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Old
12-07-2012, 07:23 PM
  #426
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I didn't want to start another thread just for a small question, but I'm in a french CEGEP and in my advanced english class I have to read a novel by a canadian author, In english.

So I have 2 questions:

1. Where can I buy ENGLISH books in Montreal ? the book store near my house only has french books, so I'd really like some store names. (side question: do you know if there are english versions of Patrick Sénécal' books, and where ?)

2. Any suggestions ? I'm allowed to pick books from french-canadian authors, but I have to have an english version of it.
Why not just get it off of Amazon?

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12-08-2012, 11:14 AM
  #427
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Do CEGEPs really provide anything decent with respect to liberal arts education?

Many of us know the CEGEP liberal arts drill:

- 4 French-language literature classes+2 English classes (or 4 English-language literature classes and 2 French classes in an Anglophone CEGEP)
- 3 philosophy courses
- 2 elective courses outside the DEC's field

I contemplated going abroad for graduate school but I'd have to TA at all the locales I considered. That, in itself, is not a big deal, since I'd have to TA in a Canadian university also. But, if I am to TA at a given school, I think it's best to know at least a little bit what the students there go through, especially if I start out TAing introductory courses.

And, if I go to the US for graduate school, I realized most undergraduate programs require more than 15 credits (split the requirements above in two so as to spread them out in high school senior year and first-year university) of liberal arts education requirements, so I know the ones I'd have in my classes as a TA in the US just don't live the same educational experience as I would if I TAed in a Quebec university.

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12-08-2012, 07:08 PM
  #428
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Do CEGEPs really provide anything decent with respect to liberal arts education?

Many of us know the CEGEP liberal arts drill:

- 4 French-language literature classes+2 English classes (or 4 English-language literature classes and 2 French classes in an Anglophone CEGEP)
- 3 philosophy courses
- 2 elective courses outside the DEC's field

I contemplated going abroad for graduate school but I'd have to TA at all the locales I considered. That, in itself, is not a big deal, since I'd have to TA in a Canadian university also. But, if I am to TA at a given school, I think it's best to know at least a little bit what the students there go through, especially if I start out TAing introductory courses.

And, if I go to the US for graduate school, I realized most undergraduate programs require more than 15 credits (split the requirements above in two so as to spread them out in high school senior year and first-year university) of liberal arts education requirements, so I know the ones I'd have in my classes as a TA in the US just don't live the same educational experience as I would if I TAed in a Quebec university.
It depends on who your teachers. Some of them are great, some of them should be retired.

I had a few french, english, and philosophy courses and I wouldn't trade those experiences. Some people I know had as good or better experiences. Many did not.

Wherever you go as a TA you will find a broad spectrum in abilities. Many people can't write in English. Sometimes, it's for tolerable reasons: they are foreign students, and are just starting to learn English. That's fine. Other times, you'll have no idea how these people made it through the system. However, at the same time, in every class, you'll have a few spectacular kids, totally impressive, that you find to be way above the mean level.

If you're TAing astronomy 101 the students will have had fewer LA experiences than you: they wiil be first-year students.

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12-08-2012, 10:03 PM
  #429
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I would find students of highly variable levels in introductory courses at just about any Canadian university that offer MSc degrees in physics. And the range of talent narrows down as the classes go more advanced (my profs in upper-division classes are confident that the ones that make it to upper-division classes, especially senior-year classes like PHY3214, would succeed academically in any Ivy League university).

I know McGill or York has more students taking CEGEP-level (or U0 in McGill terms) physics classes than Polytechnique or University of Montreal does at that level, though.

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12-08-2012, 11:42 PM
  #430
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I would find students of highly variable levels in introductory courses at just about any Canadian university that offer MSc degrees in physics. And the range of talent narrows down as the classes go more advanced (my profs in upper-division classes are confident that the ones that make it to upper-division classes, especially senior-year classes like PHY3214, would succeed academically in any Ivy League university).

I know McGill or York has more students taking CEGEP-level (or U0 in McGill terms) physics classes than Polytechnique or University of Montreal does at that level, though.
No doubt about it, the quality of the physics/math schooling you're getting at McGill is as good or better than any other undergraduate degree in North America.

Here's an anecdote, of an acquaintance of mine who went to the University of Illinois, which you would think is very respectable. We were doing a homework set in grad school, moderately challenging. She said she was frustrated that she couldn't solve all the problems, I asked why... she told me that in her entire undergrad she had never seen any problem she couldn't solve immediately, previously her entire experience had been about just sitting down and solving everything immediately, to complete all homework sets in an hour or two.

This is no doubt not your experience at McGill. You are being challenged and will thus be better prepared.

