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Am I reading this correctly?

McMaster's Engineering program requires "low to mid 80s" and the target enrollment is 780. It requires no supplementary form.

McMaster's Mathematics & Statistics program requires AT LEAST an 88% average, applicants are individually selected, requires application through "ARTS AND SCIENCE" and has only a target enrolment of 60.

Someone explain this.

McMaster's Engineering program requires "low to mid 80s" and the target enrollment is 780. It requires no supplementary form.

McMaster's Mathematics & Statistics program requires AT LEAST an 88% average, applicants are individually selected, requires application through "ARTS AND SCIENCE" and has only a target enrolment of 60.

Someone explain this.

24
replies

Here's the deal: Engineers are the Oompa Loompas of science.

Okay, some people may not agree with what I said above, but you'll have to agree to what I'm about to say.

People think that engineers are like experts at Physics and Math and other sciences. On a level, this is true. But obviously, physicists and mathematicians are better at physic and math, respectively.

When people first introduced complex numbers in analyzing electric circuits, the physicist (or mathe.. I don't rmbr) thought engineers weren't... capable of doing that (Of course they were wrong). But this proves that the understanding of physics and math that engineers need to have is less.

But of course, that is not to say scientists can do everything engineers can. Otherwise, engineers and engineering wouldn't exists!

Okay, some people may not agree with what I said above, but you'll have to agree to what I'm about to say.

People think that engineers are like experts at Physics and Math and other sciences. On a level, this is true. But obviously, physicists and mathematicians are better at physic and math, respectively.

When people first introduced complex numbers in analyzing electric circuits, the physicist (or mathe.. I don't rmbr) thought engineers weren't... capable of doing that (Of course they were wrong). But this proves that the understanding of physics and math that engineers need to have is less.

But of course, that is not to say scientists can do everything engineers can. Otherwise, engineers and engineering wouldn't exists!

Yes I'm aware that engineers are the construction workers of academia, and yes I've held this opinion/known this truth since before The Big Bang Theory started trying to make it funny.

Engineers are also one of the only people who make 60k or more out of university with just a bachelor's.

This has nothing to do with that. I want to know why only 1/12th of the people are allowed to do math than engineering.

Engineers are also one of the only people who make 60k or more out of university with just a bachelor's.

This has nothing to do with that. I want to know why only 1/12th of the people are allowed to do math than engineering.

Guess I wasn't clear. Pure Math, is harder than Engineering.

On the other hand,if you disagree, you could look at it like this: they're trying to limit the number of ppl who hold a math degree. Why? There could be several reasons.

On the other hand,if you disagree, you could look at it like this: they're trying to limit the number of ppl who hold a math degree. Why? There could be several reasons.

@sllencer wrote

Guess I wasn't clear. Pure Math, is harder than Engineering.

On the other hand,if you disagree, you could look at it like this: they're trying to limit the number of ppl who hold a math degree. Why? There could be several reasons.

Firstly, no.

Pure math isn't harder than engineering at the undergrad level. At this level, engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do. They also have more classes.

If you actually get into academia, every theoretician realizes how little he knows compared to the guys who actually do the building and experiments.

@rightsaidfred wrote

Firstly, no.

Pure math isn't harder than engineering at the undergrad level. At this level, engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do. They also have more classes.

No. There's no way an engineer takes more math classes than a math major, same with physics. Trust me, I've done an engineering undergrad, I know how much math and physics courses I had to take. There were definitely far more advanced math courses offered to undergrads.

@ktel wrote

@rightsaidfred wrote

Firstly, no.

Pure math isn't harder than engineering at the undergrad level. At this level, engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do. They also have more classes.

No. There's no way an engineer takes more math classes than a math major, same with physics. Trust me, I've done an engineering undergrad, I know how much math and physics courses I had to take. There were definitely far more advanced math courses offered to undergrads.

>strawman

You defended a point I didn't make.

@rightsaidfred wrote

@ktel wrote

@rightsaidfred wrote

Firstly, no.

Pure math isn't harder than engineering at the undergrad level. At this level, engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do. They also have more classes.

No. There's no way an engineer takes more math classes than a math major, same with physics. Trust me, I've done an engineering undergrad, I know how much math and physics courses I had to take. There were definitely far more advanced math courses offered to undergrads.

>strawman

You defended a point I didn't make.

Your point was that "engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do"

She just wrote that "there were definitely far more advanced math courses offered to undergrads". That means that math majors take more advanced math courses than engineers. I don't see how it's a straw man argument

Macmaster isnt reali known for either field. Looking just at the enrollment that is probably why the entrance average is so high. A class of sixty is reali small. Heck I wish I had a lecture of sixty.

