May and June: President's Report
Posted by elmcfaul on 2012-07-08 23:10:02
I had intended to create a monthly formal report from Mathsoc about our current projects, and what’s been happening throughout the term. During May, however, very little excitement occurred due to the late start, transitions, and Congress. So instead, I bring you a report that covers both May and June. If you have any questions, feel free to visit or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). In the meantime, good luck on those last few midterms and assignments, and enjoy the warm weather while it’s still here!
Mathsoc Council passed the budget, made a firm stance against Access Copyright, urged Feds to take action in resolving the ongoing issues surrounding Federation Hall, and approved funding for a number of external events. We’ve had some busy Monday meetings over the last few weeks!
The termly General Meeting will be held on July 23rd at 5:30PM in the Comfy. This is a chance for every math student to come out and voice their opinions about what Mathsoc should be doing. Come hear what the executive has been working on and decide on current issues facing math students. Pizza will also be provided. If you have agenda items for this meeting, please send them to me ASAP. You all have a vote, so come and use it!
On the Feds Student Council side, I’ve been meeting regularly with Jesse McGinnis, one of your Feds math councillors. There are also four new council members coming onboard (Adeel Rizwan and Saad Rehman, and two to be elected shortly). Elections are ongoing for the remaining two seats, so be sure you vote July 11, 2012 - July 13, 2012 through http://feds.ca/vote. The candidates are Saleem Khan, Ahmed Bin Asad, and Phyllis Lu.
Focus Groups about a new student building on campus are happening over the next two weeks, so be sure to sign up for a focus group via http://feds.ca/newstudentbuilding. Be sure to register to be able to share your opinions about what a new building will look like and what kinds of things should be inside.
We made a motion on July about how the situation surrounding Fed Hall is unacceptable. Feds then made a similar motion at their July 8th meeting to set a deadline of August 31st for Fed Hall negotiations.
CnD renovations have been slow going, but the job has been sent out for tenders, and we should be seeing more progress in the next few weeks. It is our hope to have the renovations near the end of the term, but if they need to happen in the fall term, we will make arrangements for modified CnD service from another location and some temporary social/study space for students during the renovations.
Tappy and I met with the Dean, Dave McKinnon, and Jack Ryder to talk about current issues in the faculty, and how the Dean can be more involved in math events. Be sure to look for him at Pints With Profs, and the End-of-Term BBQ!
Mathsoc Carnival happened in early June- we had an obstacle course and a BBQ on BMH Green. Hopefully you managed to check it out. On Tau Day, we gave out free cake to math students! Unfortunately, the cake went so fast this year. I’m making sure that we order more desserts next term though, so stay tuned on how we’ll be approximating pi in the fall.
Upcoming events include our Wonderland Trip (July 14th), Pints with Profs (July 19th) in the Bomber, and the EOT BBQ (July 24th). Make sure to invite your friends (and your profs) to these events!
Planning for a WIne and Cheese Social for faculty and students is underway. This event will be held Friday, September 14th so make sure to book your calendars and start pestering (I mean inviting) your favourite profs! Anyone interested in helping with the planning, please send me an email.
We’re still working with the Feds Societies Accountants to transition to a more automated accounting software. This will provide better tracking and reporting, and reduce the labour-intensitivity of getting cheques ready.
I’m actively involved in Orientation this term planning Waterloo Park Day, and I’m constantly chatting with your lovely MathFOC. If you’re involved as a leader this year, come find me during the week to say Hi! If you’re not involved, but are still on campus, we’ll need volunteers to plan and run Mathsoc’s first-week back. It’s normally a blur of free food, pink things, and meeting tons of students (new and old), so if you’re interested in helping showcase Mathsoc and all it has to offer let me know!
Posted by agrussel on 2011-11-15 17:05:04We held a very successful Charity Ball this past weekend, raising $1970.58 for the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy! Thanks to everyone who attended and donated, to all of the sponsors who donated items for the live and silent auctions, and to Elizabeth McFaul and Chang Liu, our Charity Ball Directors, for organizing the night!
With the end of term fast approaching, we'll be holding our traditional EOT event, but this time with a fun twist: "Pints and Karaoke with Profs" will be held on Tuesday, November 29th from 5pm until 8pm at the Bombshelter Pub (in SLC). Invitations will be available in the MathSoc Office soon for students to fill out and give to profs -- students of all ages and all profs are welcome and encouraged to come! We'll be serving appetizers throughout the evening, giving students a chance to socialize with each other and their profs, and singing lots of karaoke! If your profs are good enough singers, we'll even give them some prizes!
Games nights and variety nights will continue to run until November 29th and December 1st, respectively. Additionally, we'll be hosting a 24-Hour Games and Movies Night from noon on Saturday, December 3rd until noon on Sunday, December 4th. So we hope to see lots of people out!
As always, like us on Facebook (facebook.com/mathsoc) and let me know if you have any questions!
