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Waterloo Vs. Toronto - Electrical/Computer Engineering (ECE)

A photo of plato plato
[size=6]Hello everyone,

I need help, and you guys seem pretty knowledgeable. I'm considering both Waterloo and U of Toronto for computer engineering. My question is which program is better considering my following priorities:

Academics - This is my top priority; I want the hardest, most challenging program that is most current in terms of the present landscape (i.e. best courses, access to modern labs, platforms, material, sharp professors).

Graduate school acceptance - Please note any strong or weak points for getting accepted from either school into a graduate program, particularly south of the border. I read about grade deflation, kindly explain?

Fit for mature student - I know fitting in as a mature student is challenging in any university, but maybe you can speak to how accepting your school towards the mature students? Is residence a good idea for a mature student?

Please keep the following points in mind. I am a successful IT professional, so points about employability do not carry much weight in my decision. The most important point is academics. Please be specific, not just saying this school is known to be the best. And please don’t mention bill gates recruiting from waterloo. I have no intentions of working for evil companies like MS. His recruiting there does not make a school superior; I think the move to C# for 1st year programs was a big blunder at waterloo, and alludes to evil behind-scene relationships. BTW I think both schools are great, which is why I applied!

Thanks in advance for your help, I really appreciate your input.
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A photo of cyynthiia cyynthiia
Just reading your "academic" criteria..
U of T.
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A photo of North North
Based on what you have put down I'm going to recommend UofT.

Both universities have fantastic engineering programs, however much of UW's reputation and strength comes from the co-op aspect of their engineering programs. Remember, co-op is mandatory at UW. Since you have already established (hopefully) good work experience, then co-op would not benefit you nearly as much as many other prospective engineers.

Regarding grade deflation: It is widley believed that some universities (including UofT) modify marks to achieve a predetermined distribution. This means that you are essentially competing for marks against the rest of your class. This makes it harder to obtain a high GPA.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Go for uoft. Based on what people have said uoft is really academic. But you should go there just because coop is optional. If your looking for grad studies its also a good school since its known for its research. More so then anything i think you should try to work on research with the profs at uoft and try to get reccomendations. The universities in the US will respect this since there looking for research.
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@cyynthiia wrote
Just reading your "academic" criteria..
U of T.



Thanks for your input, might I ask why you say U of T based on academic?
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@North wrote
Based on what you have put down I'm going to recommend UofT.

Both universities have fantastic engineering programs, however much of UW's reputation and strength comes from the co-op aspect of their engineering programs. Remember, co-op is mandatory at UW. Since you have already established (hopefully) good work experience, then co-op would not benefit you nearly as much as many other prospective engineers.

Regarding grade deflation: It is widley believed that some universities (including UofT) modify marks to achieve a predetermined distribution. This means that you are essentially competing for marks against the rest of your class. This makes it harder to obtain a high GPA.




Thanks for explaining grade deflation to me. I've heard from a few people this is a problem at u of t. In regards to having enough good work experiences, the answer is yes. That is one major downside for waterloo for me. Though, it does provide opportunity to 'try out' different work environments, but I am pretty set on a graduate degree.

Do you think all things being equal, academics at U of T are better than waterloo? UW has a pretty strong ECE program. In hindsight, I should have applied for Eng Sci at UT.

Thanks for your input.
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A photo of cyynthiia cyynthiia
U of T will definitely be a challenge, academically.
I've heard a LOT about this, but I don't go to U of T myself so I can't say it's 100% valid.
But hearing stories about their bell-curving classes, I'm sure it'll be quite a challenge to maintain a GPA in the 3.8 - 4.0 range.
Waterloo is really only known for their co-op, as someone on this thread mentioned.
But it is a pretty quiet city, not much going on in Waterloo.
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@pj2121 wrote
Go for uoft. Based on what people have said uoft is really academic. But you should go there just because coop is optional. If your looking for grad studies its also a good school since its known for its research. More so then anything i think you should try to work on research with the profs at uoft and try to get reccomendations. The universities in the US will respect this since there looking for research.



Thanks for your advice, I agree with you and that is one plus for U of T. There will be more opportunities for summer jobs in research assistance. U of T has a stronger research program..... but that does seem to come with some caveats. Such as larger class sizes, inaccessible profs, a depersonalized undergrad experience.

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@cyynthiia wrote

Waterloo is really only known for their co-op, as someone on this thread mentioned.
But it is a pretty quiet city, not much going on in Waterloo.