@rightsaidfred wrote

Firstly, no.

Pure math isn't harder than engineering at the undergrad level. At this level, engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do. They also have more classes.

If you actually get into academia, every theoretician realizes how little he knows compared to the guys who actually do the building and experiments.

Woah woah woah. WHAT? Look kid, you're still in high school, you probably haven't been on a university campus for more than a day at a time. You're spouting absolute bullshit. I haven't met a person gone through university so far that hasn't said pure math is universally the hardest major offered. (And this absolutely is not to toot my own horn; I'm not the best at it, but I love it. I'd perform much worse in a science program... just not my thing. Follow your strengths etc.)

Math majors will take significantly more math than science majors will, who will probably take more or an equal amount of math to engineers. Engineers have more classes, but they're *easier*. Engineers aren't superhuman. You hear the stories about their damn pubcrawls. I keep getting invited to go along, but frankly I don't have enough time. :P The engineering vs. math deal is basically volume vs. difficulty. In the end, the workloads are similarly "hard" (pure math's increases exponentially with time but you also get better so it feels the same, late entry to pure math is ridiculously hard), but one relies on time management and discipline while the other relies on ingenuity and persistence.

If you actually get into academia, the engineer has to spend his master's learning remedial math while the mathematician gets right into it. Hell, I could be doing research as an undergrad assistant this summer if I really wanted to (though it's too scary at this point for me to consider seriously!). By next term, I'll be ready to take real analysis in the Fall and I'll have a broad enough background for undergrad research.

Rather than take my word at plain sight, I'll give you the following information:

- As a math major at the University of Waterloo, you are required to take *a minimum* of anywhere between 18 and 28 math courses. (The lower end is for the math/business people.) I will be taking exactly 35 math courses during my undergraduate degree, which is a double pure math/CS major. You know how many required math courses there are for the engineers?! Just looked at the reqs; I count 7 for mech eng, 9 for systems design, 14 for soft eng which is jointly offered by the math faculty. The rest they take are all engineering courses, with a few science.

- Engineering courses just aren't as hard. A good (mathie) friend of mine is pretty smart but not the top of the class (70-80 average). She decided to take a fourth year ECE course in the summer for the lulz. After having taken 3 first year advanced-level math courses and one regular level one, in addition to some CS. Yep, takes a 4th year ECE course without any prereqs and scores an 80.

- Pure math courses are *really* hard. The supposed pure math "bird" courses usually have low 60s averages. And that's not even looking at the major courses... They moved a bunch of undergrad pure math courses (e.g. functional analysis) to grad level because they were so hard (not that this prevents undergrads from taking them).

- Engineers learn math in grad school that math undergraduates learn in order for them to be able to do proper research. This is well known. I had an applied math/physics major friend looking at grad school, and he got offered a mechanical engineering grad program spot. He knew more mathematics than his potential supervisor, a PhD, and she was cool with this.

Engineers do really cool work, and they work really really hard. Sometimes I'm jealous of all the awesome things they build. But don't kid yourself like they are just as mathematically savvy as a math or science student, or their work is equally difficult in all cases. There's nothing to debate about. This is just "how it is". I mean, if engineers learned everything everyone else learned and more, why wouldn't everyone smart go into engineering? Please try not to spread this kind of misinformation based on your naive understanding...

tl;dr math is definitely harder than engineering, but engineers make up for it with volume of work; engineers don't take nearly as much math. both are awesome, but suitable for different people! *phew*

@rightsaidfred wrote

@ktel wrote

@rightsaidfred wrote

Firstly, no.

Pure math isn't harder than engineering at the undergrad level. At this level, engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do. They also have more classes.

No. There's no way an engineer takes more math classes than a math major, same with physics. Trust me, I've done an engineering undergrad, I know how much math and physics courses I had to take. There were definitely far more advanced math courses offered to undergrads.

>strawman

You defended a point I didn't make.

I often question your ability to read. Your ability to spout lies on this forum continues, even though you have never attended university.

Now, greygoose, I wouldn't say I'm learning remedial math now that I'm doing my masters (in a computational and math intensive field). I took more than basic calculus in undergrad.

@ktel wrote

@rightsaidfred wrote

@ktel wrote

@rightsaidfred wrote

Firstly, no.

Pure math isn't harder than engineering at the undergrad level. At this level, engineers have to do everything math majors and physics majors do. They also have more classes.

No. There's no way an engineer takes more math classes than a math major, same with physics. Trust me, I've done an engineering undergrad, I know how much math and physics courses I had to take. There were definitely far more advanced math courses offered to undergrads.

>strawman

You defended a point I didn't make.

I often question your ability to read. Your ability to spout lies on this forum continues, even though you have never attended university.