Alex Russell VP Events email@example.com
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-10-27 15:31:54Had a meeting with Plant Ops today to discuss what the committee had decided with respect to the flooring and wall layout. We also talked about plug and receptacle installation. Finally we discussed other lower priority things such as interior improvements. If you want to find out more details, feel free to email me.
Andre Gomes Magalhaes firstname.lastname@example.org
VPA (Natural) Log Entry 1119.2
Posted by bmpashle on 2011-10-21 15:42:07
As of Tuesday, the Cooperative Education Council has officially approved the development of a course on intercultural skills (previously known as censoredcensoredcensored#2). The proposal brought forth by Svitlana Taraban-Gordon, Ph.D, was very detailed and structured in its approach to the subject matter and offered clear opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking. A working group has been put together to discuss the merits of having a WatPD course in ethics (aka censoredcensoredcensored#1) with the hopes of returning to CEC with a recommendation by February or March 2012.
Also recently approved are 2 new PD Eng courses dealing with the topics of process safety management and ethics in the workplace. The PD Eng ethics course is geared specifically towards engineers, and deals with dilemmas and situations experienced almost exclusively in their profession. However, the process safety management course proposal is seen as appropriate for other faculties (in particular science and mathematics) and they aim to have this course available to a larger subset of the undergraduate population than simply engineering.
What remains is to discuss with the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) the start dates for the preparation and offering of these courses as there are finitely many resources who are available at any given time to work on course development. Keep your eyes peeled for more information regarding the review of the WatPD course proposals and a call for your input.
MathNews Prez Sez
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-10-18 00:37:29
I hope your midterms are treating you well. I know I'm trying to buckle down and study now as well. Here is what I've been up to these past 2 weeks.
I've been working on the Strategic Planning Work Group with the dean to figure out where the math faculty should be in 5, 10, 20 years. A big topic of discussion that has been coming up has to do with teaching quality. Emphasis on being innovators in the way we are teaching our undergrads but implementing more online technology solutions to help teach undergrads better while maintaining or improving quality. This was also a topic of discussion at the Education Advisory Committee which is coordinated by Feds. At EAC we talked to executives of the Ontario Universities Student Alliance about how to move forward on this for all schools in the province.
The next thing I want to talk to you about is the 6th decade plan and the mid-cycle review session that was held by President Feridun. All students were invited to it and this was a great opportunity for students to let the administration what OUR priorities are. Unfortunately, not many students attended. Fortunately the students that did attend, like myself, had a loud voice. There were a lot of great suggestions made but the clearest message portrayed was we, as a university, need to work together to create a better social atmosphere. With a better social life for students, the reputation UW has sometimes of being strong academically but weak socially will no longer put off the brightest future leaders of the world. It will no longer make students dread coming here but instead love all aspects of their lives here. And finally create alumni with strong ties to the university and want to help the university grow further. To find out more about this go to http://midcyclereview.uwaterloo.ca/ or email me.
Also there has been work for the near future of math students with CnD renovation work being done. I have been working with other students and the dean's office to figure out how we can best improve the space in the CnD. For those of you that don't know, the CnD is the MathSoc Coffee N Doughnut shop on the 3rd floor of MC near MathSoc. If you have ideas to how you think the space could be improved, fill out an online survey I've created at tinyurl.com/cndreno or email me.
Then there was the Committee of Presidents, better known as COPs. COPs meetings are where myself, the other society presidents, and Feds VPIn meet to discuss things that affect us all and to collaborate to resolve these problems. Currently we are working to create an agreement of understanding. In this agreement, we understand to abide by rules that if one of us were to break could cause serious problems to all of us. These issues many have to do with liabilities at events and maintaining proper accounting. The aim is to have this agreement completed by the end of the term.
Finally there are a couple of big issues still ongoing and it's important to get informed and speak your mind. In particular there are talks about making orientation week not a week anymore (again) and Fed hall being taken away from student control. To get more information and give your thoughts about it, contact myself or your council representatives. For a list of representatives, go to the council page on the MathSoc website at http://mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca/Council under the class representatives section or you can contact me.
To get more details on all of this, go to the mathsoc website and check out the exec blog at
Knock those midterms dead!
