askastudent

your student life specialists

Archive for the ‘computer science’

Jul08

you should see me twerk tho

Hi Aska,

First of all just wanted to say I’m a huge fan. Your like the Hannah Montana of the internet, student by day, mentor my day as well. Anyway you know what I mean. So I was wondering if I can take computer science courses having never taken computer science courses in high school. Is that possible? Is there beginner computer science classes or naw.

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hey there,

omg i’m so touched. that is like the highest compliment i’ve ever been given, and i’ve had my fair share of teachers use my work as examples in class. mostly in primary school, but, you know, i think it still counts.

generally speaking, no, you don’t need previous experience in computer science to take a computer science class. there are a couple different ‘beginner’ classes you could take. CSC104H1 is the gentlest, baby introduction to the discipline. CSC108H1 is a bit more practical, and introduces you to programming languages and other things that the tech guys at Aska HQ know more about than i do.

however, CSC108H1 has a ‘P’ enrolment control, meaning that you can only enrol in it once the priority period has been lifted – that’s August 8th. so you’ll have to wait for the horde of first-year comp. sci. students to enrol before picking through any spaces, but if you somehow manage to get into the course, that’ll probably be what you’re looking for.

cheers,

aska

Jun26

restricting the people from computers

Hi Aska,

Can you help me out?? My brother is starting his first year at Uni in September. He wants to transfer from Physics to Computer Science at UTSC,
he wants to take all the required first year Computer Science courses during the first year but was worried that the rosi would give priority to?computer science students and he will not be able to get a spot in the required courses. I surfed the UTSC website and I wasn’t able to find out if first year computer science courses have priority. I know you mostly deal with UTSG questions but can you find out if the 4 courses all computer science required in the first year are priority? Thanks

Helpful Sis

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hey there,

good on you for being a helpful sister. one time, i rolled my sister down the stairs when she was a toddler to see what would happen. it was like rolling a watermelon down the stairs.

as far as i can tell, all comp. sci. POSt require 3.0 A-level FCEs (that’s A-level as in first year, so if any brits are reading, don’t be alarmed), so i’m not too sure which 4 courses you mean. buuut you can see all the enrolment controls for EVERY CSC course right on the timetable. convenient, eh?

under the ‘restrictions and instructions’ column of the timetable, there are different letters. if a course has a C, that means the course has a restriction. just click on the C and it’ll lead you to this explanation of all the possible restrictions. there’s no mention there of a priority or other restriction for A-level CSC courses, so i think your lil bro will have no problems enrolling.

best,

aska

Jun11

are you asking me for math help.

Hi there! I’ve visited your website for guidance and I’d like to ask a question personally. I’m a first year CS student. I dropped one course and failed 3 courses-2 of which are required to get into the CS program. I’m taking all three this summer and so far so good–I’m not messing this up again. My annual and cumulative GPA is really low…a little over 1.5. I’ve been thinking about the future and if grad school is something I’d want to do later on and now I’m worried about what I’ve done. If I do extremely well in these classes(90+), will it increase by GPA by much? And is it too late to get a GPA around the 3.5 or above area for when I graduate? Thanks a lot!

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hey there,

i’m so glad you’ve found my ramblings helpful! i like to imagine that some of you come here for Guidance capital-G, and not just for gifs or to send me into a college-question-related torpor.

unfortunately, i can’t answer your math problem because you didn’t give me all the variables. how many credits did you finish with in first year? was the course you dropped a 0.5 or 1.0 credit course? these things will affect your CGPA and i can’t figure it out without knowing them. besides, i’m not a calculator, dude. here’s your calculator.

anyway, while the cut-off for UofT’s M.Sc. in Applied Computing (i’m just gonna go with that degree because you didn’t specify a program) is a 3.3, it’s only over the last two years of your undergrad degree. so even if you did muck up first year, it’s not game over yet. but:

there are two general reasons people do not-so-hot in first year: 1) they weren’t ready. uni moved too fast and they underestimated it. it takes them some time to find their groove, but when they do, it’s smooth sailing. if that’s your situation, then you should 100% go for grad school! but if it’s reason 2) you’re just not motivated because you’re not enjoying yourself, then it’s NOT WORTH IT.

so while you’re doing that trademark student move of calculating potential GPAs (“so, if i get a 76% in this course…no, let’s say 78%, i can definitely get a 78%, then…maybe…my parents will love me…“), also think about whether this is really right for you. are you overwhelming yourself for good marks or do you feel like you can handle the work? and can you see yourself working as a slave to our mechanical overlords for life’s important questions?

