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1. Preparation

a) What can I be doing over the summer to prepare for a successful study term in Fall 2020

Read this website

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Take your time and read the information on this website. It has been curated specifically for you!

Complete course selection between June 17 and June 22, 2020

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Course selection can be confusing your first time, especially since your course selection for Fall 2020 term differs from the process you will follow for the second term and beyond. The Math Undergraduate Office makes your first term easier by helping you with this special course selection process so please make sure you complete course selection within the one-week time period.

Review CEMC's online material

The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) based at the University of Waterloo has prepared some outstanding online material that covers the equivalent of Ontario's Grade 12 Advanced Functions and Calculus and Vectors courses as well as Computer Science courses on Python, web basics and web programming. The courseware provides complete lessons, worksheets that you can experiment with, hundreds of automated self-assessment exercises and thousands of written exercises, many with complete solutions. The courses are divided into units and the search tool makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

Anticipate your first-year workload

Most students take 10 courses (5.0 units) in first year: five courses (2.5 units) in the fall term and five more courses (2.5 units) in the winter term. Co-op students are advised to consider the amount of time they will need to spend on their search for employment as approximately equal to adding a 'sixth' course to their timetable. Some students may find they can perform better by taking fewer courses in a term. It does mean that they will be here longer but it may mean that they can get the grades they want or participate in a range of extra-curricular activities. We encourage no fewer than three courses per term so you will still be considered a full-time student. We suggest you speak to an academic advisor if you have questions about course load.

Most classes have three or four 'contact' hours scheduled per week, so you will spend from 15 to 20 hours each week attending lectures, tutorials, and labs. This, however, is only the beginning. For every contact hour you spend in class, you should expect to spend at least two hours of private study: working on assignments and projects, doing assigned reading, and preparing the notes you will use to study for the midterm and final exams.

Thus, you can expect to work a minimum of 45 to 60 hours per week. What's more, you won't have the pressure from parents or teachers to tackle the work. Your professors will treat you as adults, which means they will expect you to take responsibility for keeping up with your assignments, readings, lectures (taking notes and later digesting the information), term projects, and preparation for midterm and final exams. The key to success is to carefully manage your time and balance your responsibilities from the very beginning of each term.

Register with AccessAbility Services (if applicable)

AccessAbility Services is the university’s centralised office for the management of academic accommodations for all students with a known or unknown disability, illness, or condition. AccessAbility Services design and facilitate your academic accommodation plan by removing barriers and building your capacity for personal success. AccessAbility Services can support students with temporary conditions ('I broke my leg and it is difficult to get around campus') and chronic/permanent conditions ('I am legally blind'). If you think you may have a condition that warrants an accommodation plan, we encourage you to register for accommodations before you come to campus or as early as possible when you start in September to enable accommodations to be implemented in a timely manner.

Participate in MTHEL 199

If you signed up for offering number one (August 4 to September 14) of MTHEL 199 then you should participate in the course in LEARN. If you did not choose offering number one during course selection then you can add the course in Quest and then you will be added to the LEARN page within approx. 24 hours. Please note that the first assignment for MTHEL 199 needs to be submitted by August 11, 2020.

Register for orientation

Orientation is your official welcome to campus. It is an opportunity for new students to experience a balanced introduction to the academic, social and community aspects of university life with the guidance and support of upper-year students. Orientation is a shared partnership between the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA), the Student Success Office (SSO) and the faculties.

2. Course selection

a) Should I accept my transfer credits?

This decision is up to you and your personal circumstances. You can find more information about transfer credits.

b) Should I take the advanced courses (MATH 145/147 and CS 145)?

We should clarify that the advanced courses are the enriched versions of the regular courses. All of the students who were accepted to the Faculty of Mathematics at Waterloo are exceptional students and some of you will struggle with our regular offerings of the core courses (MATH 135/137 and CS 115/135). We also know that some students will not feel challenged by the regular offering and this is why we have an enriched section of these courses.

c) What should I choose for my non-math elective?

This will depend on your program requirements. We suggest you review these charts for direct admission plans and plans beginning in 2A as you may find an answer there. Overall, we encourage you to choose a course in which the topic fascinates you or you want to learn more about that area or will be a nice change from the other courses you are enrolled in. All academic plans in Mathematics require that students complete ten non-math courses (with two of them being required communications courses). You can review a list of courses that may be available to you on the Registrar's Office website.