Posted by agrussel on 2011-10-17 14:59:23Happy midterm season everyone! Join Alice in Wonderland at MathSoc's "Math Hatter" Annual Charity Ball on Saturday, November 12th at Federation Hall. $40 single, $75 couple, $280 table of eight. All proceeds go to the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy. Come out and enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing, and much more! Variety Nights are up-and-running now! COme join us for a Halloween Man-Haunt on the third floor of MC next week (Thursday, October 27th, time TBA), and stay tuned for updates about more amazing events! As we celebrate the grand opening of Math 3 today, Friday, October 21st, we also celebrate the birthday of our faculty's esteemed founder, Ralph Stanton. Check out his birthday party on the third floor of MC from 11am until 3pm - we have cupcakes! Then get into the Halloween spirit on Monday, October 31st by joining MathSoc for Halloween games, a costume contest, haunted house, free candy, and much more on the third floor of MC all day! And if you're looking for something a little more relaxing, games nights continue to run every Tuesday starting at 6:30pm in the Comfy Lounge (MC 3001). Come out for board games, snacks, and great company! As always, keep an eye out for updates on these amazing events by liking MathSoc on Facebook (facebook.com/mathsoc), following us on Twitter (twitter.com/mathsoc), or checking out our website (mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Alex Russell email@example.com
Meeting with the dean
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-10-05 16:10:18October 3rd 2011 - Duties of an Executive
The executive had a meeting with the dean's office on monday and we talked about a wide range of topics. Some of the highlights of discussion are as follows:
- Women in Math undergraduate have been selected to take the new office in M3 1003. Jack Rehder and the chair of WiM will be in contact with each other to organize the move in.
- Digital Signage talks are back up and should be gaining quite a bit of traction this term. They would like updates once we are further along.
- CnD renovations are expected to happen over the christmas break which stirred up conversations about the future of the 3rd floor of mc. Though this is far in the future, as in 2-3 years from now, there is talks about possibly removing some of the computer labs because they aren't being used and replace it with more MathSoc space. MathSoc space can include club space, cnd space, lounge space, anything that can be put into better use. I won't be around for it and most likely neither will many of you but hopefully some of you will and can see it through. Talks about club locks and it looks like we will be switching to FOBs very shortly. M3 clubs to start off for proof of concept later in the term and then possibly for all the offices in MC for the new year.
- Mentorship Program is getting off the ground. We will be working with Riley Metzger on this project.
- We talked about the survey we sent out and the type of responses we received. We concluded that one of the most important things we should focus on is publicity because students don't know all we do.
- Issues about the tutorial centers were brought up again. The physical nature of the 4th floor one and the lack of support from the residence ones. They will be cleaning up the 4th floor one a bit but no major renovations are planned for the immediate future because of funding issues. The issue of lack of tutor support at the residence centers was told to be because of poor change over to the new desire to learn system and also the difference in assignments. It shouldn't continue but students should continue to keep an eye on the issue and let me know if the problem persists.
- Finally, student issues on Fed Hall and Orientation were discussed and we were informed that an effective means of communication is through the Board of Governors chair (Bob Harding) as he may be more responsive than president Feridun and Bud Walker with reference to Fed Hall and with reference to Orientation that Senate Undergraduate Council is where the first day of classes is chosen.
That's all form the dean's office meeting. Let me know your comments, questions, and concerns.
Faculty Council Meeting
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-10-04 11:12:20September 20th 2011 - Duties as President
Big points of discussion were propose revisions to the Faculty Council constitution in regards to it's membership. This was started with the fact that St. Jerome professors felt that they would like to be able to vote as decisions that pertain to changes in curriculum that go through Faculty Council affect them just as much. Some opposition is brought up with respect to them not being employees of the Faculty. If you have an opinion either way I think the Faculty members would be interested in hearing the student opinion on this.
Another major discussion point had to do with the new class scheduling software currently being proposed. This would optimize space allocation which means that your classes may no longer be tuesdays and thursdays at 12:30pm but instead monday at 4:30pm and thursday at 11:00am. This is also an ideal time to get them to consider scheduling final exams when classes are scheduled so that students can know well ahead of time when their final exams are. If you have an opinion about this, you can let me know or email Ken Lavigne at firstname.lastname@example.org who is the Registrar and the person responsible for this.
Finally, a couple dates of importance given out were home coming on the 24th of September, there will be a university fair on October 14th to 16th, M3 official opening on October 24th, and finally Open House on November 5th.
Education Advisory Committee
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-10-04 08:15:11September 29th 2011 - Duties as Math Councillor on Feds
This was the second meeting of the term but the first for me as I was unable to make the first because of a conflict. We talked about the goals for the term with the provintial elections in the near future, finishing up the CASA (Canadian Alliance of Student Associations) review soon after that, and investigating education quality.
OUSA (Ontario Undergrad Student Alliance) will be visiting UW on the 16th and 17th of October. On the 16th they will be at the Feds council meeting and on the 17th they will be meeting with a number of important individuals such as president Feridun and Jeff Henry from the SSO (Student Success Office). We will also be meeting with them later that day.
Coop Student Council will be meeting on October 20th and Jobmine and the new coop model is to be discussed.
CASA will be coming to campus on October 27th which will be the day after the Feds General Meeting which the decision of whether to stick with CASA or not will be made.
Finally, the Feds General Meeting will be taking place on October 26th from noon until 3pm so make it out and have your voice heard.
VPA's Log: Entry 1119.1
Posted by bmpashle on 2011-10-03 00:50:41
Time seems to have past and yet I remain in the same place. Leaves change, and other stuff... Basically, this is my long-winded way of saying that this report comes to you delayed for reasons that can summed up as the following: "Bryanne is silly."