cheers,

aska

May21

MY reputation is that i’m a fabulously wise guru

Aska, I heard you like questions so I got a few fo’ you:
1) Alternative offers. If I get an alternative offer, does that mean that my original offer is rejected, or will UofT outright tell me that I’ve been rejected?
2) Campus differences. Lets say a friend of a friend of a close relative of a friend got an alternative offer to UTM when they applied to UTSG and is feeling kinda bummed out. Would there be a big difference in programs? To be specific, Computer Science??
3) Not that I really care about this at all, but would your degree specify what campus you got it from?
Thanks

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hey there,

you got that right. i love me some questions. questions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. i’m not a physical being, so i don’t eat real food. i feed off of people’s questions, like that oracle from aladdin 2. so let’s begin the meal, shall we?

1) if you’ve received an alternate offer, that means that they are not making the original offer, and are instead making another one. so yes, whichever program you originally applied to, you weren’t accepted – instead you’ve been given an offer for an alternate program.

2) to your “friend of a close relative of a friend,” i would say that the differences are very minute. you can compare the mechanical differences relating to the required courses at each school by comparing the two calendars, but they’re not astronomical. for example, at the end of your first year at UTM, you need to have completed a math (with at least a 60%) and computer science (with at least a 65%) course, and 4 credits total. an equivalent student at UTSG would need to complete two comp. sci courses with at least a 60% in each and an average of 67% in both, and 4 credits total. there are some minor differences, but they’re not huge, right?

your degree is what you make of it. if you do really well at UTM, and supplement your academic career with relevant extra- and co-curricular activities, you will be successful. there are successful people from every school, and unsuccessful people. the “reputation” of the place can only take you so far. and i hope the people who brag about their school left right and centre feel VERY SILLY about that.

3) kind of. from the UTM convocation website: “[t]he diploma parchment will say ‘University of Toronto’ and NOT ‘University of Toronto Mississauga.’ The only place on the parchment where ‘University of Toronto Mississauga’ appears is below the Principal’s signature.” so it will say “University of Toronto Mississauga” in small letters under the principal’s signature, but it won’t be very visible on the page.

but it’s smart of you not to care too much about this. like i said, if you are accomplished in your school career, if you make connections while you’re at school, that’ll help more than a piece of paper from the downtown campus ever could.

good luck in first year, dude,

aska

Jan14

restarting your hardware

Hi, I am a second year student in Computer science in University of Toronto. I was shocked when I saw my marks on ROSI. I failed two courses that required for next year computer science studies. Actually, I got not bad mark each of them before final exam. Because of some family and relationship issue, I didn’t review much about them before exam. I did really bad in those two final exams. One of them is lower than 40% so that I was considered to be failed on that course regardless my grade before exam. The third year computer science needs 3.0 CGPA. In this case, I have lost completely. I don’t know what to do. I love computer science and programming, I never think I will fail cs course. Is it possible for me to go on in computer science? Please give me some information. Thank you so much.

?????????

hey there,

well, if you don’t have the 3.0 CGPA to move on, then unfortunately you’ll have to figure out some kind of alternative. it’s supremely uncool, i know, but what can ya do. obviously, i’m not telling you to drop out. i’m just saying you have a choice to make, and it’s in?your hands:?whether that means not continuing with your studies, transferring schools, or changing programs is totally up to you. it’s a personal choice, right, so i can’t tell you what to do. i can suggest some stuff – i’m super good at suggestive waffling – but you have to do what feels right for you (ew i sound like a new-age doctor but seriously in this case it’s true ok).

i mean if you love programming, maybe there’s another program somewhere that still has to do with programming but better suits your needs. i’m not an expert, but maybe there’s an analogous college program you can transfer into that might be more helpful to you. give it a think over, just for me, if you can; don’t discount the idea just because it wasn’t part of your original plan.

however if you think about it and you decide that you a) definitely want to stay in the program and b) can do a lot better next year, then you can try to petition your final grade. if you think that your family/relationship issues really were the cause of your low marks, then you might be able to rewrite some exams and/or resubmit some work. the pamphlet i linked to gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do this, but basically the first step is to contact your instructor or the department, depending on who you have access to.

petitioning your grade may or may not work out, but it’s worth a try if you think that these marks were just a one-time slip-up, and not an indication that what you’re doing isn’t really RIGHT for YOU (there i go with the new-age-yness again ugh). so that’s what i’d recommend. also, if you decide to do that, do it as soon as possible. it may end up being a long process, and you should try and sort it out right away.

i hope that helps a bit. good luck to ya!

aska

Nov28

where my homies at?

