/statistics.
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A photo of xtremepi xtremepi
Thanks for your replies, immaculatedx !

@immaculatedx
What program should I apply to on OUAC then?
When you've said Math, were you referring to Bachelors of Math in Computer Science program?

Why do some courses require you to be Level at least [number][A or B] ?
I don't see the reason for that as long as I've completed the prerequisites courses.
Even though I might have the required background, I still have to wait. Why is that so?

I can't find CO at UT, nor courses that teach the same stuff.
Do they teach it in the grad school ?

Does somebody know an institution I could challenge math undergrad exams?
The credits should be recognized by UT or UW.

Is there a way to bypass the 5.0 non-math units requirement at UW?
UT asks only for 3.0 non-math units.
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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@xtremepi wrote
Hi everybody!
I have a problem choosing my program and my courses at UW.
I'm interested in all of the CS, CO, CM, PMATH .
What program and plan should I choose?
Why are CS and CO separated ?



CS is the only one of those that is a first year entry program. All of CO, CM, and PMATH don't accept students until their second year.

In regards to each program,

CS - A computer science degree; flexible in allowing specialization in more theoretical or applied areas, as well in allowing a double major with another area. Takes CS 135, 136, MATH 135, 136, 137, 138 and four electives in first year.

The rest of these programs you declare after you arrive; you declare Honours Mathematics in order to enroll in them later:

CO - "Combinatorics and Optimization"; this program is not offered at any other university in the world, so it's pretty awesome and unique. CO courses cover exactly what the name implies. There are a lot of combinatorial/enumeration courses, graph theory courses, coding theory courses, and then there are mathematical optimization courses, more on the pure math side. You'll take the first year core described in the CS program, and start with the CO courses after your first year, the first of which is MATH 239/249.

CM - Waterloo allows for a great CM degree, but not by name. If you're interested in CM, you'll want to do pure math or CO instead, and take some but not all of the courses CM recommends. Every course in a CM degree is offered by another department; there isn't really a "computational math department". It's a little sad, but this is not a recommended program (there are less than 50 students enrolled in it).

PMATH - The strongest undergrad pure math program in Canada, and easily competitive with the major universities in the States. You can't do the typical first year core if you want to do pure math; it's "highly recommended" (e.g. all but required) that you take the advanced level math courses. That means MATH 145, 146, 147, 148, 245, 247, and 249. It's also recommended to fast track your math requirements as soon as possible; you don't want to be taking real 2 (PMATH 450) any later than 3B if you want to do research.

If you can't handle the advanced first year courses, you probably will struggle to get a pure math degree, and the advisors will be very reluctant to admit you to the program... just keep that in mind.

The level requirements on courses are to try to ensure some level of maturity before entry. They can be easily overrode if you speak with the prof. In fact, most course requirements can be easily overrode with some effort, so keep this in mind.

And as for your last question, UW does not allow you to challenge undergraduate exams. If you take the advanced level courses, you almost certainly would not be able to pass them, anyhow. People that score 90s on the Euclid still have some difficulty with these courses :P

And no, you can't override the non-math requirements, unnegotiable. At U of T, they actually require philosophy/ethics courses for your degree, so be thankful you don't have to do that. Take some science courses or something. If you have transfer credit, that can help.
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A photo of xtremepi xtremepi
Greygoose, thanks a lot!


The rest of these programs you declare after you arrive; you declare Honours Mathematics in order to enroll in them later:


Where or to who do you declare Honours Mathematics?
I would want to take some PMATH courses at least in the third term of my study.
I can't really understand what's in here --> http://ugradcalendar.uwaterloo.ca/page/MATH-BCS-and-BMath-Acad-Plan-Comb-Conv-Dipl-Tran .


CO - "Combinatorics and Optimization"; this program is not offered at any other university in the world, so it's pretty awesome and unique.


I'm afraid that CO won't be of usage to me except the knowledge that I would gain from the courses. Would that be possible?Will I take the same courses in a CS grad school ?