As always, if you have any questions regarding the below you can email me (Bryanne Pashley, VP Academics) at email@example.com. Enjoy!Cooperative Education Council
On Monday, students representatives from the Cooperative Education Council met with WatPD to discuss new course proposals. These courses are "Role of Business In Society", "Creativity-Innovation-Entrepreneurship", "Ethical Decision Making in the Workplace", and "Intercultural Skills." The courses are exactly what they sound like they would be, but somewhat more robust than the current courses available through WatPD.
The general consensus among the students present was that Ethical Decision Making and Creativity-Innovation-Entrepreneurship were the most worthwhile courses. The main issue the VPA/VPEd's had with Intercultural Skills was not the topic, but the scope; the proposal revealed the course to be somewhat basic, lacking any critical thinking and simply raising an awareness. As it turns out, in other sessions, Faculty and CECS shared that they feel that Role of Business in Society and Intercultural Skills were more relevant.
On Tuesday, CEC decided that more information about the courses is required. As such, CEC will be meeting with the authors of the proposals to hear presentations and ask questions about the scope and nature of the courses. Implementation of the courses would occur at least 8 months after approval so to give Centre for Extended Learning time to build course material. They are looking to pick will be 1 or 2 courses chosen.Senate Undergraduate Council
This month's SUC saw the approval of various Academic Program Reviews including but not limited to Computational Mathematics (see previous council minutes, or mathNEWS, or mathsoc/Blog), Drama, English, and Environment Resource Studies, with little discussion with the exception of a call for more universal metrics.
The main topic of discussion was that of the dropped Access Copyright License. The Access Copyright License covered all start-to-finish print copying (photocopying, not electronic copying). At a rate of $3.38/Student FTE ($84K/year total) with a 10 cent royalty on any course pack page that is from AC material, the agreement was on pretty solid ground. From the outset, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Access Copyright agreed to disagree with regards to fair dealing, always a point of contention. 35 of 77 members of the AUCC members previously bound by the AC License (including the University of Waterloo) pulled out of the agreement after Access Copyright publicized new pricing models and more intrusive surveillance.
As a result, all copying for course packages must satisfy one of the following four: (1) received direct permission from copyright holder and pay applicable fees, (2) the work is public domain, (3) UW already has a license for use of the material, or (4) fair dealing under copyright act offers some other exemption/loop-hole. It is not yet clear how this will affect the cost of course packages. A Q&A regarding copyright is available on the library website as well as an extensive FAQ.
Are we teaching the right thing?
Posted by bmpashle on 2011-09-03 16:17:16
Are we being taught to memorize or to understand? How are our professors be expected to test which one of the aforementioned is occurring? These are not trivial questions. Think about the last test/midterm/exam you completed, did it aptly test the information imparted unto you in lecture? Hopefully, the answer is yes. Hopefully, the class was not a lesson in bulimic learning.
Below is a link to a guest lecture held at the University of Waterloo by the Faculty of Science regarding teaching how to understand. Speaker: Eric Mazur (Dean of Applied Physics - Harvard University).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn1DLFnbGOo
End of Term! (Almost!)
Posted by agrussel on 2011-07-17 23:01:19So the term is almost over, but before it's completely done, we have a few more things happening!
If you haven't heard already, Pi Approximation Day is this Friday (22/7 -- get it?!)! Drop by the third floor for some free cake and lots of fun!
Our termly General Meeting will be held Tuesday, July 27th at 5:30pm in the Comfy Lounge. All math undergraduate students are invited and encouraged to attend to vote on policy and bylaw changes as well as hear what went down this term and what will be going down next term!
24-Hour Games and Movies night will also be held Tuesday, July 27th - Wednesday, July 28th. Games will be in the Comfy and movies will be outside in the DC Quad (bug protection will be provided)! So come celebrate the end of classes and that quiet few days before exams with us!
Congratulations to our new Fall 2011 VP Academics and thanks to everyone who voted! Voting hasn't finished (or started) while I'm writing this, but go to mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca to find out who won!
Finally, if you're going to be on campus next term, keep an eye out for director and board applications, which will be coming out soon! They will be posted on mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca and we invite everyone to apply!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and good luck on your finals!
Alex Russell firstname.lastname@example.org
Cool MathSoc Stuff
Posted by agrussel on 2011-07-06 20:37:58Congratulations on surviving midterms! Time to celebrate with some cool MathSoc stuff!
First of all, thanks to everyone who came out to our Middle of Term Carnival and to Canada Day. A special thanks to Jessica Janssen for organizing the Carnival, to Tappy He for organizing MathSoc's presence at Canada Day, and to all the volunteers who helped out at both events!
Math 3 will be opening soon, so keep an eye out for updates -- we hope all of our clubs are looking forward to their new offices in M3 or MC!