Yuppers, another reason I'd like to pick U of T. Maybe a quiet city is condusive to learning, but I don't want to limit my social experiences to drinking beer in someone's basement. That said, I found the 'feel' of waterloo to be much more personal and friendly, probably as a result of not being as large as u of t... along with coops, giving students better social skills, especially for us geeky engineers :)
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A photo of tjozef tjozef

@plato wrote
[size=6]eludes to evil
[/size]



*alludes

in terms of graduate school, uoft has much more name recognition which is definitely beneficial if you're considering the states, as is the previously mentioned research factor.
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@tjozef wrote

@plato wrote
[size=6]eludes to evil
[/size]



*alludes

in terms of graduate school, uoft has much more name recognition which is definitely beneficial if you're considering the states, as is the previously mentioned research factor.



Granted. Though, if my grades are deflated into bad GPAs, reputation wont mean much. In actuality, waterloo has more of an edge in reputation south of the border with respect to ECE. Internationally, U of T edges above. Thanks for your input, and spell check :p
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A photo of plato plato
recovered my ID, phew, student awards admins rock!
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Wrapping up my 2nd year of ECE at U of T here. I have friends at Waterloo ECE.

Academically both are really good with high standards and fast pacing. Waterloo appears to be a bit ahead, but that's because they don't waste their first year doing general everything. At U of T everyone does a little bit of everything in 1st year, to allow students to switch to a different engineering program if they so desire. I.e. an ECE student has to take chem and mechanics in 1st year so that if he desires to switch to mech in 2nd year, he has the prerequisites.

Regarding the cities - Toronto is obviously way more vibrant and it's easier to get around and find good places to eat (very dense concentration of stores and restaurants, and decent public transit). Waterloo's almost the opposite. It's difficult to go out and when you do you'll be frustrated by horrendous public transport and a general lack of places to go to. If this is important for you, choose Toronto.

If you prefer academics over work experience, Toronto is the obvious choice, otherwise Waterloo.
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A photo of plato plato

@machoTS wrote


If you prefer academics over work experience, Toronto is the obvious choice, otherwise Waterloo.




Thanks for your input. I think your last statement is what it boils down to. I'm not sure waterloo is that much more focused in 1st year. Here is comparison of the first two years, excluding work term reports and prof seminar.

Waterloo Comp. Eng. 1st year courses:

CHE 102 Chemistry for Engineers
ECE 150 Fundamentals of Programming
GENE 167 Introduction to Methods of Electrical and Computer Engineering
MATH 115 Linear Algebra for Engineering
MATH 117 Calculus 1 for Engineering
PHYS 115 Mechanics
ECE 100 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
ECE 103 Discrete Mathematics for Engineers
MATH 119 Calculus 2 for Engineering
MSCI 261 Engineering Economics: Financial Management for Engineers
PHYS 125 Physics for Engineers


Toronto ECE 1st year courses:

APS104H1 - Introduction to Materials and Chemistry
APS105H1 - Computer Fundamentals
APS111H1 - Engineering Strategies & Practices I
CIV100H1 - Mechanics
ECE110H1 - Electrical Fundamentals
MAT188H1 - Linear Algebra
MAT196H1 - Calculus A
MAT197H1 - Calculus B
MIE100H1 - Dynamics



Waterloo Second Year:

ECE 209 Electronic and Electrical Properties of Materials
ECE 223 Digital Circuits and Systems
ECE 250 Algorithms and Data Structures
MATH 211 Advanced Calculus 1 For Electrical and Computer Engineers
One Elective Course (see Note 1)
ECE 202 Class Professor Seminar
ECE 204 Numerical Methods
ECE 222 Digital Computers
ECE 241 Circuit Analysis and Design
ECE 251 Programming Languages and Translators
One Elective Course (see Note 1)


Toronto Second Year:

ECE212H1 - Circuit Analysis
ECE216H1 - Signals and Systems
ECE221H1 - Electric and Magnetic Fields
ECE231H1 - Introductory Electronics
ECE241H1 - Digital Systems
ECE243H1 - Computer Organization
ECE244H1 - Programming Fundamentals
MAT290H1 - Advanced Engineering Mathematics
MAT291H1 - Calculus III


The one thing I will add, is that waterloo's 3rd year courses are mostly fixed, whereas, Toronto is flexible. Regardless, at Toronto, you must choose from 4 of the 6 areas to satisfy your breadth requirement, so it's not like a free-for all. Also, you are required to go in depth for two topic areas.