CO courses cover exactly what the name implies. There are a lot of combinatorial/enumeration courses, graph theory courses, coding theory courses, and then there are mathematical optimization courses, more on the pure math side.



Regarding the stuff in CO, is it linked to the Olympiad in Informatics or other algorithm-type competition ?Maybe Topcoder? ACM?
I've familiarized myself with a bunch of algorithms in high school, most of them aiming for efficiency, lowest complexity.
I'm really into that stuff so please let me know if it's related to that.



And as for your last question, UW does not allow you to challenge undergraduate exams. If you take the advanced level courses, you almost certainly would not be able to pass them, anyhow. People that score 90s on the Euclid still have some difficulty with these courses :P


I've been exempted from MATH 135 or 145 and MATH 137 or MATH 147(not so sure which of them).I would only need credits for MATH 146 and MATH 148 because I can't take these in the fall because they aren't offered in the fall and waiting for them isn't really an option.


At U of T, they actually require philosophy/ethics courses for your degree, so be thankful you don't have to do that.


I don't think that u need to take philosophy/ethics courses.
The requirements are the same as the UW's requirements except that UW asks for 2 extra non-math units and a depth requirement.
http://www.artsandscience.utoronto.ca/ofr/calendar/degree.htm
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
I still don't think you understand.

All you need to do is apply to the Honours Math program at UW. You can choose your major after first year. You don't need to worry about courses in first year since everyone takes the same courses. Once you choose your major, you can worry about what courses you want in second and third year.
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A photo of drexu drexu

@greygoose wrote

CS - A computer science degree; flexible in allowing specialization in more theoretical or applied areas, as well in allowing a double major with another area. Takes CS 135, 136, MATH 135, 136, 137, 138 and four electives in first year.




A double degree is a nice feature to computer science degree. Let say I am doing computer science degree, would I be able to choose Mechatronics or Software engineering as part of my dual major?
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A photo of xtremepi xtremepi


A double degree is a nice feature to computer science degree. Let say I am doing computer science degree, would I be able to choose Mechatronics or Software engineering as part of my dual major?



I don't know about Mechatronics, but you could take Software engineering as an option to your CS degree.
http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/prospect/options.shtml


I still don't think you understand.
All you need to do is apply to the Honours Math program at UW. You can choose your major after first year. You don't need to worry about courses in first year since everyone takes the same courses. Once you choose your major, you can worry about what courses you want in second and third year.


I've mentioned earlier that I've been exempted from some MATH courses. Besides I would like to know all the important courses UW can offer me.

I'm just curios, are there people who actually double major in applied math and pure math?
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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@drexu wrote
A double degree is a nice feature to computer science degree. Let say I am doing computer science degree, would I be able to choose Mechatronics or Software engineering as part of my dual major?




You cannot double major with an engineering degree, generally speaking. The software engineering option on a CS degree is not really recommended.
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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@xtremepi wrote
Where or to who do you declare Honours Mathematics?
I would want to take some PMATH courses at least in the third term of my study.
I can't really understand what's in here --> http://ugradcalendar.uwaterloo.ca/page/MATH-BCS-and-BMath-Acad-Plan-Comb-Conv-Dipl-Tran .



Your major is automatically declared as "Honours Mathematics" upon entry if you are not in a CS or math/business program.

Declaring a major, except in the case of CS major courses, does not prevent you from taking any courses assuming you have their requirements. You can take PMATH courses as early as your 1B term.


@xtremepi wrote
I'm afraid that CO won't be of usage to me except the knowledge that I would gain from the courses. Would that be possible?Will I take the same courses in a CS grad school ?



If you are interested in CS, it is a very useful field for your degree. It is a more mathematically rigorous study of many of the common problems in computer science (enumeration, graph theory, optimization). You would not take the same courses in CS grad school.


@xtremepi wrote
Regarding the stuff in CO, is it linked to the Olympiad in Informatics or other algorithm-type competition ?Maybe Topcoder? ACM?
I've familiarized myself with a bunch of algorithms in high school, most of them aiming for efficiency, lowest complexity.
I'm really into that stuff so please let me know if it's related to that.