We have lots of fun events happening now and coming up soon:
Math-Eng-AHS Semi-Formal will be happening Friday, July 8th in the SCH Festival Room from 9pm until 1am. The theme is "A Red Carpet Affair," and tickets can still be purchased for $10 in the EngSoc Office, AHSUM Office, or MathSoc Office or for $15 at the door, which includes food, drinks, and a professional DJ. There will be a special celebrity appearance by The Tool, AHSSIE, & The Tie! "Charities can" food drive and raffle will also be held at the event: Each canned item donated gets you 5 raffle tickets to be entered into the draw for prizes later in the evening. (Non-UW students must be accompanied by a UW student.)
The inter-faculty blood drive competition is still going on. You can donate on-campus in the SLC on July 8th, 25th, or 26th or anytime at the CBS clinic at Bridgeport and Weber.
Everyone's favourite EOT event -- Pints with Profs -- is coming up really soon. On the 20th of July, right before the last Bomber Wednesday of the term, to be precise. Keep an eye out for updates!
Our legendary Pi Approximation Day will be July 22nd. Free cake will be served! Look out for more information coming soon!
And lastly, don't forget to vote for our Fall '11 Vice-President, Academics from July 18th to July 19th at mathsoc.uwaterloo.ca!
Any questions, feel free to contact me!
Computational Mathematics Program Revisions
Posted by bmpashle on 2011-07-05 15:24:12
Computational Mathematics is undergoing changes these days. As part of the 7-year review of the program they have decided to change it from a first-year admittance to a second-year admission program. This means that students will no longer apply directly to CM from high school but once they have taken some math courses on campus. Part of the explanation for why they are doing so is that when the program started they envisioned having enrollment in the 80 to 100 student range each year. Sadly they've been left with 7 or 11 students in each year, depending if you count co-op or not. 10 people really isn't sufficient to offer special CM-only courses and making the premium fees paid by CM students. They are saving a large amount of overhead costs by simplifying the program. In particular, under the proposed calendar there will be no Options, but suggested courses and applications.
It is proposed that CM students will pay similar fees to those in other second-year admission programs such as Applied Mathematics or Combinatorics & Optimization. If they require a "CS only" premium course for any reason they will be allowed to take these classes at no extra cost to the student. However, if they choose to take a CS premium class to fulfill a requirement of the form "four out of six classes listed below", they will pay fees similar to those of CS students for that term.
These changes are proposed to become active September 2012 and still need to go through UAC and SUC.
Vice President - Academics
MATH 135 cont'd
Posted by bmpashle on 2011-07-05 15:14:54
MATH 135, Algebra for Honours Mathematics, is undergoing major changes in content and method of instruction. This course has been rather static for some 35 years. New course objectives place emphasis on understanding logical structure and reasoning, as well as precision in language. The proposed method of course delivery seeks to deal with the question: "how does one teach how to reason?" by using a combination of reading, electronic and written assignments.
During Monday's meeting we sought to drill down further on exactly what the objectives of the course are. That is, what students are expected to be able to do upon the successful completion of the MATH 135. For course coordinator, Prof. Steven Furino, it comes down to three abilities: read, write, discover.
The consensus reached is the following: It is not unreasonable that upon completing a course in algebra and proofs that a student be expected to be able to read a proof and to either properly assert that the proof is correct or to offer compelling evidence to the contrary. Secondly, it is not unreasonable to expect successful students to, given a statement and the absolute bare bones structure of a proof, be able to complete a written proof. Lastly, it is not unreasonable, however admittedly rather non-trivial, to expect a successful MATH 135 student to be able to, given a statement to prove, choose an appropriate proof technique from their arsenal (contrapositive, induction, counterexample, etc.) and to properly apply this technique. In this last point, the discovery, the given statement is, of course, tailored to the difficulty of the course.
Tailored to the difficulty of the course? What does this mean? This was, and still is, another point of discussion. Bearing in mind that not all students who take MATH 135 are in the mood to move on to deeply theoretical fields, how do we determine the output of the course, proof ability-wise? This is troublesome to quantify.
Speaking of quantifying, it was decided that it would be awesome, and advantageous to students, if quantifiers (existential/universal) could be covered in MATH 135 prior to MATH 137 dealing with the formal (epsilon, delta) definition of limits, etc.
If you have a point of view or an idea you would like brought up in future meetings with faculty members re this course redevelopment please do not hesitate to email email@example.com or drop by MC3039. VPA office hours are TTh 2:30-4:00, but let's be completely honest, I practically live there - so drop by!
Vice President - Academics
MATH 135 2.0
Posted by bmpashle on 2011-06-27 12:36:23
As some may already be aware, MATH 135, Algebra for Honours Mathematics, is currently undergoing major changes in both content and method of instruction. Professor Steven Furino was asked by the Associate Dean, Prof. McKinnon, to co-ordinate MATH 135 for Fall 2011, 2012, and 2013 and accepted on the condition that the goals and content of the course be reassessed. As these stand to be the first major revisions in some 35 years, there is no shortage of areas for development. There is much to say on the topic, this article will briefly cover the new course objectives and course delivery. Information and updates will be frequently available through this Executive Blog as well as mathNEWS (<-every 2 weeks).