******************

To go back to your original question, the quality of LA education really varies from one place to the next. In my observations it's fairly high at Columbia and at University of Chicago; those two stand out. It's extremely variable even within schools, so I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect.

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12-09-2012, 11:12 AM
  #431
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
No doubt about it, the quality of the physics/math schooling you're getting at McGill is as good or better than any other undergraduate degree in North America.

Here's an anecdote, of an acquaintance of mine who went to the University of Illinois, which you would think is very respectable. We were doing a homework set in grad school, moderately challenging. She said she was frustrated that she couldn't solve all the problems, I asked why... she told me that in her entire undergrad she had never seen any problem she couldn't solve immediately, previously her entire experience had been about just sitting down and solving everything immediately, to complete all homework sets in an hour or two.

This is no doubt not your experience at McGill. You are being challenged and will thus be better prepared.

******************

To go back to your original question, the quality of LA education really varies from one place to the next. In my observations it's fairly high at Columbia and at University of Chicago; those two stand out. It's extremely variable even within schools, so I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect.
I am NOT a McGill student (McGill courses are numbered with 3 digits while University of Montreal ones are numbered with 4 digits); yet, given that description, my University of Montreal experience resembles what I'd get at McGill. Additionally, professors would say that what everyone is subjected to is more like a McGill honors physics program than a physics major (or joint honors if in the physics-mathematics program).

I acknowledge that few undergraduate programs in North America could match the ones in U Montreal and McGill, though. Maybe U Toronto, UBC or Berkeley but I'm not sold on those, and Brown, as well as Dartmouth (not sure whether Columbia or U Penn are of a lower standard than McGill or U Montreal, but MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Harvey Mudd, Cornell, Princeton, Yale and Harvard are seemingly at our level), aren't at the same level as we get, so perhaps my professors were right in saying that upperclassmen could excel academically at any Ivy League university.

However, my upper-division profs collaborate with McGill faculty, like Kaspi, Rutledge and another astrophysics professor that I cannot name here in full because his surname would be filtered out (but his first name is Andrew) as well as Vachon and others in particle physics (I am not that familiar with the condensed matter collaboration landscape at University of Montreal other than a professor collaborates with MIT faculty and another one with Princeton faculty) so I assume they are familiar with McGillian standards.

So I'd say that, in the North American physics undergraduate pyramid, there are several tiers, with schools I could associate with an undergraduate tier:

Tier 1: McGill, U Montreal, U Toronto, UBC (not sure, might go in Tier 2), Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Caltech, Harvey Mudd (and perhaps a couple of American schools I might have missed)

Tier 2: Brown, Dartmouth, U Illinois, Laval, U Sherbrooke, U Virginia, Purdue, Rutgers, Penn State, U Wisconsin, U Texas (Austin and Dallas campuses), York (not sure, might go in Tier 3)

I'm mostly familiar with the best undergraduate schools since I know most spots at McGill in graduate school will be taken up by students who attended undergraduate schools in the first two tiers.

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12-09-2012, 11:55 AM
  #432
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If you aren't taking Honours at McGill, you really aren't getting the same quality of education as other top tier universities. That goes for arts or sciences.

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12-09-2012, 01:44 PM
  #433
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Originally Posted by ThaDevilGirl View Post
PHYS 340, Electricity and Magnetism. I had to either take this courseor Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics. I hate both electromagnetism and thermodynamics so I took the one I had a chance of understanding.

EDIT: Oh crap, I just remembered I had done both courses. McGill made me miserable at times.
I have friends at McGill in both major and honors streams in physics. On one hand, PHYS340 is a majors version of that course, and thus you didn't receive the best education you could have had. On the other hand, in physics, majors and honors courses differ not in difficulty but in the material coverage, with, obviously, honors students seeing more.

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12-09-2012, 02:27 PM
  #434
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I have friends at McGill in both major and honors streams in physics. On one hand, PHYS340 is a majors version of that course, and thus you didn't receive the best education you could have had. On the other hand, in physics, majors and honors courses differ not in difficulty but in the material coverage, with, obviously, honors students seeing more.
Good education or not, I wasn't a Physics major. I couldn't care less about PHYS340

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12-10-2012, 10:33 AM
  #435
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Interesting tidbit.

Because our government is cooking the books and pretending they are making progress in redcing debt, they have handcuffed Universities and cut funding as well as not allowing them to increase tuition fees. So, Universities are now offsetting, not only, the cost of computers (asking/requiring students) to use their own computers in the classroom, but also are promoting software piracy and breaking EULAs (end user license agreements) by turning a blind eye to whether tools that are used in the classroom have been legally obtained and used according to their requirements.