Hey aska,
I know that you can pick any college and still go into any course, but are the some colleges that are more popular with people in certain courses? I for one wanna go into computer science, so is there a college that most computer science students go?

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hey there,

okay, this has been said time and again on this site, but it hasn’t been said for a while so i think it bears repeating. besides, it’s a college question that isn’t just you asking me to pick your college for you, so i feel a bit more charitable about answering it.

so here’s the deal. i know what you’re thinking: that OFFICIALLY there are no subject-specific colleges but that unofficially, there’s some kind of UNSPOKEN RULE that someone neglected to tell you about how “this is the science college,” “this is the liberal arts college,” etc. etc

totally valid assumption, but it has no basis in fact. the only times when colleges might be even a little bit inclined to have more people from a certain program is if the program is actually run by that college. however, computer science (and most programs in the Faculty of Arts & Science) is not housed at any college, meaning that computer science students have no reason to accumulate anywhere.

you gotta trust me when i’m telling you this, guys: the colleges are not in any way related to subjects. it just doesn’t work like that. think about them like residence buildings. there are no residences that are more arts-y or more science-y. they’re just places where students are put. that’s what colleges are, without putting too fine a point on it: places where students are put. it’s just a question of whether you want to be put somewhere that’s big or small, looks old and grand or warm and quaint.

and obviously, we all know the drill about how to figure out which one of those you’d prefer: tour, research, and poke around this blog (shameless self-promotion, shh. it is actually helpful though seriously).

best of luck my friend,

aska

Nov25

the longest question ever submitted to askastudent

Hi there!
I’m just currently trying to get my stuff together for applying to different universities and I just had some questions and things I need to confirm. I’m currently in Grade 12 in Edmonton, Alberta and I want to get into Computer Science at Saint George.
Firstly, I would like to eventually end up in the Software Engineering stream and I just wanted to make sure that this stream is under Computer Science and not engineering or its own department (different universities does this differently and I just need to make sure I’m applying for the right thing).
Secondly, With the application process, if I were to apply right now, but my marks increase in the future could I update the marks?
Thirdly, With Computer Science, do I need to submit my Math 30 mark or can I just submit my Calculus mark and skip over math?
Fourthly, how do I go about getting my official transcripts to you? Is this an automatic process or would I have to talk to my school administrators?
Fifthly, speaking of marks and transcripts, I know some Universities will look at your grade 11 mark if you are currently not finished a prerequisite, is this true at U of T? Also, is the application average calculated by taking the required courses then taking the highest courses on the transcript or is it based on submitted courses?
Sixly, Okay I know you guys are probably sick of these questions about Colleges so I apologize beforehand. Anyways I just wanted to know how much being affiliated with a college really matter? Such as, would belonging to University College or Saint Mike’s over New College have an affect on future job prospects or grad school applications? (Basically how much does the prestige of a college matter).
Sevenly (okay this numbering system is starting to sound ridiculous), what is the cutoff for Trinity College? I am afraid of putting Trinity as my first choice because I don’t want to jeopardize my chances of getting into Victoria, Innis or Woodsworth. Speaking of Woodsworth, as Woodsworth doesn’t come with a meal plan so what alternatives are there? Also I heard somewhere that Woodsworth won’t consider you if you don’t put them down as your first choice, is this true?
8ly, Would getting a single room hinder on my social life, I’m worried that if I get a single room then I won’t be able to connect with as many people.
9*10^0-ly, how much support is there for first years, I know this probably varies from college to college but just generally speaking are there a lot of support options? I have never been in Toronto so I would imagine I would be pretty lost without it.
My highest marks as they currently stand: [information redacted for privacy purposes]
Finally with this information what do you think my chances of getting into Computer Science and into Trinity are?
And as a little side request, do you happen to know where I might find like a side by side comparison of the colleges? As well as where I might find scholarship information?
Anyways thank you very much for taking the time to read this. This would definitely clear up somethings for me. I look forward to hearing from you!
Best Regards.

