[MathSoc Council] Breadth & Depth Requirements

Dominik Chłobowski dchlobow at csclub.uwaterloo.ca
Sat Feb 11 15:09:02 EST 2012


I would think "breath" to be quite important pursuing any kind of studies,
let alone even surviving until that point. ;)


W dniu 11 lutego 2012 13:14 użytkownik Brook Jensen
<brwarner2 at gmail.com>napisał:

> I'm pro depth, anti-breath. Most students for breath just end up taking
> courses they have absolutely no interest in, and therefore learn nothing.
> It's simply filling up the lectures with people who don't want to be there,
> wasting their time and money, and also that of the teacher. I'm pretty sure
> we can't expect students in this position of taking a course purely because
> they're told to, to actually remember any of the content and therefore
> obtain the "breath" that the courses supposedly offer.
> --
> Your Friendly Neighbourhood Computer Scientist,
> Brook Jensen
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM, Sean Hunt <scshunt at csclub.uwaterloo.ca>wrote:
>
>> Hey Council,
>>
>> There has been some discussion recently in CS about the purpose of or
>> suitability of breadth and depth requirements.
>>
>> For those of you who don't know, breadth and depth requirements are
>> additional rules that apply to CS students (honours and joint honours)
>> with regards to their non-math courses, and date back to the creation
>> of the BCS back in 2002/3. The requirements are:
>>
>>
>> The 5.0 non-math units must either be used to satisfy requirements for
>> a minor or a joint honours plan outside the Faculty of Mathematics, or
>> must satisfy the following elective breadth and depth requirements.
>> (Alternate plans must be approved by a CS advisor.)
>>
>> Elective breadth requirements
>>
>>    1.0 units from the humanities (subjects from ARTS, CHINA, CLAS,
>> CMW, CROAT, DAC, DRAMA, DUTCH, EASIA, ENGL, FINE, FR, GER, GRK, HIST,
>> HUMSC, ITAL, ITALST, JAPAN, JS, KOREA, LAT, MUSIC, PHIL, POLSH, PORT,
>> REES, RS, RUSS, SPAN, SPCOM, UKRAN)
>>
>>    1.0 units from the social sciences (subjects from AFM, ANTH,
>> APPLS, BUS, ECON, GEOG, HRM, INTST, INTTS, ISS, LS, MSCI, NATST, PACS,
>> PSCI, PSYCH, REC, SMF, SOC, SOCWK, SPD, STV, WS)
>>
>>    0.5 units from the pure sciences (subjects from BIOL, CHEM, EARTH,
>> PHYS, SCI)
>>
>>    0.5 units from the pure and applied sciences (subjects from pure
>> sciences plus ARCH, ENVS, ERS, GERON, HLTH, KIN, PLAN)
>>    Note: No course can be used to satisfy more than one of the above
>> requirements.
>>
>> Elective depth requirements
>>
>>    1.5 units with the same subject, including at least 0.5 units at
>> third-year level or higher
>>    or
>>    1.5 units with the same subject forming a prerequisite chain of
>> length three
>>
>>
>> The first obvious issue is that of a minor. While it is extremely
>> difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy the requirements of a minor
>> without also fulfilling the elective depth requirements, it also is
>> often impossible to satisfy the elective breadth requirements without
>> taking more than 10 non-math courses. This is why the minor exemption
>> exists, but some professors who are in favor of the breadth
>> requirements do not feel that it is warranted, especially for students
>> taking a BCS + a minor.
>>
>> The questions raised here are about the purposes of the breadth and
>> depth requirements, and what use they serve.
>>
>> My personal opinion is that we should primarily encourage students to
>> obtain depth of knowledge in a field outside of mathematics, rather
>> than just take X 101 for 10 different values of X. As a result, I
>> think that the depth requirement is valuable---and potentially worth
>> adding to other major plans (note that students in most Math/Business
>> programs as well as Mathematical Physics, the most stringent and
>> complex of our programs, would satisfy these requirements
>> automatically). At the same time, I do not see the value of telling
>> students that they cannot focus their knowledge in another non-math
>> area, so I would personally advocate removal of the breadth
>> requirement.
>>
>> I am, however, interested in what others have to say, both the CS
>> students and the other students. What do you guys think?
>>
>> Sean
>>
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>>
>
>
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