Bravo. That's showing the example!

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12-10-2012, 01:00 PM
  #436
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Interesting tidbit.

Because our government is cooking the books and pretending they are making progress in redcing debt, they have handcuffed Universities and cut funding as well as not allowing them to increase tuition fees. So, Universities are now offsetting, not only, the cost of computers (asking/requiring students) to use their own computers in the classroom, but also are promoting software piracy and breaking EULAs (end user license agreements) by turning a blind eye to whether tools that are used in the classroom have been legally obtained and used according to their requirements.

Bravo. That's showing the example!
How is reducing funding to schools, "cooking books."

Were you for raising tuition fees? Well, then how could you be against offsetting computer costs to students? It's an indirect cost.

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12-10-2012, 03:14 PM
  #437
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How is reducing funding to schools, "cooking books."

Were you for raising tuition fees? Well, then how could you be against offsetting computer costs to students? It's an indirect cost.
It is not cooking books on education, it is cooking the books at the overall provincial budget.

Yes for raising fees.

No for indirect cost increases.

Whether you are for or against tuition fee hikes, I believe everyone prefers transparency, bring honest about cost increases and not camouflaging it. As well, the basic rules of a public educational institution requires for basic infrastructures to be provided. Computing infrastructures is one of them. What's next, no heat?

And ofcourse, no to promoting piracy.

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12-11-2012, 10:06 AM
  #438
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It is not cooking books on education, it is cooking the books at the overall provincial budget.
I am really wondering if you know what cooking the books means. How on earth is reducing expenditures 'cooking the books?'

Cooking the books means that the budget they present to the public is fraudulent.

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Yes for raising fees.

No for indirect cost increases.
Contradiction. What is the difference? Why is it that you support tuition raises, but are against indirect costs such as expecting students to use their own computers? Most students already have computers, this is a good compromise.

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Whether you are for or against tuition fee hikes, I believe everyone prefers transparency, bring honest about cost increases and not camouflaging it. As well, the basic rules of a public educational institution requires for basic infrastructures to be provided. Computing infrastructures is one of them. What's next, no heat?

And ofcourse, no to promoting piracy.
The provincial government has informed every single institution that receives public funding that this will be decreased.

And I am not sure what institutions you are talking about, but the computer labs at my university didn't just disappear this year.

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12-11-2012, 01:07 PM
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I am really wondering if you know what cooking the books means. How on earth is reducing expenditures 'cooking the books?'

Cooking the books means that the budget they present to the public is fraudulent.

Contradiction. What is the difference? Why is it that you support tuition raises, but are against indirect costs such as expecting students to use their own computers? Most students already have computers, this is a good compromise.


The provincial government has informed every single institution that receives public funding that this will be decreased.

And I am not sure what institutions you are talking about, but the computer labs at my university didn't just disappear this year.
I will explain it in plainer terms. The prov gov have an overall budget for everything. If they are in the red, and they recoup a little by cutting somewhere...like...EDU, then they lok like they are making progress. If the school in turn, cannot make ends meet... they do what? Borrow money, and pay interest. They are already $1 billion in the whole (collectively) for this school year. That was before the gvmt cut what was already promised to them.

If universities are public entities, who do you think ends up holding the bag? That's right. Tax payers.

You move it from one column to another, and in the short term, the gvmt looks like they are making headway. That.... is cooking the books.

I prefer honesty. If EDU costs more, charge more.

Basic computing (taking notes etc) is one thing, but scientific, graphic arts, animation, video, CAD... these are not areas which fall under general computing.

For more advanced computing, making students bring in computers is bad for one main reason, loss of productivity. If you are using specific professional grade software to teach a class (not MS Office), and you have 4000 different computers, each which different configurations, each with their own virus', each with their own pirated software...what do you get?

Problems running an efficient class. Problems with the network. All it does is grind everything to a halt. Plus...in a public system, I repeat, the school has to provide an infrastructure. I believe the computer infrastructure, including the network and wireless network are part of it.

As for where it is happening...U de Laval, OCAD, Centennial....the list is long

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12-11-2012, 01:18 PM
  #440
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I didn't do Honors at McGill. I turned out fine. Currently doing a masters at Uottawa on a 20,000 year scholarship. Finished McGill with a modest 3.6 GPA.

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12-11-2012, 02:01 PM
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I didn't do Honors at McGill. I turned out fine. Currently doing a masters at Uottawa on a 20,000 year scholarship. Finished McGill with a modest 3.6 GPA.
Where did I say you wouldn't 'turn out fine?'