Not really. You would want to take the advanced CS courses for that kind of thing, and even then, they usually don't cover contest problems.

There is an ACM team on campus, among other contest teams, and it is one of the strongest in the world.


@xtremepi wrote
I've been exempted from MATH 135 or 145 and MATH 137 or MATH 147(not so sure which of them).I would only need credits for MATH 146 and MATH 148 because I can't take these in the fall because they aren't offered in the fall and waiting for them isn't really an option.



The only course that gives transfer credit is usually 137. It is highly, highly recommended that you take both MATH 147 and MATH 145. They are guaranteed to cover things that you didn't cover in high school, and it's necessary theory to progress with your pure math degree. Decline the transfer credit and take the course. You gain absolutely nothing by taking the credit.

It is of value for a few people in certain programs to take the 137 transfer credit in order to fast-track their program (Actsci/Stats, CS, etc.) only if they are not interested in taking the advanced courses.

DO THE ADVANCED COURSES! Particularly if you're interested in ACM stuff and the like, or its mathematics brother, the Putnam. They are very difficult and will cover material you have never seen before. Ditto for the advanced CS courses.
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A photo of zhuzhuxiao zhuzhuxiao
Why do some courses require you to be Level at least [number][A or B] ?
I don't see the reason for that as long as I've completed the prerequisites courses.
Even though I might have the required background, I still have to wait. Why is that so?

I can't find CO at UT, nor courses that teach the same stuff.
Do they teach it in the grad school ?






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A photo of xtremepi xtremepi
Could I be eligible for more than one entrance scolarships ?
What are the differences between the grad school in CO and CS and between the grad school at UW in pure math and UT in math?
What are the main differences between applied mathematics and pure mathematics at UW ?
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@xtremepi wrote
Could I be eligible for more than one entrance scolarships ?
What are the differences between the grad school in CO and CS and between the grad school at UW in pure math and UT in math?
What are the main differences between applied mathematics and pure mathematics at UW ?



For UW Math entrace scholarships, even if you win 10 scholarships, they will only award you with the highest valued one. Though you can definitely combine them with scholarships not in Math i.e. UW general Entrance scholarship.
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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@zhuzhuxiao wrote
Why do some courses require you to be Level at least [number][A or B] ?
I don't see the reason for that as long as I've completed the prerequisites courses.
Even though I might have the required background, I still have to wait. Why is that so?



It is usually a maturity requirement, to prevent people that wouldn't otherwise be ready to take the course from taking it easily and failing out.

These are very trivial to override. You just talk to the prof and they'll almost always let you in. I did this for this semester to take a fourth year course that required "level at least 3A".


@zhuzhuxiao wrote
I can't find CO at UT, nor courses that teach the same stuff.
Do they teach it in the grad school ?



I am not familiar with U of T's program, so I am not sure. But I can't imagine that they wouldn't have any optimization or enumeration courses at the undergrad or grad level. The CO department itself is a pretty unique thing, but it's not the only place this mathematics is studied.


@xtremepi wrote
Could I be eligible for more than one entrance scolarships ?



Yes, but I've only seen one person win more than one. For the record, those were both math scholarships. It's very rare, and the number of special entrance scholarships in comparison to the number of accepted first years is very low (1-3%). The scholarships are almost solely based on your Euclid contest score.


@xtremepi wrote
What are the differences between the grad school in CO and CS and between the grad school at UW in pure math and UT in math?



Different areas of research focus, obviously. At another university, the CO stuff would likely be lumped into either the math or CS departments for research. I don't know what U of T's grad school is like; in general, UW and U of T are comparable for math grad school in their strong fields. U of T's CS grad school is better than UW's as far as I'm aware.


@xtremepi wrote
What are the main differences between applied mathematics and pure mathematics at UW ?



Totally different math paradigm. Pure mathematics focuses on rigour and abstraction and proofs. Applied mathematics focuses a lot more on methods of calculation and computational methods. As the name would imply, it concerns itself with the applications of math. They don't care so much about counterexamples as they do the general case.