Anyway, I'm just posting this information in hopes of helping out others, obvious you already know all this stuff :-) Thanks again for the feedback.
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I'm currently in 2nd year, I asked my waterloo friend to pass me what he did in his 1st year, and believe it or not, his 1st year material is giving me a bit of a head start in half of my courses!

I think Waterloo does let you transfer after one and only one semester, if you go into co-op after that and then do another semester, then you're stuck. U of T lets you finish a full year before you decide to transfer.

Anyways, the city environment was a somewhat important factory in my choosing of U of T over Waterloo. I know I'd probably go insane if I had to deal with how frustrating it is to go out in Waterloo (I stayed overnight at my friend's res there once, and I had more fun staying indoors!). However if I lived in the Waterloo-Kitchener area I'd probably have chosen Waterloo since I could commute from home. Unfortunately, I live in BC, so either way I'll be alone on res, and U of T's environment in that situation is a lot better.

Where are you from, btw? Are you going to have to live on res regardless of which choice you pick?
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A photo of plato plato

@machoTS wrote
I'm currently in 2nd year, I asked my waterloo friend to pass me what he did in his 1st year, and believe it or not, his 1st year material is giving me a bit of a head start in half of my courses!



I Actually really like the sound of that. I'm looking to really dive into the material. Being an accomplished programmer, I have a small head start in some areas.


@machoTS wrote

Anyways, the city environment was a somewhat important factory in my choosing of U of T over Waterloo. I know I'd probably go insane if I had to deal with how frustrating it is to go out in Waterloo (I stayed overnight at my friend's res there once, and I had more fun staying indoors!). However if I lived in the Waterloo-Kitchener area I'd probably have chosen Waterloo since I could commute from home. Unfortunately, I live in BC, so either way I'll be alone on res, and U of T's environment in that situation is a lot better.

Where are you from, btw? Are you going to have to live on res regardless of which choice you pick?



Living environment is hands-down in Toronto's favour. I'm actually from Toronto, and moving out to the boonies scares me ^_^ Mind you, I am older and not so particular about party scene and stuff like that, but waterloo gets boring fast. I'm considering residence at Toronto, for first year at least, to network and make friends. I would do waterloo res for sure, since we are moving every four months anyway. And it's a good way to make friends and network.

Which res did you pick at UT? I applied for new college...but some say innis is better. Just looking for someplace close, quiet, meal plan, and a music room for guitar jam sessions :)
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@plato wrote

@machoTS wrote
I'm currently in 2nd year, I asked my waterloo friend to pass me what he did in his 1st year, and believe it or not, his 1st year material is giving me a bit of a head start in half of my courses!



I Actually really like the sound of that. I'm looking to really dive into the material. Being an accomplished programmer, I have a small head start in some areas.


@machoTS wrote

Anyways, the city environment was a somewhat important factory in my choosing of U of T over Waterloo. I know I'd probably go insane if I had to deal with how frustrating it is to go out in Waterloo (I stayed overnight at my friend's res there once, and I had more fun staying indoors!). However if I lived in the Waterloo-Kitchener area I'd probably have chosen Waterloo since I could commute from home. Unfortunately, I live in BC, so either way I'll be alone on res, and U of T's environment in that situation is a lot better.

Where are you from, btw? Are you going to have to live on res regardless of which choice you pick?



Living environment is hands-down in Toronto's favour. I'm actually from Toronto, and moving out to the boonies scares me ^_^ Mind you, I am older and not so particular about party scene and stuff like that, but waterloo gets boring fast. I'm considering residence at Toronto, for first year at least, to network and make friends. I would do waterloo res for sure, since we are moving every four months anyway. And it's a good way to make friends and network.

Which res did you pick at UT? I applied for new college...but some say innis is better. Just looking for someplace close, quiet, meal plan, and a music room for guitar jam sessions :)



Residence is a lot of fun in the social sense but a lot of students opt for simple off campus housing afterwards, including me. I went to Chestnut, but my first choice was Innis and I didn't get it for reasons unknown. Chestnut's basically the dumping ground for first years who couldn't get their first choice of res.

Nevertheless, res was a memorable experience and I had a lot of good times. It's definitely an awesome way to make friends (and project partners).

