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Education

Computer Science at University of Guelph

Computer Science at Ontario Universities
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Previously covered: Brock, Carleton, Guelph, Lakehead, Ryerson, Toronto

University of Guelph computer lab

University of Guelph is located in Guelph, Ontario. It’s a medium sized University, with a semi-urban campus, home to about 17,000 undergraduate students. Computer Science is offered by Guelph’s Department of Computing and Information Science, earning its graduates a Bachelor of Computing. 4 year honours, or 3 year general. A co-op flavour of honours is also available.

Secure a strong foundation in hardware and theory with a particular focus on applied software development through the Bachelor of Computing degree at Guelph. Build a degree that uniquely positions you to enter the workforce as a sought-after expert with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that will make you indispensable.

It seems pretty straight forward, just Computer Science. What could be interesting is that Guelph allows for a choice of a so called Area of Application — a secondary subject of interest, along the lines of a minor, to which the knowledge from the core Computer Science is applied.

The schedule seems quite flexible with a lot of room for electives or Area of Application courses. The first year starts out with Calculus and Introduction to Programming. Going back to the basics of control structures, data representation and manipulation, program logic, development and testing — it’s a gentle introduction to Computer Science. Second semester’s Intermediate Programming picks up a bit with pointers, complex data types, and algorithms in C. Dynamic memory, linked lists, stacks and queues. It should be easy to start off in the program.

Object Oriented Programming with Java is saved for the second year, but as a trade-off it seems to be more in-depth than similar courses at the first year level in other institutions. The rest of the course descriptions are kind of vague. Assembly will be covered for Structure and Application of Microcomputers. That’s at least 3 different programming languages already, not bad.

University of Guelph campus

Fourth year is very flexible. The only required course is a seminar course during which you develop and present your project. The rest are electives.

Getting into Computer Science at the University of Guelph requires just English, Calculus, and 75~78% average. If it might be a close call, a Student Profile Form (SPF) should be filled out and send along with the application. It’s a chance to tell more about yourself, and get up to additional 5% added to your admission average.

Some related degrees offered by Guelph are: Engineering Systems and Computing — with specialization options such as Robotics; Physics Computing and Communications — a wild interdisciplinarity mix.

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Discussion

  1. Posted by Paul Butler | December 5, 2007, 11:10 am

    I like the idea of area of application courses. It seems like a CS education is that much more valuable when you have domain knowledge in some specific area, like health, finance, or a science.

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  2. Posted by Adam McKerlie | December 5, 2007, 11:16 am

    I had a 72 average and I got in. The area of application means you need 8 courses in another area of study. 10 courses gets you a minor so you’re better off with taking two extra courses in that area.

    3rd year courses include: Networking, Database design, Computer Modeling, Design Theory, Software Engineering, Intro to Artificial Intelligence .

    I love it here at Guelph, the campus is really laid back and the Profs are excellent.

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  3. Posted by Tony | December 5, 2007, 1:38 pm

    Area of Application does sound like a nifty idea — personally I understand the subjects studied much better if I get to immediately apply the material. Though if it’s just a more accessible minor, then I guess it’s not as unique as they make it sound. At any rate, it’s probably a good idea to pick up some courses of secondary interest.

    @Adam – thx for the additional info on CS @ Guelph!

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  4. Posted by Adam McKerlie | December 5, 2007, 1:44 pm

    Anytime Tony, I’m just glad that you spread some good light on Guelph’s CompSci program. A lot of people don’t think its respected since Guelph was mainly a Science/Agriculture University.

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  5. Posted by Bobrobyn | December 7, 2007, 3:31 pm

    I’m at Guelph as well, and I love the Area of Application idea as well (I’m probably going to get mine in Cognitive Neuropsychology — other popular ones are psychology, criminal justice, math & stats, and business). The only weakness at Guelph is the fact that the first year’s pace isn’t the greatest. They assume you come in without knowing how to program at all — but this allows you to keep your average for first year up (and if you don’t know C, you’ll learn it here). I think this suits getting used to university life, and supports learning on your own, too (I learned about Linux during this time). Second semester is better, you move at a decent pace, and from second year on you move at a great pace.

    I love the university, the city, and the program for it’s flexibility. I’d say come take a look at the campus when you are looking at universities — that’s what got me to decide to come here.

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  6. Posted by allie | December 11, 2007, 5:57 pm

    I love the idea of computer science as a major. When I went to college, the focus was on getting a degree to showcase you as a scholar. The push for me was to graduate magna cum laude, “with honors”. How impressive, right? Well, what a waste of time. I learned nothing practical. I didn’t learn any skills to take to the workplace, into the job I would soon hold. In retrospect, I would go into computer science, learning things that you mentioned, such as java, etc. These skills stay with you for life,and are used practically on a daily basis. Do I think about psychosocial paradigms, Freud, and cognitive therapy? No, I ended up as a nurse, not a psychologist. But most of my time is spent on a computer truth be told. I would LOVE to know more about computers, scripting, programming, etc. Computers are the way of the future!

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  7. Posted by Taylor | December 19, 2007, 3:39 am

    Allowing students to choose a area of application or minor is a great idea. Minors oftentime are just as important during postgraduate study or in the workfoce as a major.

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