Table of Contents
Changes to Computing Plans
There have been significant changes to the Computing major and the CSCI specialization, and smaller changes to other plans. CISC 220 is now optional except in SODE, and CISC 260 has been moved to 3rd year. There are several new courses:
- CISC 181 - Digital Societies, a service course that can be used as part of the Certificate in Data Analytics
- CISC 371 - Nonlinear Optimization, part of the Data Analytics focus
- CISC 372 - Advanced Data Analytics, part of the Data Analytics focus
- CISC 473 - Deep Learning, part of the Data Analytics focus
- CISC 474 - Reinforcement Learning, part of the Artificial Intelligence focus
Changes to the Computing Major and the CSCI Specialization
For the 2019-20 academic year the Computing major and corresponding Computer Science specialization have changed significantly to offer greater flexibility and allow students to focus on one of five areas of the discipline by appropriate choices of six courses from corresponding options lists.
- Fundamental Computation, the most flexible choice, which generalizes and replaces the two sets of options from the previous major.
- Biomedical Computation, similar to the Biomedical Computing specialization (BMCO) but allowing you to combine the major with a minor in another discipline (such as Biochemistry, which together with this focus is roughly equivalent to BMCO).
- Data Analytics, a more technical version of the planned Certificate in Data Analytics.
- Artificial Intelligence, a more technical variant of the Cognitive Science specialization (COGS); you can get the equivalent of COGS by combining the major with an appropriate selection of electives from your chosen complementary disciplines, or can specialize by combining with a minor in a single discipline.
- Game Development, a more flexible variant of the existing Game Development option within Software Development (SODE).
Students already in a Computing plan needn't change anything; SOLUS will recognize your previous courses as part of the revised plans. Students wishing to switch from a specialization to the major or CSCI should consult an advisor.
- A major can be combined with a minor in another discipline; a specialization can't.
- The name of a focus doesn't appear on your diploma or transcript; if it is important that you have "Cognitive Science" or "Biomedical Computing" on your diploma, you should stick with the existing specializations rather than switch to the major. We are hoping the University will introduce a mechanism that allows the name of your focus to appear on your transcript and diploma.
- You can focus in several areas, or take portions of several, as long as you complete all the courses in at least one focus. You can only have one specialization.
- The Computer Science (CSCI) specialization is now exactly equivalent to the major plus the 30-unit breadth requirement needed for CIPS accreditation.
- CISC 220 (the Linux and C course) is now optional in all plans except SODE.
- CISC 260 (Programming Paradigms) has been moved to 3rd year as CISC 360, to reduce the workload in winter term of second year.
New course descriptions can be found in the courses list for 2019-20.
Danger! Avoid Deferring Courses
The leading digit of a course is the year in which it is expected to be taken; thus 300-level courses are expected to be taken in 3rd year, for example. Do not defer a course to a later year if at all possible; this may require that you give up taking a desirable optional course in favour of a required core course.
The reason is that we cannot guarantee a conflict-free timetable between courses intended to be taken in different years. Thus, this year, there is a conflict between CISC 324 and CISC 497. Allowing a conflict requires permission from the undergraduate chair, which is contingent on working out arrangements acceptable to all the instructors involved. Such arrangements are not necessarily possible in all cases.
Grade Requirement in Prerequisite Courses
As of July 2017 enrollment in any Computing course required a C- or better in all its prerequisite courses, but we used to waive this requirement (during 2017-18 and 2018-19) to give people time to raise their grades. As of July 1, 2019, we now enforce the C- requirement, and do not waive it, as was announced back in 2017.
Summer CISC 121 and Enrollment
If you are enrolled in CISC 121 in July-August, SOLUS will assume you get the required C- or better grade, so you can enroll in courses for which it is a prerequisite as soon as priority for Computing students ends (July 26). You will be dropped from follow-on courses in September if you get a D+ or worse.
Fall CISC 121 and Math Co-Requisite
In previous years, if you try to take CISC 121 in the fall without CISC 102, or try to drop CISC 102, SOLUS does not recognize the full-year MATH courses (110, 111, 120, 121) as satisfying the co-requisite; we do not yet know if this will be a problem for 2019-20. If this happens to you, contact Karen Knight for an override.
Statistics and the new Analytics focus
The new Data Analytics focus requires 3rd year course CISC 372, which requires statistics. If you don't take statistics in 2nd year, you will need to defer CISC 372 to 4th year. This will affect your workload in 4th year but doesn't jeopardize graduation unless CISC 372 conflicts with a required 4th year course; we can't guarantee that 3rd year courses won't conflict with 4th year ones. STAT 263 used to be available in the summer, but this isn't the case in summer 2019 and may not be in future.
Enrollment for COCA students
SOLUS can't tell when someone intends to take a COCA degree, since COCA students are officially in Arts degrees instead of Computing degrees, so can't qualify for enrollment in CISC courses during the period when enrollment is restricted to Computing students. Contact Karen Knight (email@example.com) if you are in this position.
You must have a maximum of 90 units of courses completed by the end of the academic year just before the start of your internship. School of Computing policy requires you to agree to return for a full academic year after an internship.
See the course list to find out what term your courses are in.
Fall Section of CISC 365
The fall Engineering section of CISC 365 is restricted to graduating students who need it for CISC 497 (and potentially CISC 499). All others must register in the Winter section. We will not grant exceptions for conflicts with optional courses.
400-level Option Courses
- There is a section of CISC 490 on computer security in the fall. It requires CISC 324 (operating systems) or ELEC 377, the equivalent ECE course. Contact Karen Knight to be added; she will first verify the prerequisites, then enroll you.
- The major and the Computer Science specialization "fundamental computation" focus requires a 400-level theory course. The available choices are CISC 422 and CISC 467 (both in the fall), and CISC 465 (in the winter).
- Software Design (Software Development option) requires a 400-level course from a list called Soft_Design in the official plan description. The available courses are CISC 435, 452, 453, 454, 458, and 486. We have no information on whether the allowed Electrical Engineering courses are available or have room: ELEC 470/3.0; ELEC 471/3.0; ELEC 476/3.0; ELEC 478/3.0
CISC/SOFT 423 prerequisites
SOFT 423 does not recognize CISC 326 as a prerequisite. Please sign up for CISC 423 instead; they are the same course.
CISC 324/497 Conflict
CISC 324 and CISC 497 conflict in Winter 2019. If you deferred CISC 324 to fourth year, enroll in CISC 497 first, then send email to the Undergraduate Assistant, Karen Knight, stating that you have a conflict, and she will enroll you in 324. State that you understand you are required to attend all CISC 497 lectures and seminars. You may need to have to have a classmate take notes for you in CISC 324.
CISC 500 Proposals
The deadline for submitting proposals for undergraduate theses was the end of May.