New College and Innis are both good, being fairly close to the engineering buildings. Innis is for those who dislike having meal plans, actually (I personally dislike it), though some Innis residents do buy one from New Col anyway. Since you want a quiet place with a meal plan and a guitar room, I'd say New is a good choice, followed closely by University College. If you have bad luck, you'll probably get thrown into Chestnut like I did, which means a 15 minute walk every day but a pretty decent room and facilities.

last note: If you opt to commute from your Toronto home every day, I have many Engineering friends in that situation and they hate it because it wastes 2+ hours of their day and also tends to prevent them from doing extracurriculars, and makes it inconvenient to meet project mates.

Can't say too much about Waterloo res as I don't go there, but my friend stays in UW Place and it beats any res at U of T, any day.
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A photo of plato plato


@machoTS wrote


Residence is a lot of fun in the social sense but a lot of students opt for simple off campus housing afterwards, including me. I went to Chestnut, but my first choice was Innis and I didn't get it for reasons unknown. Chestnut's basically the dumping ground for first years who couldn't get their first choice of res.

Nevertheless, res was a memorable experience and I had a lot of good times. It's definitely an awesome way to make friends (and project partners).

New College and Innis are both good, being fairly close to the engineering buildings. Innis is for those who dislike having meal plans, actually (I personally dislike it), though some Innis residents do buy one from New Col anyway. Since you want a quiet place with a meal plan and a guitar room, I'd say New is a good choice, followed closely by University College. If you have bad luck, you'll probably get thrown into Chestnut like I did, which means a 15 minute walk every day but a pretty decent room and facilities.

last note: If you opt to commute from your Toronto home every day, I have many Engineering friends in that situation and they hate it because it wastes 2+ hours of their day and also tends to prevent them from doing extracurriculars, and makes it inconvenient to meet project mates.

Can't say too much about Waterloo res as I don't go there, but my friend stays in UW Place and it beats any res at U of T, any day.



I could not agree with you more on all those points, except the meal plan :p It's basically so I can have one less thing to worry about, but New College is pricey and the food is not as good as chesnut. I put a single room as my top priority, which I know they don't offer to chesnut for first year students. So, hopefully they will find a spot for me somewhere in New or Innis. People think I am crazy for considering residence despite living in Toronto. As you said, it's only for first year. Then you can find roomies you like and rent a house.

Well, thanks for sharing all this great info. I may bug you in the coming month or two if I have more questions about UT ECE. Ultimately I am going to spend a day or two in each school bumming around with a current student to get a good handle on things :)
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A photo of thePurpleEngineer thePurpleEngineer
One question:

Which area in ECE are you interested in?



My two cents:

I'm sure you've considered this before, but here it is again. The length of the program:
UW - 5 year program
UofT - 4 year (+ optional PEY year) program


I think both are academically challenging, and both have very good reputation.
If you are more interested in computer (hardware/software) than electrical (circuits/power/signals/controls), you should consider UW over UofT because UofT asks you to take more electrical courses than UW would.
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A photo of thePurpleEngineer thePurpleEngineer
I'm not sure if I'd recommend residence.. I can tell you from experience that residences like New College & Chestnut at UofT is going to be filled with first year students straight out of highschool getting drunk and partying...

It WAS fun for me coming straight out of highschool, but I didn't find it as enjoyable when I went back into residence during my third year of study. They became more of an annoyance than fun... lol

But then again... if you are still able to pull off a keg stand, maybe it'll be fun for you as well.
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A photo of plato plato

@thePurpleEngineer wrote
One question:

Which area in ECE are you interested in?

If you are more interested in computer (hardware/software) than electrical (circuits/power/signals/controls), you should consider UW over UofT because UofT asks you to take more electrical courses than UW would.



I'm more interested in the hardware/software side. On the software side I'm interested in things like machine learning, which typically fall in the CS realm. I'm expecting courses like compiler design and software that lies in kernel space. On the hardware, side I'm interested in mechatronic applications, ASICs, along with photonics. If I squint hard enough I can see the quantum computing subject area for graduate studies.

What do you specialize in?
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A photo of tuzzer tuzzer
Plato, may I ask how old you are? The oldest person I met doing ECE undergrad at UW was in his 50s! He had been an electrical technician all his life and came to Waterloo to do undergrad Electrical Engineering for some unknown reasons... I wonder if you are in that type of situation, as you mentioned that you are already a successful IT professional. Are you fresh out of high school or doing a second degree?