"To develop the vocabulary, techniques and analytical skills associated with reading and writing proofs, and to gain practice in formulating conjectures and discovering proofs. Emphasis will be placed on understanding basic logical structures, recognition and command over common proof techniques, and precision in language.
Over the years, MATH 135 slowly morphed into "that course in 1A with the Chinese Remainder Theorem and arithmetic over integers modulo some prime p", and this is unfortunate. There is a general feeling among faculty members that this course is meant to introduce a solid grounding for future proof techniques and an understanding of rigor/mathematical certainty. The redesign of MATH 135 seeks, in part, to address these concerns.
The proposed instruction techniques will require a higher commitment from both student and instructor. As many a professor has said, mathematics is not a spectator sport. It is learned by doing. MATH 135 2.0 attempts to teach first-years to reason formally, to communicate reasoning and to understand the formal reasoning of others. This is hard. To assist in the learning of formal reasoning, the method of course delivery is also being revamped, with much debate. In the proposed structure students will be required to read, observe, complete both electronic and written assignments, midterm and a final exam.
Proposed quick electronic assignments are intended to increase the student's exposure to the material and encourage reading the minimal material assigned. These assignments consist mainly of questions aimed at testing one's ability to read and understand formal reasoning and proof structure, and are to be administered in the first half of the course. Also included in the course will be written assignments (i.e. traditional assignments) throughout with much greater emphasis in the second half of the course as the e-assignments span the start.
If you have a point of view or an idea you would like brought up in future meetings with faculty members re this course redevelopment please do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by MC3039. VPA office hours are TTh 2:30-4:00, but let's be completely honest, I practically live there - so drop by!
Vice President - Academics
Super Fun and Exciting Things!
Posted by agrussel on 2011-06-20 22:42:43Well, we're about halfway through the term now, so I hope everyone's surviving midterms! We have some super exciting events coming up that you should check out! Wasaga Beach Camping Trip: Friday, June 24th - Saturday, June 25th, $50 for math students and $60 for non-math students which includes overnight accommodation, food, and transportation. We'll be leaving DC around 5pm, staying overnight at Jell-E Bean Campground, going to the beach all day Saturday, and returning around 8pm. If you're reading this Friday morning or afternoon and still want to come, email email@example.com ASAP! MathSoc Carnival: Wednesday, June 29th in the DC Quad, FREE for all math students! We'll have a BBQ (FREE), cotton candy (FREE), popcorn (FREE), lots of cool activities, and a BOUNCY CASTLE!! So come check it out! Canada Day: Volunteer with MathSoc at the children's corner for Canada Day! Sign up at canadaday.uwaterloo.ca and specify "with MathSoc" in the comments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Blood Drive: Don't forget to donate blood in our cross-campus blood drive competition! Donate on-campus or at the clinic at Weber and Bridgeport and don't forget to tell them your faculty! Finally, don't forget that nominations for Spring and Fall council (class representatives) and Fall VP Academics are open until 4pm on Friday, June 24th (today!) so get those in if you haven't already! Any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas, feel free to contact me!
Posted by agrussel on 2011-06-14 12:30:05We have some updates on events that are coming up! Cross-society blood drive: The societies are holding a blood drive competition! The idea is to encourage students to donate blood through a friendly competition. The blood drive will last 56 days from June 1- July 26. The month of June will focus on encouraging eligible students to take advantage of the permanent Canadian Blood Services clinic in Waterloo (at Weber and Bridgeport). The month of July will focus on promoting the on-campus blood donor clinics scheduled for July 8, 25 and 26th in the SLC. June 14 is international blood donor day so we'll be trying to do something special for that. CBS staff at both locations are aware of this competition and will record your faculty when you make a donation. At the end of the 56 days the faculty with the most donations will win (bragging rights, of course)! The societies will also contacting GLOW to invite discussion and action over some of the discriminatory aspects of blood donation in Canada, and the impact on our society. So, if you are able, we encourage you to consider donating blood - it only takes about a half hour of your time, and you could save 3 lives! Joint semi-formal with AHS and Engineering: Friday, July 8th in South Campus Hall. 8pm - 2am. Tickets will be $10 in advance and will be available soon! Stay tuned for more updates! In more internal news, games nights are continuing to run every Tuesday night starting at 7pm in the Comfy or CnD. WiM and MathSoc are hosting their second annual Wasaga Beach trip! It is from Friday, June 24 to Saturday, June 25. We will be departing the university at 5pm and returning at 7:30pm and staying at Jell-E-Bean Campground. The price is $50 for math students and $60 for non-math. Tickets will be on sale in the MC on Thursday, June 16 and Wednesday, June 17. Come out and bring your friends! Our Middle of Term Event will be Wednesday, June 29th in the DC Quad - carnival-style all day long so come check it out!