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I will explain it in plainer terms. The prov gov have an overall budget for everything. If they are in the red, and they recoup a little by cutting somewhere...like...EDU, then they lok like they are making progress. If the school in turn, cannot make ends meet... they do what? Borrow money, and pay interest. They are already $1 billion in the whole (collectively) for this school year. That was before the gvmt cut what was already promised to them.

If universities are public entities, who do you think ends up holding the bag? That's right. Tax payers.

You move it from one column to another, and in the short term, the gvmt looks like they are making headway. That.... is cooking the books.
That is not 'cooking the books.'

Government cuts on expenditures occur all the time. When they do occur, government institutions need to reduce their own expenditures to make ends meet.

Logically speaking, if they aren't going to increase tuition costs on students, expenditures need to be cut.

Cooking the books would be submitting fraudulent budgets to the public. This is neither fraudulent nor out of the ordinary.

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I prefer honesty. If EDU costs more, charge more.
This is of course ignoring the millions of dollars universities spend on administration, and full-time salaries.

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Basic computing (taking notes etc) is one thing, but scientific, graphic arts, animation, video, CAD... these are not areas which fall under general computing.

For more advanced computing, making students bring in computers is bad for one main reason, loss of productivity. If you are using specific professional grade software to teach a class (not MS Office), and you have 4000 different computers, each which different configurations, each with their own virus', each with their own pirated software...what do you get?

Problems running an efficient class. Problems with the network. All it does is grind everything to a halt. Plus...in a public system, I repeat, the school has to provide an infrastructure. I believe the computer infrastructure, including the network and wireless network are part of it.

As for where it is happening...U de Laval, OCAD, Centennial....the list is long
Once again, I would like to see some actual evidence that universities are all of a sudden not providing wireless internet or computers to students.

This sounds like more of an argument from someone who sells universities these types of programs and is worried about their 'bottom line.'

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12-11-2012, 02:11 PM
  #442
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If you aren't taking Honours at McGill, you really aren't getting the same quality of education as other top tier universities. That goes for arts or sciences.
I disagree with you here. My education at McGill was definitely one of quality even though I wasn't in honors. Being at a different school now, the difference is enormous in the expectations from students, the quality of professors and stucture of courses and assignments.

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12-11-2012, 02:57 PM
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I disagree with you here. My education at McGill was definitely one of quality even though I wasn't in honors. Being at a different school now, the difference is enormous in the expectations from students, the quality of professors and stucture of courses and assignments.
What I mean is McGill likens to compare itself to top universities around the world. Ranking in top 20 lists, and comparing itself to the same standards as Ivy League Schools.

In my opinion, undergraduate programs, especially arts, at McGill are not at this level. These rankings and comparisons do hold for graduate programs and research but not undergrad. And unless you get access to supervisors from your honours thesis, or honours and graduate seminars; it doesn't compare to universities it likes to compare itself to.

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12-11-2012, 03:05 PM
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What I mean is McGill likens to compare itself to top universities around the world. Ranking in top 20 lists, and comparing itself to the same standards as Ivy League Schools.

In my opinion, undergraduate programs, especially arts, at McGill are not at this level. These rankings and comparisons do hold for graduate programs and research but not undergrad. And unless you get access to supervisors from your honours thesis, or honours and graduate seminars; it doesn't compare to universities it likes to compare itself to.
I shot the s.it with McGill profs all the time about political theory. Just stop by in their office and start talking. You don't need honors thesis to do this. Just initiative. Also, it's not I do not get accept to upper level seminars if I'm an honors student. Had an advanced seminar with Abizadeh.


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12-11-2012, 03:24 PM
  #445
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I shot the s.it which McGill profs all the time about political theory. Just stop by in their office and start talking. You don't need honors thesis to do this. Just initiative. Also, it's not I do not get accept to upper level seminars if I'm an honors student. Had an advanced seminar with Abizadeh.
There are few profs who give you the time of day at McGill, this is a view shared by virtually all of my colleagues. If you are lucky, you can find a couple (and I have found a couple), but most of the time there is a huge gap between undergrads and profs at McGill.

From my experience, profs in the political science department are very cold. I have gone into office hours a number of times about interesting topics and have been given half-baked answers and attitudes like I am 'privileged' to be in their office.

It is next to impossible for an arts undergrad to get any RA position at McGill, much less a TA position. Graduate students take up all the spots and are more qualified to do the work, not to mention there is quite a high ratio of graduate students : undergraduate students, so your chances are slim.

Doing an honours opens the door for you on many levels. Getting to do an honours thesis gets you into a profs office once a week, alone, working and learning from their methods. There is nothing else like this if you only do a major. You can do an independent studies credit, but it won't have the depth, nor will you be able to work with the prof as much.