I myself went to UW fresh out of highschool... so what I say below is more applicable to that type of applicants.
Let discuss about co-op first. I don't doubt that you would have trouble finding any jobs (so does most co-op students). But are you really sure what you want to work on? Are you sure that you want to go into research and the academia? You can decide that for yourself, but for me, I thought I did. But after a few co-op terms, I changed my mind. What's good about Waterloo is that you get many co-ops terms. Great if your first jobs work out perfectly and you really liked it. You can go back for a second term, and the third, and forth. If you realized that industry is not really what you want or you don't like that company, you have 5 more chances to get better jobs. Of course, having one longer co-op term has its advantage that you are given more serious responsibility. That's true. But you might also be stuck with some jobs you don't like for 16 months. I would recommend trying everything in first four work terms, even in fields you don't never thought about going into. When else in your lifetime would you be given the opportunity to do that. Then in you last two or three co-op terms you can decided on the industry that you are most interested in and stay there for 2 terms. Being able to work in multiple companies give you experience beyond the technical realm as different companies have significantly different cultures and ways to do things.

But since you said you didn't really care about co-op, I guess what I said above won't really matter to you.
In Waterloo, you will learn what you expect to learn in Computer Engineering. All computer engineering schools in the world teach about the same things. You can find the schedule for all programs for all 4 years UW's website. It's just how you study that matters. I am in Mechatronics, not Computer engineering, but I am sure that no engineering student at UW says that their program is not challenging enough. I have known people who graduated and moved on to some really prestigious university for grad studies. Again, it's really what you make it. Unless you are into nanotech, advanced lab equipments don't really matter that much in undergrad. You will get to play around with some real stuffs on your work terms if you are lucky. Sorry that I am not very helpful.... what exactly are you looking for in terms of "academic"?

About life in Waterloo and Toronto (I study at Waterloo and from Toronto). It depends on your personality. I personally enjoys visiting nearby town more than going to clubs. There's really nice town with food farmer market in St. Jacob. Also Stratford is kind of nearby and it's an beautiful city famous for its theatres. Also we have lots of community events going on here during the weekends. The air is fresher and generally less stressful.... also off-campus housing are cheaper than those in Toronto (~$400/month). And after all, it's only 1.5 hours Greyhound bus away from Downtown Toronto.

I myself enjoyed living away from home and live close to friends. It's a really good experience. Since you eventually have to move out anyways, why not start trying now while you still have some supports from parents (assuming you are fresh out of high school here). The residences here are awesome. I lived in three different residences: one suite style, one double room dormitory, and one single room. The dons in Waterloo are really friendly and helpful and residence are generally very comfortable and clean. I never bought meal plans because I always cook on my own. (except one of the term in the double room dorm that I got all-you-can-eat every meal for one term).

Oh right! I need to mention that there are many students teams in here. Professors here encourage us to participate in student teams. And the school is doing its very best to supports those teams and foster new ones. There will be at least one student team that will cover those interests that you listed above. I myself joined many student teams and I think those are the part of UW that I like best, learned the most, and met most friends in.



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@tuzzer wrote
Plato, may I ask how old you are? The oldest person I met doing ECE undergrad at UW was in his 50s! He had been an electrical technician all his life and came to Waterloo to do undergrad Electrical Engineering for some unknown reasons... I wonder if you are in that type of situation, as you mentioned that you are already a successful IT professional. Are you fresh out of high school or doing a second degree?



I'm in my early 30s. I've grown tired of the IT landscape - APIs grow dull. There is something to be said for productivity, but just because I can create a web sever with three lines of code does not mean I've learned anything in the process. In the words of Neil Gershenfeld, we've gone through a digital revolution, it's over, we won. We don't need to keep having it.

I am retooling and laying the foundation for something different....

@tuzzer wrote

Sorry that I am not very helpful.... what exactly are you looking for in terms of "academic"?



You have been helpful. You wrote a lot, thank you for sharing. Waterloo is not a commuter school, so there is going to be a greater sense of community. I found Waterloo much more warm and welcoming that Toronto. But I have to admit I prefer big city life.

In terms of 'academic', I'm looking for progressive material. ECE has gone through some major changes over the last decade and I'd like to pick a school that is up-to-date in terms of platforms, applications and design principles. Not sure what platforms UW is using, but it took a while for them to switch over from the Motorola 68k to ColdFire. I'm bummed about them teaching C# in first year, but those are only minor gripes. UW was choice 1 on my OUAC form, and some of the positives you mentioned are very strong points in favour of UW.