It is very rare that a person really likes both fields, though I've met a few. Usually, one style of mathematics clicks much more with the individual. I hate applied math, though I didn't know that coming into university :P
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@greygoose wrote



@xtremepi wrote
What are the main differences between applied mathematics and pure mathematics at UW ?



Totally different math paradigm. Pure mathematics focuses on rigour and abstraction and proofs. Applied mathematics focuses a lot more on methods of calculation and computational methods. As the name would imply, it concerns itself with the applications of math. They don't care so much about counterexamples as they do the general case.

It is very rare that a person really likes both fields, though I've met a few. Usually, one style of mathematics clicks much more with the individual. I hate applied math, though I didn't know that coming into university :P



Yeah that nailed the explanation. I think it's really rare to find someone who's into both. I'm more of an Applied Math type.
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A photo of xtremepi xtremepi

@immaculatedx wrote

@greygoose wrote



@xtremepi wrote
What are the main differences between applied mathematics and pure mathematics at UW ?



Totally different math paradigm. Pure mathematics focuses on rigour and abstraction and proofs. Applied mathematics focuses a lot more on methods of calculation and computational methods. As the name would imply, it concerns itself with the applications of math. They don't care so much about counterexamples as they do the general case.

It is very rare that a person really likes both fields, though I've met a few. Usually, one style of mathematics clicks much more with the individual. I hate applied math, though I didn't know that coming into university :P



Yeah that nailed the explanation. I think it's really rare to find someone who's into both. I'm more of an Applied Math type.


I might be that kind of guy, I haven't met anything related to math or cs and dislike it.On the other hand I hate eating information without a very profound reason.

I really enjoy chatting with u guys, although I apologize for the time taken.

Greygoose, you've mentioned about the ACM team that's on campus and Putnam, it's math brother.
If I'm into these contests, would I get help in terms of guidance from clubs?
Are the clubs organized in someway?Or is it that if the people who are already members don't like me, I would be invisible?

I still don't understand something about co-op.
If u have to complete some study terms before your first work term, why wouldn't you go regular on the first study terms and switch to co-op right before taking ur work term?And so u avoid the fees.A co-op term at a prestigious company would be at most towards the end of graduation.I see no reason paying the fees until then for some paperwork jobs.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
You're not guaranteed co-op if you don't start in it of course. Also, you won't get your preferred first work-term (i.e. most people want summer of first year so it's generally full... Thought I got in without having co-op this term (But I do have somewhat of an extraordinary case).

Like I said, I wasn't in co-op when I was in Math/CA but when I transferred into co-op this term, they added an additional few hundred dollars to my account when I switched so you can't really avoid it.
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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@xtremepi wrote
I might be that kind of guy, I haven't met anything related to math or cs and dislike it.On the other hand I hate eating information without a very profound reason.



Yeah, I do too. I have a hard time remembering things without understanding them, and without a proof, I have no reason to understand why something works outside of intuition. So I really don't like the applied math approach of "here is a method, it works, now get really good at it".


@xtremepi wrote
I really enjoy chatting with u guys, although I apologize for the time taken.



Not a problem, I enjoy chatting.


@xtremepi wrote
Greygoose, you've mentioned about the ACM team that's on campus and Putnam, it's math brother.
If I'm into these contests, would I get help in terms of guidance from clubs?
Are the clubs organized in someway?Or is it that if the people who are already members don't like me, I would be invisible?



There are ACM and Putnam preparation teams, where people will all prepare together and you'll get to know the other people who are interested in this kind of thing.

The clubs in math are organized by program, but you can be a member of any club (for instance, I have a membership for FARMSA, a finance club, even though I'm not in FARM). There are often clubs days where you can check out the clubs and get involved with them, at the beginning of every term. Some of the clubs are more cliquey than others, but most are very accepting of new members that want to get involved (assuming they get along!).


@xtremepi wrote
I still don't understand something about co-op.
If u have to complete some study terms before your first work term, why wouldn't you go regular on the first study terms and switch to co-op right before taking ur work term?And so u avoid the fees.A co-op term at a prestigious company would be at most towards the end of graduation.I see no reason paying the fees until then for some paperwork jobs.