3. Course enrolment

a) I did course selection. Why do I have to do course enrolment?

Course selection is a wish list of courses you wish to take in Fall 2020. We cannot guarantee that you will be enrolled in all of your requested courses due to capacity issues etc.

Course enrolment is when you can make changes to your schedule, swap to different sections of core/required courses, swap to a different communications course or non-math elective. it is also good to confirm that you were enrolled in the courses that you were expecting to be enrolled in.

b) What should I do if a course is full or the section I want is full?

You will need to wait until a spot becomes available in Quest because another student has dropped the class or swapped to another section. If a communication or non-math course is full, you will have plenty of other terms that you can take the course.

c) I am getting an error message when I try and add a course or swap to a different section?

The Drop/Add Period begins on Thursday, July 30, 2020, so you will not be able to make any changes to your courses until that date and right up until September 21, 2020.

There are a variety of error messages that students may receive. To try and solve the problem, we strongly encourage you to review the Registrar's Office FAQs about the Drop/Add Period and the enrolment error messages page. If you don't find an answer to your question, you can contact the Math Undergraduate Office from your Waterloo email account making sure to include your eight-digit student number and a screenshot of the error message you are receiving.

4. Degree requirements

a) What is the Undergraduate Calendar?

The Undergraduate Calendar is published once a year by the Office of the Registrar. The Calendar provides official information about courses, programs and plans, related policies, and regulations for both students and applicants, as well as general information about the University. You can use the undergraduate calendar to know about faculty policies, degree requirements and course descriptions. More about paddington pdf free download pdf. We find that many questions that students have about their academic plan, courses or faculty policies can be found in the undergraduate calendar so we strongly encourage students to look here as a first step.

b) What grade do I need in my List 1 Communications course?

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You need a 60%+ in your List 1 Communications course. This information can be found in the undergraduate calendar. Due to capacity issues in List 1 Communications courses, it is possible to take this course in your 1B/Winter term.

c) When can I declare my major?

This is a very common question that we receive from our newly admitted students. If your entry program was Honours Mathematics, the earliest that you will be able to declare a major will be at the start of your second year. This means that we strongly encourage you to spend your first term of study getting used to university life and learning what you do and do not like about Math study at Waterloo which may help you understand what areas you want to pursue further study in. In the Fall and Winter terms, the Math Undergraduate Office together with the departments in the Faculty of Mathematics will be providing further information about declaring majors.

d) I applied to co-op but was not accepted. Is it possible to get into co-op later?

It is possible to get into co-op after we see two terms of study here at Waterloo. It is highly competitive to transfer from the regular program to the co-op program and there are a limited amount of spots available for students to transfer to co-op while a student at Waterloo.

5. Academic integrity

a) What is academic integrity and why is it important?

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of research, teaching, and learning at the University of Waterloo and it is expected that all members of our community personally demonstrate academic integrity in their work.

Academic Integrity is taken very seriously and it is your responsibility as a student to know, understand, and follow the University of Waterloo policies. Violations can have serious consequences, affecting your grades, academic standing, and future career. Ignorance is not an excuse. Check out the following: fact sheet for undergraduate students (PDF), academic integrity brochure (PDF), and complete the undergraduate academic integrity tutorial to be sure you have all the knowledge you need.

If you have further questions about academic integrity, you can send an email to our Academic Integrity team.

6. University Life

a) What is a WATCard and where can I get it?

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The WatCard is the campus ID card for students, faculty, staff and affiliates of the University of Waterloo. Your WatCard will be your most used piece of identification on campus and offers access to many services both on and off campus. Just a few of the things you can use your WatCard for include: riding Grand River Transit buses and ion Light Rail Transit in the Waterloo Region, purchasing food at Food Services locations, identification for exams, access to your student residence and printing anywhere on campus with uPrint.

Information about how to upload your photo and where to pick up your card can be found on the WATCard's website.

b) What email address should I be using to communicate with staff and faculty?

Beginning June 27, 2020, all messages from the University of Waterloo will be sent to your new Waterloo email address. After this date, you must activate your Waterloo email account. It is expected that you use your Waterloo email account to communicate with staff and faculty and you include your eight-digit student number in all email correspondence.

c) What computer do I need to study at the Faculty of Mathematics?