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hey there,

congratulations man, you win the award for longest question ever received on askastudent. i’m impressed that you wrote all this out, seriously. meanwhile, i’m sitting here trying not to dribble egg salad on myself. it’s a wonderful thing uoft does to you.

i’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m gonna answer all of your questions briefly here, and i’m gonna refer you to our (NEW AND EXPANDED WOW) FAQ to answer some of the more general questions about colleges, living in residence, etc more extensively. sound good? good.

let’s get to these questions.

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Hi there!
I’m just currently trying to get my stuff together for applying to different universities and I just had some questions and things I need to confirm. I’m currently in Grade 12 in Edmonton, Alberta and I want to get into Computer Science at Saint George.

Firstly, I would like to eventually end up in the Software Engineering stream and I just wanted to make sure that this stream is under Computer Science and not engineering or its own department (different universities does this differently and I just need to make sure I’m applying for the right thing).

–> Software engineering does not exist as a separate stream at the downtown campus. UTSC’s computer science program offers a software engineering stream.

Secondly, With the application process, if I were to apply right now, but my marks increase in the future could I update the marks?

–> The final marks that the university looks at are your mid-May marks. Your school should be able to update these, and if not, you should be able to do so through OUAC. (If you have any trouble with this, contact OUAC directly.)

Thirdly, With Computer Science, do I need to submit my Math 30 mark or can I just submit my Calculus mark and skip over math?

–> Calculus and Vectors and Advanced Functions are both required

Fourthly, how do I go about getting my official transcripts to you? Is this an automatic process or would I have to talk to my school administrators?

–> Talk to your school about it! They should be able to help you out. Otherwise, see if you can apply through the OUAC 105 form, which is for out-of-Ontario students.

Fifthly, speaking of marks and transcripts, I know some Universities will look at your grade 11 mark if you are currently not finished a prerequisite, is this true at U of T? Also, is the application average calculated by taking the required courses then taking the highest courses on the transcript or is it based on submitted courses?

–> No. The application average is from your six highest courses including prerequisites. That stuff they tell you about universities sometimes looking at grade 11 marks is most likely a lie. obviously i’m not on any application committees, but if you’ve done well in grade 12, i’d say that’s more than enough.

Sixthly, Okay I know you guys are probably sick of these questions about Colleges so I apologize beforehand. Anyways I just wanted to know how much being affiliated with a college really matter? Such as, would belonging to University College or Saint Mike’s over New College have an affect on future job prospects or grad school applications? (Basically how much does the prestige of a college matter).

–> It really really doesn’t matter.

Seventhly (okay this numbering system is starting to sound ridiculous), what is the cutoff for Trinity College? I am afraid of putting Trinity as my first choice because I don’t want to jeopardize my chances of getting into Victoria, Innis or Woodsworth.

–> There is literally no cutoff. Admission also depends on the trinity college profile. Innis and Vic will not consider you if you don’t put them as #1. Woodsworth will.

Speaking of Woodsworth, as Woodsworth doesn’t come with a meal plan so what alternatives are there?

–> Here are some dining options available to all students.

8ly, Would getting a single room hinder on my social life, I’m worried that if I get a single room then I won’t be able to connect with as many people.

–> Not at all. You’ll be leaving with these people, using the same washrooms, eating with them on a regular basis…if you’re friendly and willing, you won’t have a problem meeting people.

9*10^0-ly, how much support is there for first years, I know this probably varies from college to college but just generally speaking are there a lot of support options? I have never been in Toronto so I would imagine I would be pretty lost without it.

–> I’m not quite sure what you mean by support. There’s plenty of academic support offered by each college and also by the university – all you have to do is look around!

My highest marks as they currently stand: [Information redacted]. Finally with this information what do you think my chances of getting into Computer Science and into Trinity are?

–> I ca’t be the one to tell you that. All I’ll say is, just apply, and don’t worry about it before you hear back from the university. Life is too short to stress out about a dumb little thing like this. Do the best you can, apply, and that’s really all you can do.

And as a little side request, do you happen to know where I might find like a side by side comparison of the colleges? As well as where I might find scholarship information?

–> That doesn’t exist. Scholarship information can be found here.

best of luck,

aska

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and there we have it! like i said, some of these questions will be going into my new FAQ, so keep an eye out for that for an EXPANDED ANSWER to a lot of these questions, with more INFORMATION and GIGGLES than you could possibly imagine. thanks for the typing workout, and remember to stay cool *sunglasses emoji*.