I'm considering a mechatronics option if I do ECE there, but also looking at the physics option. You're in an awesome program! I'm more interested in the computer end of the spectrum than mechanical, but I spend so much time working on mechanical projects.

Have you found any cool jobs/areas that interest you?
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A photo of tuzzer tuzzer
I am not in ECE, so I can't say for sure. But the first two years of university are going to quite general and more conceptual. We usually use "old stuffs" in our labs anyways because the lab instructors there will have much experience teaching with those and it's the concepts and theories that matter anyways.
However, I know that in my OS course, one of the students in my class programmed the operating system for a ColdFire processor. But it was his choice that he wanted to do something extra. Normal students just program their operating systems for a Unix machine.
But in general, I would say that you shouldn't expect to get to play with the latest technology if you come to UW undergrad. But you can call up the ECE department to learn more about the lab to be sure. But I also doubt that any other university would be any different. Usually we do the application part of things in our spare time.

I think that very few people in ECE do Mechatronics option. This is because just the ECE core courses are extremely demanding. Most people don't really have the time to take 6 extra mechatronics courses, which are also just as demanding, on top of classes + labs + assignments + projects. Unless you are really exceptional, which you might be since you are considering grad school, you might not want to count on having the time to do mechatronics option. There are people who done it. Just that it's hard, since it's not a specialization; it's something extra. Btw, they won't let you take any extra classes unless you get over 80% average. But if you can't take extra classes, you are not going to be able to do any option. Of course, unless you don't mind staying for a fifth year.

I would like to warn you though, that in Waterloo, it's very rare to have "mature" students in our class. So if you go to UW, you are probably might be the only "older" one in class, and be hanging out with the same group of kids throughout your 5 years there! Not sure about UT, but in Waterloo, people in the same program are generally taking the same classes at the same time throughout the 5 years, with some more flexibility in the final year.




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A photo of tuzzer tuzzer
I would also like to add that mechatronics engineering focus a lot on software design. Control is the main topic in mechatronics, and most of that has to do with software nowadays. If you like Mechatronics, you might as well apply or transfer to Mechatronics. It's not as mechanical focus as you might think.


@plato wrote


Have you found any cool jobs/areas that interest you?




I am currently working at a company in the area of home automation system (namely lighting and shading control). I would say that system integration and automation is the area that I would like to explore further. I have done some robotics in school, but, though they exist, robotics jobs are hard to come by. And I think most of the robotics (non-industrial like flying robot, household robot, educational robot...) companies aren't really making lots of money..... (I could be wrong though)

Actually I recently got a co-op job offer in a company in Japan doing manufacturing automation (hope they are still alright). ya so automation and system is where I want to get into.
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@tuzzer wrote
I would also like to add that mechatronics engineering focus a lot on software design. Control is the main topic in mechatronics, and most of that has to do with software nowadays. If you like Mechatronics, you might as well apply or transfer to Mechatronics. It's not as mechanical focus as you might think.



I agree, mechatronics has a large component of computer control. In sifting through the course listing for both ECE and mechatronics, I found more core courses in mechatronics that did not appeal to me (i.e mechanics of deformable solids). Whereas, in ECE, I can choose the specific mechatronics courses that appeal to me. I'm still also considering a physics option. Hard to say until I get my hands dirty in a few courses. I've been building autonomous robots and other mechatronic projects for quite sometime and I love it. But building robots is not exactly a practical employment area, and I don't find mainstream applications like ABS brakes very interesting.


@plato wrote


Have you found any cool jobs/areas that interest you?





@tuzzer wrote
I am currently working at a company in the area of home automation system (namely lighting and shading control). I would say that system integration and automation is the area that I would like to explore further. I have done some robotics in school, but, though they exist, robotics jobs are hard to come by. And I think most of the robotics (non-industrial like flying robot, household robot, educational robot...) companies aren't really making lots of money..... (I could be wrong though)

Actually I recently got a co-op job offer in a company in Japan doing manufacturing automation (hope they are still alright). ya so automation and system is where I want to get into.



That is a cool area of employment. My brother in law works in automation and he does a lot of design work across a wide array of disciplines. He works mostly with PLC control and builds things from the ground up. I love mechanical design challenges, but don't have a broad background to pull off more sophisticated solutions.
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