You don't have to own a computer to study in the Faculty of Mathematics; we provide sufficient computing facilities on campus for students to complete course-related work. However, these computers are often in high demand just before assignment due dates, so many of our students find it more convenient to have their own machine.

If you want to purchase a computer, we recommend that you do so toward the end of your first year. This will help you determine whether the plan in which you are interested has particular computing requirements.

  • Any of the three major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Linux) will meet your needs. Computer science majors, however, will find it easier in the long run if their computer supports a variant of Unix (which is used for many assignments). Mac OS and Linux meet this criterion; Windows 10 users can enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux and then run a flavour of Linux simultaneously with their Windows install.

  • The amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) (memory) has a significant effect on performance. 4 GB is a bare minimum; more is better.

  • The price of SSD (Solid State Drives) has come down; they can provide a substantial improvement over a mechanical 'hard disk drive', so they are a good investment.

  • You should back up your computer on a regular basis (e.g., daily). An external hard disk, stored away from your machine, is an easy way to do this. If you don't have a lot of data, a USB key might be adequate. You might also consider cloud-based storage and backup services as a way to keep copies of your files.

  • Laptops or netbooks are handy for taking notes in class, doing homework while on campus, and taking on a work term.
  • Don't spend a lot of money on software before you check out what you need and options for getting it. Much of the software used in courses is free and available for all three major operating systems. The university has a variety of site-licensed software, which is available to the university community for free or at a greatly reduced price.

d) What calculator am I allowed to use?

To ensure that all students have equal access to calculators, the Faculty of Mathematics has approved only a small number of calculators for use. Free Pink Tie calculators are provided in your Orientation kit. If you aren’t attending Orientation, you can purchase an approved Pink Tie calculator from MathSoc or from W Store.

The Faculty of Mathematics has a strict calculator regulation. Please ensure you are familiar with this regulation before purchasing a calculator.

e) When are tuition fees due for Fall 2020?

Fees schedules for the fall 2020 term will be available in early July and will be posted to individual student accounts in late July. Students will be notified by email at that time.

If you are interested in applying for financial aid or need information about awards and scholarships, please contact our Student Awards and Financial Aid Office, located in Needles Hall.

f) What is the deadline to apply for housing on campus?

The deadline to apply for housing on campus is June 1, 2020. However, we recommend that you view Residence's incoming first-years webpage and direct any questions about housing to our campus partner, Housing, as this is their area of expertise!

Math Undergraduate Office (MUO)

Learning in an online or remote format means you may need to adapt how you approach your course material. When considering the differences between in-person classes and remote and online environments, it’s important to remember that your previous experience means that you already have study strategies that can be applied to online learning formats.

Set yourself up for success in online and remote learning by using the checklist below:

  • Review course resources that are available to you.
    • e.g.: MyLearningSpace course content, textbook, lecture slides, online discussion boards, classmates
  • Check updates and messages from your professor.
    • e.g.: Check MyLearningSpace and your student email regularly for news items and information from your professor.
    • e.g.: Reach out to your professor if you need clarity regarding an assignment or course content.
  • List the remaining evaluations in your course(s).
    • e.g.: List and track each remaining assessment, including midterms, essays, discussion posts, and/or final exams, and note the due date(s)
  • Develop a plan to manage your time and avoid procrastination.
    • Treat each online course as if you still have scheduled in-class time. Schedule time to complete readings, review lecture slides, create notes, and/or try practice problems.
    • Read your syllabus/course outline, break down your assignments into smaller tasks, create deadlines for each task and study sessions. Don’t forget to track your progress.
    • e.g.: If you had 3 hours of in-class lectures, you will continue to schedule those hours in your weekly schedule as well as time to complete readings and assignments
  • Eliminate distractions to stay motivated when focusing on course work.
    • Online learning requires self-direction and accountability.
    • e.g.: Turn off notifications on your computer, silence your phone or put it away, find a space with limited distractions, and limit social media use by installing a website blocker such as Cold Turkey, Stay Focused (Chrome extension), or Self Control (Mac application).
  • Access available academic supports:
    • Visit Academic Advising and Support for updates and new ways to virtually connect with services for student success
    • Review relevant resources:
      • Accessible Learning

Tech Services

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Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offers online services and other resources that may help meet your technology needs as your classes move to an online format:

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For more information, [email protected]