Sep30

weaselling past GPA requirements – yeah good luck with that

Hi,
I am currently doing Bs(Computer Sciences) in Pakistan – 5th semester (start of 3rd year). I would really like to get admission in Masters Degree
program offered in uoft. Although i am quite good at what my field focuses at, yet my GPA does not express that at all. I have a current CGPA of 2.30. uoft site says that the minimum gpa required even for applying is 3.00 (B). I am so much paranoid that i cannot express. The thing is that, surprisingly, the university i am doing my BSCS from is ranked #1 for CS in Pakistan and is actually really good. But at same time, their grading is very very very strict. what i mean to say is that with the amount of effort it took me to maintain gpa of 2.30 at FAST-NU (my university name), i could easily maintain way above 3.00 in any other university from Pakistan (just that they don’t teach as thoroughly as FAST). So this makes me think that if i was in a less competent university, it would have been easier for me to get to uoft. is it not a bit unfair? why is the teaching level of institutions not also considered.

And, please please please help me, i really want to make it to uoft. Can’there be any other way? If with gpa like this, i apply to uoft anyway, are there chances that i can get selected? what if i score really good at GRE test (or international students)? will the University of Toronto consider
me on the basis of anything other than my gpa? 🙁

Will really appreciate helpful suggestions.
Thank You

———————————————

hey there,

I appreciate how much you want to get into uoft. Seriously, it’s a pretty rad place. I’d love to help you as much as possible; you’ve come to aska for help, and if there’s anything more rad than uoft, it’s aska.

Unfortunately, I am just a lowly messenger, and I don’t have the power to bend uoft’s admission requirements. They do say explicitly on their website that they require at least a 77%-79% GPA in the final two years of your undergraduate course. Lucky for you, you’re just starting on your third year, meaning you’ve got almost two years to get your GPA up. I get that your university is crazy hard, but if you really want to get into uoft, you’ve got to find a way to boost it.

If there really is nothing you can do to bring up your marks but you feel like a master’s in CS here would be a breeze, the School of Graduate Studies does make exceptions in special cases. Do you feel like your case is special? Hint: it’s probably not unless you have some kind of industry experience to back up your knowledge, but I don’t know man, give it a shot, why not.

As for other parts of your application, a good GRE result will strengthen your application, but it’s not everything. At the end of the day, fair or not, the requirements are the same for all students, and you’ll probably just have to work within uoft’s GPA cut-off.

Bottom line, just do whatever you can to get your marks up in the next two years, and maybe consider applying to other universities – they’re alright too. I mean, they’re not us. But they’re alright.

aska

Jun21

complications getting into computer science

Hi there,

I’m transferring from Waterloo Biology to UofT (hopefully CompSci). I got accepted into Science under ArtSci, and UofT’s package said they would evaluate my admission to my desired program, in this case, CompSci.

I searched up the possible cases that I may not get into compsci right away, and it happens that there is something at UofT called POSt. Now I can declare any type 1 without requirements other than completing my 4 FCEs (assuming ANY 4 credits), but I was wondering about compsci’s requirements. It’s under Type 1S, so there’s additional req, but when I looked at the page on uoft, there’s nothing different from Type 1’s req beside the different date in applying. Is it possible that the req to get into compsci POSt (major/spec) may be that I have to pass 4 FCEs of compsci credits before I apply? I mean, there must be a meaning behind the S in Type 1S right? I’ve tried emailing the registrar, but no reply for two weeks now. At this point, any help would be much appreciated 🙁

I am referring to this page: http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/course/timetable/1213_fw/step-2-computer-science and it says “The Computer Science subject POSts (major and specialist) are Type 1S programs. They do not have requirements for entry into the program other than successful completion of 4.0 full-course equivalents. No application is required.”

Thank you!

———————————————

Hey hey

You left Waterloo?

But Waterloo has Oktoberfest! Schnitzels! The hats! Utter debauchery! D:

Oh well.

Anywho, I can understand UofT’s silly set of codes seeming rather confusing to someone that isn’t used to it or that got used to another school’s lingo first. But you’ve got it right so far!

Type 1 Subject POSts require nothing more than you having 4.0 full credits. However, that little S means that enrolment dates differ and the fees are weeeee bit higher.

(And by wee and mean a lot.)

So if you want to get into Computer Science, just log onto ROSI on July 3 and enrol. 🙂

Cheers!

aska

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