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 Last-Minute Help Deciding

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Sean Ridout

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PostSubject: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Sat May 28, 2011 3:53 pm

Hey iSci. I know there are already threads like this asking what people like / dislike about the program. but I still haven't made up my mind about where to go, and I figured it was worth taking one more shot at asking what you all like and dislike about the program. As context, at this point I'm pretty sure I'm deciding between iSci and Life Sciences at UofT (although I may switch to physical second year, that isn't too important right now). My current thoughts are that iSci definitely would be a huge advantage first year. I like the idea of the science literacy portion, the interdisciplinary approach, and especially the idea of a lot more interaction with the professors. The main draw, program-wise, of UofT is the fact that after first year I'll have more options open to me. Both due to the lack of iSci courses (which do sound awesome, but also limit options somewhat) and the fact that UofT is larger and so on, I'd definitely have more choice of specialty and courses, although McMaster still offers quite a bit. Anyway, hopefully this isn't too last minute to get a few responses.

So yeah, what do you think of what I said? And what do you personally like the most and least about iSci? Thanks. xD
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Sat May 28, 2011 6:16 pm

I think you might have misconceived that iSci limits your option after first year. Out of 1st year iSci you can choose a concentration (or not if you want) like biology, physics, math, earth science, biochemistry, chem bio, chemistry, psychology and neuroscience,...and probably a few others I missed. I'm not sure what options you get out of UT lifesci, but these are the ones for iSci, and you will graduate with a BSc honours in iSci with a concentration in _______. Of course I'll be biased, but I think it's also a question you have to ask yourself on whether you would learn better in large classes (UT), or small classes (iSci); obviously personally I prefer small classes that's why I went to iSci over UBC sciences.
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Sean Ridout

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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Sat May 28, 2011 6:24 pm

Let me clarify what I meant. Although there is a broad range of specialties which are available within iSci, UofT has a few slightly more specific ones which I'm quite interested in (Molecular Biophysics and Pathobiology, mainly). The next thing is mainly just course breadth - there are more options on that smaller scale, simply because more courses are options. The last idea is that, simply because iSci takes up courses, that leaves less room, although that doesn't really matter because again, the iSci courses look pretty awesome. It's mainly just having more specific and varied specialist options, as well as more course options in general.

The other point you made is definitely important, and one of the things I've been struggling to decide on, but I'll consider it more... xD
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Sat May 28, 2011 7:46 pm

haha ok i get what you mean, yes iSci cannot let you get those specific degrees that are probably UT specific (not sure) but I know there are definitely a few courses in upper year that can cover those topics. I'm sure you konw this already but in upper year iSci takes up less credits (only 12 units out of a full 30 in 3rd and 4th year) to allow for people to specialize and take subjects that most interest them.
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Sean Ridout

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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Mon May 30, 2011 1:17 am

I've stayed up until 1 in the morning thinking and trawling the internet for information, and I've been reminded why I was so interested in iSci. xD Argh, it's going to be so tough to decide. But you guys are winning right now.

Anyway, I'm not just posting for that (that would be pretty stupid). I wanted to throw in a very vague question for if I decide to join you all. Does anyone have any practical warnings for the coming months? That is, can you think of anything that people had trouble with for course selection, the first few days of classes, etc.? I apologize for the vagueness, I'm just trying to avoid unpleasant surprises, and obviously if I knew what potential bumps in the road were then I wouldn't need to ask. xP
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Mon May 30, 2011 1:32 pm

Well warnings for university life yeah...it's a big transition for anybody and you should be ready for that, but don't worry too much about it. Course selection will always be a hassle (I don't know anybody from any university that enjoys the process); just make sure you know your courses and when you have to register and try to get on mugsi/solar. that's really all I can think of.

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Sean Ridout

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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Mon May 30, 2011 7:17 pm

My mom wanted me to ask if your marks are at all curved.
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Tue May 31, 2011 12:55 am

Hey Sean, thanks for your interest!

Marks, like in any program, if the averages are very low for say a midterm or final (like 50 or 60) can be curved. There is no standard for any program, anywhere, but any professor has the right to curve marks. It has happened in the past in iSci, but it was entirely up to the individual professor's discretion.

Really Sean, almost all the issues I think are minor. Think about who you are, and what program best suits the personality and the way you learn. Position yourself in the future for your best chance of success, whether that is iSci or LifeSci.

If you really fear bumps and obstacles, I wouldn't recommend iSci -- nor would I recommend any university program. I really think iSci provides students with the best real world experience to be a scientist in any domain, in fact that's the entire pedagogy and structure the program is based on. It's what you learn from the tough times that make you stronger (in any university program, seriously be prepared --I know all of you students are hotshots with the highest averages your schools (we all were ourselves), but the higher you are -- or think you are, the harder you will fall). iSci will humble you immediately and really bring you to the process where you can constructively learn and be a better individual.



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Sean Ridout

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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Tue May 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Thanks for the reply! Smile I will ponder what you have said, along with everything else.
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Sean Ridout

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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:36 pm

This isn't actually a deciding factor (pretty sure now that I'm going to be joining you all xD) but out of curiosity, do any of the residences have pianos?
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:43 pm

yes i'm not sure which but there are pianos
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James SeongJun Han
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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:12 am

hey Sean,

Like Nic mentioned, there are piano. There is one piano at les Prince first floor in the games room, and there is another one in Moulton second floor. I am not too sure about others.

Cheers,
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:21 am

Definitely a piano in Keyes basement!!!
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:22 am

Also I'm pretty sure there's one in Wallingford too (the all girls res). I never knew about the Moulton one!

I feel like there's one in Bates basement too (can someone confirm this?)
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Yohan Yee

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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:29 pm

The last I checked, every rez is supposed to have a piano. I can confirm Whidden has one, although its tucked away in a really stuffy room...
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Lori V

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PostSubject: Re: Last-Minute Help Deciding   Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:35 pm

Moulton also has a piano on the fourth floor. My room was right next to it and my studying was usually accompanied by some very talented piano playing.

There is one in the basement of Bates, to answer someone's question.
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