Now, greygoose, I wouldn't say I'm learning remedial math now that I'm doing my masters (in a computational and math intensive field). I took more than basic calculus in undergrad.

SHUT THE FUC|< UP WOMAN

GO MAKE ME A FUC|<ING SANDWICH YOU DON'T BELONG IN ENGINEERING.

@ktel wrote

Now, greygoose, I wouldn't say I'm learning remedial math now that I'm doing my masters (in a computational and math intensive field). I took more than basic calculus in undergrad.

I should clarify--I didn't mean to come across so harshly. Engineering math lacks a lot of rigour, with focus on the computational side. So if you're looking to do research in a field that requires an understanding of higher level mathematics (EE comes to mind, apparently they use a lot of functional analysis; anything rigourous and quantum needs Hilbert spaces and beyond), they end up needing to come up to speed on a lot of stuff that math majors did in undergrad.

If you're looking at applied fields of engineering research, it's unlikely to pose any disadvantage at all. But certainly the breadth and depth of undergrad engineering mathematics is limited. It's a totally different ballgame. I didn't include many of the courses taken in engineering undergrad as "mathematics" because the maths end up being a means to an ends rather than the sole focus (which is what I'm considering as a math course).

Basically, engineers take math and they apply it to real world problems. Whereas mathematicians take everything in an extremely abstract manner in an attempt to derive some universal truths. So you get engineers doing computational math (because if there isn't a real result that you can apply, what use is it?), whereas people in pure math rarely perform calculations. It all depends on what appeals to you! But make sure you don't limit yourself. I may not like the computational/applied stuff but I'm still taking a few courses in it for breadth's sake; good for me etc...

@greygoose wrote

Basically, engineers take math and they apply it to real world problems. Whereas mathematicians take everything in an extremely abstract manner in an attempt to derive some universal truths. So you get engineers doing computational math (because if there isn't a real result that you can apply, what use is it?), whereas people in pure math rarely perform calculations. It all depends on what appeals to you! But make sure you don't limit yourself. I may not like the computational/applied stuff but I'm still taking a few courses in it for breadth's sake; good for me etc...

True dat. Everytime I'm reading a paper and the math gets to theoretical I just skip it and cut to the real work application bit/results.

It's okay, engineersrock... You'll learn delta epsilon proofs and more of the rigorous calculus concepts if you do pursue first-year EngSci. =)

@engineersrock wrote

Ya, I second that. I remember being told to pretty much skip stuff like the precise definition of a limit completely in first year calculus - all that delta epsilon stuff :)

I don't feel good about it though, and am going to go back to make sure I understand it fully - along with other theoretical mathematical concepts.

In the math courses, when we'd be doing proofs, often our instructors would show us the "engineering proof" first--for instance, in the definition of continuity, the "pencil doesn't leave the page" "proof". This develops some intuition. And then of course, we see funny counterexamples... in no particular order, here are some favorites of analysis: functions with "jump" discontinuity defined on a particular domain are not necessarily discontinuous, functions can be continuous everywhere but differentiable nowhere, continuous functions can converge to a discontinuous function, functions exist that are discontinuous on the rationals and continuous on the irrationals, etc.

I have these first year calc notes I keep intending to work on and post publicly, but I never got past the first two weeks of the 12-week course. Whenever I get the free time... it's a lot of work to design notes as a stand-alone resource assuming no prior understanding, free of errors.

@engineersrock wrote

Once I understand a proof, the math actually becomes a lot easier because I can figure stuff out on my feet in case I don't explicitly remember a formula. It cements my understanding

I'm the exact same way. I never memorized formulas I learned how to derive them. Of course I have forgotten all that now. It comes back quickly though

@rightsaidfred wrote

Am I reading this correctly?

McMaster's Engineering program requires "low to mid 80s" and the target enrollment is 780. It requires no supplementary form.

McMaster's Mathematics & Statistics program requires AT LEAST an 88% average, applicants are individually selected, requires application through "ARTS AND SCIENCE" and has only a target enrolment of 60.

Someone explain this.

Hold on there! Not sure if you're trolling or legit asking a question, so I'm going to answer anyways: No you are not reading it correctly!

McMaster's Engineering program requires "low to mid 80s" and the target enrollment is 720. It requires no supplementary form.

McMaster's Mathematics & Statistics program requires "High 70s to low 80s" and the target enrollment is 65. It also requires no supplementary form.

McMaster's Arts and Science Program (which is a small interdisciplinary program, NOT related to Math and Stats or Engineering) requires AT LEAST an 88% average, applicants are individually selected, and has a target enrollment of only 60.

Math and Stats is actually under the Faculty of Science. You may now return to your discussion...