[MathSoc Council] Breadth & Depth Requirements

Ifaz Kabir vpf at mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca
Sat Feb 11 18:09:39 EST 2012


I do not like the idea of breath, or depth requirements at all. It's just adding an additional layer of planning one must do to, and we already have enough trouble planning our courses with Co-op. I can understand breath and depth recommendations, but I'm opposed to them being requirements.
My issue with breath requirements is the following: What if I really like History and Philosophy, and would like to take 5 Hist and 5 Phil courses? Then, the 2.0 units in social sciences, pure sciences and applied sciences are getting in my way.
My issue with depth requirements: What if I really like my first HIST course, but have such a bad experience with my second course that I do not want to sit through another HIST course ever again. But I had planned HIST to fill my depth requirements, but now I have to re-plan everything.
Also I see nothing wrong with taking X 101, for 10 values of X. What if I wanna try out 10 different subjects to see which of these 10 I like, what each of these 10 subjects have to say etc?
These requirements just are just additional red-tape if you ask me. I think, we should let students choose what is valuable to them: going broad or going deep. I personally took a few 1XX courses, and decided I liked PHIL enough to go deeper into PHIL, and I think most people will have a similar experience anyway, so it doesn't matter whether we have depth requirements or not.
Thanks,Ifaz
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2012 15:09:02 -0500
From: dchlobow at csclub.uwaterloo.ca
To: council at mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca
Subject: Re: [MathSoc Council] Breadth & Depth Requirements

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



_______________________________________________

Council mailing list

Council at mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca

http://mail-stanton.mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/council




_______________________________________________

Council mailing list

Council at mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca

http://mail-stanton.mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/council





_______________________________________________
Council mailing list
Council at mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca
http://mail-stanton.mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/council 		 	   		  
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail-stanton.mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca/pipermail/council/attachments/20120211/f14d84f0/attachment-0002.html>


More information about the Council mailing list