Posted by agrussel on 2011-06-02 23:30:27We held our term budget meeting earlier tonight, and, after some lively discussion and a few amendments, we got the budget approved! Thanks to all the directors and club representatives who came out and, of course, our hard-working council members for all of their discussion and input!
The Office is Clean!
Posted by agrussel on 2011-05-27 11:17:32Yes, that's right, the office is clean! Many thanks to Eric Van Halteren, Chester Yang, Joanne Lau, and Andre Magalhaes for their help! Now let's make sure we keep it clean (for a few days, at least :)).
Posted by agrussel on 2011-05-25 15:52:09Things are starting to get underway for the term now! We have most of our directors set and ready to go and we're looking forward to a great term! We are, however, still looking for one Movies and More Director who will take care of Thursday night movies (or other events) with the help of the current director. If you're interested, email me asap so we can get you started! We're also looking for some board members to help out with games nights, movie nights, social events, computing and website. Again, if you're interested, let me know soon so we can put you to work! Another volunteer opportunity is coming this weekend (Saturday, May 28th): U@Waterloo Day is an open house for high school students who have either accepted their offer to Waterloo or are still deciding between schools. We need volunteers to help out at the faculty booth, the MathSoc booth, and to give tours of MC. The event runs all day (you can volunteer for only a part of it, though!) and you'll get an awesome pink math t-shirt and a free lunch for your troubles! So - yes, you guessed it - email me if you're interested in helping out! Lastly, we've decided on most of our events for the term (not all of the dates though, unfortunately) and they're all going to be lots of fun! Games nights are every Tuesday at 7pm in the Comfy Lounge and movies are the same but on Thursdays. There will also be a 24-hour games and movies night coming up sometime in July. We'll be hosting a trip to Wild Water Kingdom during the middle of the term (excellent midterm relief!) and a [day or overnight] trip to Wasaga Beach, which will be hosted in part by the Women in Math Undergrad Committee. In conjunction with the other societies on campus we will be taking part in a semi-formal event at Fed Hall as well as, hopefully, an inter-faculty blood drive competition. Finally, the term will end with our legendary Pi Approximation Day (July 22nd) and Pints with Profs (July 20th). Hope to see lots of volunteers and event participants out this term!
We Have Directors!
Posted by agrussel on 2011-05-17 21:52:20It's been a crazy few weeks, but things are almost all set to go now! It's been great to see everyone out on the third floor lately - the office is nice and busy! We now have an amazing director team picked for the term - I've met with most of them over the last couple days, and they're eager to get down to business. The events calendar on the website is also updated now (let me know if I forgot anything!), as are the director listings for the term. We're still looking for movies night, EOT event, and mathletics directors, as well as board members, and hopefully, with some help from our lovely new publicity directors, we'll have those soon!
Council nominations open!
Posted by yjshabta on 2011-03-18 14:31:38Council nominations are now open! Pick up a form from MathSoc or get it here. Forms are due by Monday March 28th. Also note that you only need 5 signatures, but more are recommended in case some are not valid.
Tues Mar 8th 2011 Prez
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-03-08 18:16:56-Faculty Council meeting where a presentation on first year retention was given. 2.7% of students lost in 1a for f10. In comparison to f09 and f08, it was 4.1% and 3.5% respectively. -There are talks in the works of getting final exams to be part of class enrollment. This will hopefully help resolve a lot of the exam relief issues students have. -March Break Open House is coming up soon. If you are interested in volunteering on March 15th then come by the MathSoc Office and there is a sign up sheet on the door. Volunteers get a tshirt and food and get to meet and talk with prospect first years. -the new OLT requirements have been spoken against by many returning leaders and these concerns have been brought to the attention of FedS council at this past weekend's meeting and an item of discussion is to be added to the agenda of the next FedS council meeting. -CIF is open. Applications are due Monday March 21st 2011 at 4:30pm -GM Thursday March 31st 2011 at 5:30pm in the Comfy Lounge(MC3001). All Math Undergraduate Students have a Vote. If you can't make the meeting but want to have your vote counted, you can file out a proxy form to have someone else vote for you. Proxy forms are due 24hours before the meeting. There is also a call for agenda items for the meeting. If you have something you would like to see discussed at this meeting please send them to me at email@example.com by Tuesday March 15th at 4:30pm.