You can't switch into co-op after your first year, and it is extremely difficult to get into co-op after you're already in uni--it's much more easy to get into co-op upon entry.

Also, some programs (Bioinformatics, I think, all engineering, double-degree) have mandatory co-op, so if you want to be in the program, you must be in co-op.

Actually, the university mostly helps you get the "paperwork" jobs, rather than the prestigious jobs. This is why a lot of people drop out after their first or second job. You can't get in after first year, and you can't get out after second year. All of the prestigious opportunities you will likely find on your own, and not through the university system.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx

@greygoose wrote
Actually, the university mostly helps you get the "paperwork" jobs, rather than the prestigious jobs. This is why a lot of people drop out after their first or second job. You can't get in after first year, and you can't get out after second year. All of the prestigious opportunities you will likely find on your own, and not through the university system.



Well there may be merit to this. Greygoose did have a bad experience with co-op so that may have influenced a bias. I've been on Jobmine personally and there are definitely a lot of legit jobs - like seriously A LOT.

Anyways, its your choice.
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A photo of maelong maelong

@xtremepi wrote
Hi everybody!
I have a problem choosing my program and my courses at UW.
I'm interested in all of the CS, CO, CM, PMATH .
What program and plan should I choose?
Why are CS and CO separated ?


have you even got accepted yet?
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A photo of xtremepi xtremepi

@maelong wrote

@xtremepi wrote
Hi everybody!
I have a problem choosing my program and my courses at UW.
I'm interested in all of the CS, CO, CM, PMATH .
What program and plan should I choose?
Why are CS and CO separated ?


have you even got accepted yet?



I've been an UW student in the winter term before I dropped out. I've dropped out mainly because of the suckyness of the non-advanced courses. I've already done the stuff in those courses years ago. The fact that they'll except me or not doesn't really concern me.
The only thing that matters to me is what I'll get out of any university I'll choose, because going through a university takes a lot of time and money( which is actually is just time later).

Here is the 12 grade math course description :
http://www.2shared.com/photo/UXDBLeoj/Math_course_description_first_.html
http://www.2shared.com/photo/Y_92O80j/Math_course_description_second.html

How to do proofs and and logic stuff , I've must have that done no later than 10 grade. Also, I had to know that even earlier because I had to write proofs in contests.
I've covered most matrix-stuff in 11 grade, as well as limits and continuity.
All this is really late I've hated high school from all my heart. If home school was an option in my country, that would have been the way to go.

If I were to choose UW , I would gamble everything on the advanced courses, as Greygoose advised.

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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@immaculatedx wrote
Well there may be merit to this. Greygoose did have a bad experience with co-op so that may have influenced a bias. I've been on Jobmine personally and there are definitely a lot of legit jobs - like seriously A LOT.

Anyways, its your choice.



Depends on the field. As I said, for the majority of people, it is *more* beneficial to be in co-op. Maybe I didn't emphasize that enough.

However, while there may be "legit" jobs on Jobmine, once you get into upper years and more difficult work, they no longer prioritize co-op students. In fact, those kinds of jobs usually go to people applying to the jobs outside of the system. I don't know a single person that got a job at Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. through Jobmine, from the CS perspective. That is all I'm saying. Many of these people *are* in co-op, it's just that being in co-op wouldn't have helped them for higher-level jobs in upper years.
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A photo of SkylarNoeL SkylarNoeL
Computational Mathematics is a herp derp program. I strongly recommend against even remotely considering it.

According to a stats prof at UW the target program size was 25. Instead they ended up with 7. 4 in co-op, 3 in regular.

Hurrrrrr.

Do what immaculatedx and greygoose say and take some sort of different approach towards the field of "computational mathematics" via UW's more successful math and cs programs if that's what you're interested in.
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A photo of greygoose greygoose

@SkylarNoeL wrote
According to a stats prof at UW the target program size was 25. Instead they ended up with 7. 4 in co-op, 3 in regular.



Most of them probably just declared it as an extra major because they were going to get the courses they needed in their other major :P
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