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How hard (or easy) are the math degree programs at Waterloo or University of Toronto?

Which university is better for math?

Which university is better for math?

16
replies

Depends which programs you're talking about... For ex. Honours math is low 80s, whereas mathbus programs are high 80s to low 90s at UWaterloo. Not sure about Toronto

@Haru wrote

Depends which programs you're talking about... For ex. Honours math is low 80s, whereas mathbus programs are high 80s to low 90s at UWaterloo.

Are the Honours math courses at Waterloo similar to the high school calculus/vectors and advanced functions type of stuff?

If you just want a single math degree, its not hard to get into either school. Getting out may be harder but getting in is relatively easy.

Getting into the mixed math programs with business or CA or FARM or etc., the cutoffs start getting much higher

Getting into the mixed math programs with business or CA or FARM or etc., the cutoffs start getting much higher

@alklein wrote

@Haru wrote

Depends which programs you're talking about... For ex. Honours math is low 80s, whereas mathbus programs are high 80s to low 90s at UWaterloo.

Are the Honours math courses at Waterloo similar to the high school calculus/vectors and advanced functions type of stuff?

Calc/Vectors would prepare you for math courses in university, but they're generally a lot harder and concepts are at a much deeper level. There's a lot less of those easy solve the equation type questions, and a lot more proofs (how formulas are derived, and the relationships between different things and why they make sense)

Of course it's going to be challenging. Your Calculus portion in grade 12 will obviously be useful for Calc I that you take in 1st year. Youll also be taking Linear Algebra in 2nd term, which relates to the Vectors portion a little. You also have to take an Algebra course in 1st term that involves a lot of proofing, number theory, stuff you don't really do in HS. Not that sure about upper year math courses.

Looking through the Waterloo math department web page, they mention two different Calculus 1 courses: 137 and 147.

What are main differences between them, besides 147 being more "advanced"?

What exactly does "advanced" mean in this context?

What are main differences between them, besides 147 being more "advanced"?

What exactly does "advanced" mean in this context?

@alklein wrote

Looking through the Waterloo math department web page, they mention two different Calculus 1 courses: 137 and 147.

What are main differences between them, besides 147 being more "advanced"?

What exactly does "advanced" mean in this context?

Just wondering, did you apply for Honours math at Waterloo? or any other math related programs?

@alklein wrote

Looking through the Waterloo math department web page, they mention two different Calculus 1 courses: 137 and 147.

What are main differences between them, besides 147 being more "advanced"?

What exactly does "advanced" mean in this context?

advanced as in.. harder? :P lol I think maybe it's more proofs and more pure math based. They suggest that you go in the advanced levels if you can get over 80 on the euclid.

@Haru wrote

Just wondering, did you apply for Honours math at Waterloo? or any other math related programs?

Not this year. Will be applying next year.

Ok. I did some google searches for the words advanced calculus, and found a set of notes on a math professor's page from the UK.

http://www.maths.abdn.ac.uk/~igc/tch/ma2001/index/index.html

Also found a set of "advanced calculus" notes by a math professor at University of Alberta.

http://www.math.ualberta.ca/~runde/files/math217-notes.pdf

Is this the sort of thing which is covered in Waterloo's Math 147 and 148 courses?

If it is, these university "advanced calculus" notes do not look anything like the high school calculus/vectors or advanced functions courses. In fact these "advanced calculus" notes look like a completely different foreign language to me!

http://www.maths.abdn.ac.uk/~igc/tch/ma2001/index/index.html

Also found a set of "advanced calculus" notes by a math professor at University of Alberta.

http://www.math.ualberta.ca/~runde/files/math217-notes.pdf

Is this the sort of thing which is covered in Waterloo's Math 147 and 148 courses?

If it is, these university "advanced calculus" notes do not look anything like the high school calculus/vectors or advanced functions courses. In fact these "advanced calculus" notes look like a completely different foreign language to me!