MathNews Prez Sez Fri Mar 4 2011
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-03-08 15:51:37Prez Sez I'm President, Sorry. Hello Fellow Mathies, I hope everyone had a great reading week, I know I certainly did. First I would like to apologize to anyone that was offended by my last address. I did not mean to be offensive, rather I had recently watched the Social Network movie and was using a humoring quote from it. I also used something from The Anchor Man but I didn't receive any complaints involving that. Anyways, considering that last week was reading week, nothing much has happened since we've last talked. I went to a Faculty Council Meeting where we talked about first year retention(doing a lot better this year) and application/enrollment numbers and a FedS Committee of Presidents meeting where we talked about the Student Success office and what their plans are for the future. In other news, March Break Open House is coming up soon. If you are interested in volunteering on March 15th then come by the MathSoc Office and there is a sign up sheet on the door. Volunteers get a tshirt and food and get to meet and talk with prospect first years. It should be loads of fun. Well that's all I got for you now. Like always, feel free t stop by and say hi or email me with any concerns and questions you may have. We're all in this together. Andre Gomes Magalhaes firstname.lastname@example.org
MathNews Prez Sez Fri Feb 18 2011
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-02-14 13:48:00I'm President, Bitch. Hello Fellow Mathies, So we are half way through February and lots has happened. Two weeks ago on Friday the 4th you may of noticed the comfy closed in the morning. Well that is because it had felled victim to a prank! There was Talcum powder put all over every couch. You may of also noticed a lot of engineers running around and acting crazy on the same day because they were about to get their Iron Rings. You may or may not want to put these two thing together. I'm not saying you should, I'm just say one could. While on the discussion of Comfy, the wireless signal has been boosted in both the Comfy and the CnD so happy surfing! I've had a meeting with former VPF Rami to talk about digital signage. There is still a lot of work to do with that. The Societies agreement, the hot topic this term, is still not over!! I know, will this madness ever end? I'm hoping it will be done before my next update but anything is possible. Finally, course evaluations for Fall 2010 are up on the website so go check it out :) I've been posting more frequent blog post on the MathSoc website (
Fri Feb 11th 2011 Prez
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-02-12 12:48:30Hey everyone, Just a quick update that Course evaluations are now up for Fall 2010. Take a look at them and let me know what you think. Also it looks like the next council meeting is going to be a busy one with some Policy changes and hopefully constructive discussion on the Societies agreement.
Wed Feb 9th 2011 Prez
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-02-09 23:29:53So it has been a busy couple days with me trying to get school work done and all but the societies agreement isn't done and someone had to work on it. I've emailed Nikki (VPIn of Feds) and the other society presidents about the edits we want. I'm hoping for a quick turnaround time so that it can be reviewed one last time before the next COPs meeting on the 28th. It's going to be a busy week and a half before reading week and then I'm going to Singapore for reading week so I hope not much more work is needed on this. Fingers Crossed!!!
Tues Feb 8th 2011 Prez
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-02-08 17:32:34The Sociteties Agreement is almost there. I've gotten feedback from council and I am currently compialeing it and making sure nothing has been over looked. Hopefully I can finish it up today quickly and get it out to council so that it can be approved before the break. fingers crossed :)
Fri Feb 4th 2011 Prez
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-02-06 03:05:02Hey everyone, So this past Friday was an eventful day. -Started off the day finding out that our Comfy Lounge had been victim to a prank! There was Talcum powder put all over. It was reported to the police and the comfy was closed to be cleaned. It was reopened around 1pm. Also, we have a new shiny microwave in the comfy now :D so enjoy it. I have also been informed that the wireless internet has been boosted in the comfy and CnD so no more lag complaints! -I had a meeting with Rami (former VPF and an editor of MathNEWS) to talk about digital signage. Things to do are write up some approval guidelines for material submissions, talk to website/computing directors to figure out logistics of the submission and approval software, and with a little luck get a prototype up and running by the end of term. -The new draft of the COPs agreement is now out. Hopefully if everything works out this will be the last draft and we'll be over and done with it and I can start concentrating on the Digital Signage project. This has been going on for over half a year now and this past month I've put a lot of hours into it so I'm glad to see this almost finally resolved. I guess that's all I have for now. I'll be looking to post these more often with the intent that everything that I do each day will be posted at the end of the day. We'll see how that works out. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any questions you might have.
Tues Feb 1st 2011
Posted by agmagalh on 2011-02-01 11:47:35Hello Fellow Mathies, It's been a busy couple of weeks and its only going to get busier! We have the budget for the term all settled by now, I have been working extensively with the other societies and FedS of the society's agreement which should be just about rapping up shortly, I was coloured pink and put into a dumpster for colour me educated and I have been loving to work with all the new faces around MathSoc :) Some things I'll be doing in the near future are: possibly changing the policy on the use of the comfy lounge; getting a prototype up and running for the digital signage project,]; meeting with the dean to talk on a number of different issues and of course; continuing my meetings with my amazing directors. Some things for you to take into consideration are: orientation leader applications are ending soon so if you want to be a leader, sign up fast; the Faculty Council on Student Appeals is looking for a new member; the Student Life Endowment Fund is looking for a math representative and finally; class rep nomination forms are due today the 4th of Feb at 4:30pm for MathSoc Council. Feel free to contact me about any of these things or anything else. And Don't forget to come say hi in MathSoc :) Andre Gomes Magalhaes firstname.lastname@example.org