I think I found a web site on the equivalent first year advanced calculus course at University of Toronto. It is a MAT 157 web page from 6-7 years ago.

http://www.math.toronto.edu/drorbn/classes/0405/157AnalysisI/index.html

The professor even asks the students "what went wrong" on the exams, and posted up some replies.

http://www.math.toronto.edu/drorbn/classes/0405/157AnalysisI/TE2/WWW.html

It seems like many of the replies are along the lines of "I do not understand what proofs are about".

I think what I'm going to do, is to go through some of these "advanced calculus" notes and work out some of the assignment questions to see if I can figure out how to do math proofs. (I'm in grade 11 and taking both calculus/vectors and advanced functions this semester. So I will be applying to university next year).

If I find I don't really like doing proofs, I think I will do something else like engineering in university.

http://www.math.toronto.edu/drorbn/classes/0405/157AnalysisI/index.html

The professor even asks the students "what went wrong" on the exams, and posted up some replies.

http://www.math.toronto.edu/drorbn/classes/0405/157AnalysisI/TE2/WWW.html

It seems like many of the replies are along the lines of "I do not understand what proofs are about".

I think what I'm going to do, is to go through some of these "advanced calculus" notes and work out some of the assignment questions to see if I can figure out how to do math proofs. (I'm in grade 11 and taking both calculus/vectors and advanced functions this semester. So I will be applying to university next year).

If I find I don't really like doing proofs, I think I will do something else like engineering in university.

@alklein wrote

I think I found a web site on the equivalent first year advanced calculus course at University of Toronto. It is a MAT 157 web page from 6-7 years ago.

http://www.math.toronto.edu/drorbn/classes/0405/157AnalysisI/index.html

The professor even asks the students "what went wrong" on the exams, and posted up some replies.

http://www.math.toronto.edu/drorbn/classes/0405/157AnalysisI/TE2/WWW.html

It seems like many of the replies are along the lines of "I do not understand what proofs are about".

I think what I'm going to do, is to go through some of these "advanced calculus" notes and work out some of the assignment questions to see if I can figure out how to do math proofs. (I'm in grade 11 and taking both calculus/vectors and advanced functions this semester. So I will be applying to university next year).

If I find I don't really like doing proofs, I think I will do something else like engineering in university.

That's a really great idea - I am personally going to be reviewing calculus and going over proofs this summer. I intend to specialize in mathematics so I don't want to lose my passion over poor preparation or lack of studying. I recognized the basis of what the exam was actually talking about, but obviously I couldn't answer most of it because I haven't learned some of it yet.

I think if everyone takes what I find the more mature and realistic students commented on then we can all succeed on our own level.

The University of Toronto is the best school in the country, especially for math. The Fields Institute, a renowned centre for mathematics research, is nearby, and they do a ton of research at the university. Waterloo is also good, but it seems that UofT's not getting the commendation it deserves.

@JessaBrown wrote

That's a really great idea - I am personally going to be reviewing calculus and going over proofs this summer. I intend to specialize in mathematics so I don't want to lose my passion over poor preparation or lack of studying. I recognized the basis of what the exam was actually talking about, but obviously I couldn't answer most of it because I haven't learned some of it yet.

I think if everyone takes what I find the more mature and realistic students commented on then we can all succeed on our own level.

From attempting to read these "advanced calculus" notes (linked in an earlier post) and trying to do some of the easier proofs (without looking at the answers), so far I find I don't quite "get it".

My impression is that it seems like they are trying to minimize (or avoiding) actual calculations in the proof heavy stuff.

I'll look at these notes further, and see whether I have any great interest in abstract mathematical proofs. So far it seems kinda "meh" to me.

Lately I've also been reading some course notes from a quantum mechanics course at University of Toronto. These introductory notes on quantum theory are somewhat more interesting to me, that I've spent a bit of time trying to figure out more of the calculus math behind the calculations (like differential equations).

Maybe pure math isn't for me. (I don't know yet).