It is doubtful you will get into any graduate level seminar if you are not in honours, but of course there are exceptions. I would imagine getting into a graduate level course in political theory is a lot easier than getting into one in Comparative Politics for example. I have a friend who is an honours undergrad in sociology and is taking 3 600 level classes and 1 500 level this semester, this would be impossible to do if you are not in honours. Honours students get automatic priority over majors.

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12-11-2012, 04:23 PM
  #446
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Mathradio,

As some advice, if you're going into astronomy, you need to know some:

1) Statistics
2) Computer Science / Programming

At the time I was there (2003-2007) neither was include in the undergraduate program I took at McGill, Honours Math/Physics. I had taken programming because I had done a year of engineering and thus had taken comp 208, also I learned some from a summer undergraduate project. I had taken probability because math 323 seemed like an easy summer class, and I took math 324 for other reasons.

A lot of astronomers don't know statistics, and they end up doing a lot of things wrong. As you move up in academia, you will learn that the peer review process is overrated, and that a lot of wrong things get published. Basically, you need statistics to do correct astronomy.

In the case of computer science, the situation is more demanding. Without computer science, you will be unable to do both correct and incorrect astronomy. You will be completely paralyzed. That is only if you know nothing though. With a few weeks of training you can reach a basic competency level.

Without those coincidences that allowed me to get basic CS and Statistics, I would have flunked out of Astronomy graduate school. I still had to look up a few other things, but if the base is there you have the means to look up other things. I went to Ohio State. I was better than the other grad students at Taylor Series and numerical methods, but they knew how to code better.

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12-11-2012, 05:12 PM
  #447
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Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
There are few profs who give you the time of day at McGill, this is a view shared by virtually all of my colleagues. If you are lucky, you can find a couple (and I have found a couple), but most of the time there is a huge gap between undergrads and profs at McGill.

From my experience, profs in the political science department are very cold. I have gone into office hours a number of times about interesting topics and have been given half-baked answers and attitudes like I am 'privileged' to be in their office.

It is next to impossible for an arts undergrad to get any RA position at McGill, much less a TA position. Graduate students take up all the spots and are more qualified to do the work, not to mention there is quite a high ratio of graduate students : undergraduate students, so your chances are slim.

Doing an honours opens the door for you on many levels. Getting to do an honours thesis gets you into a profs office once a week, alone, working and learning from their methods. There is nothing else like this if you only do a major. You can do an independent studies credit, but it won't have the depth, nor will you be able to work with the prof as much.

It is doubtful you will get into any graduate level seminar if you are not in honours, but of course there are exceptions. I would imagine getting into a graduate level course in political theory is a lot easier than getting into one in Comparative Politics for example. I have a friend who is an honours undergrad in sociology and is taking 3 600 level classes and 1 500 level this semester, this would be impossible to do if you are not in honours. Honours students get automatic priority over majors.
In my experience in the humanities electives I took it was a matter of walking to the office, knocking on the door, and asking to speak to them. Go during office hours or make an appointment, you don't want to bother them when they're doing something else.

And yes, it's a privilege to be able to discuss things with people who are leaders in their fields.

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12-11-2012, 05:28 PM
  #448
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Where did I say you wouldn't 'turn out fine?'



That is not 'cooking the books.'

Government cuts on expenditures occur all the time. When they do occur, government institutions need to reduce their own expenditures to make ends meet.

Logically speaking, if they aren't going to increase tuition costs on students, expenditures need to be cut.

Cooking the books would be submitting fraudulent budgets to the public. This is neither fraudulent nor out of the ordinary.



This is of course ignoring the millions of dollars universities spend on administration, and full-time salaries.



Once again, I would like to see some actual evidence that universities are all of a sudden not providing wireless internet or computers to students.

This sounds like more of an argument from someone who sells universities these types of programs and is worried about their 'bottom line.'
In the end Quebec universities and thus Quebec will suffer from not investing in the future.

In order to have an elite university, you need elite professors, and the salaries worldwide for elite professors are skyrocketing. If you want to compete with Harvard, Oxford, etc you need to offer six figures starting salaries. If you're offering 50K, then you're going to end also-rans. This leads to a vicious cycle as those individuals won't be successful when applying for research funding.

The same is true of graduate school: graduate students at McGill get about two thirds what graduate students get in the USA, even though Montreal has a very high cost of living.

Computers and office space can be very expensive. With respect to computers, a friend of mine went into an PhD in electrical engineering program at McGill, his adviser told him to buy his own computer -- I've never heard of an adviser anyone else saying that to his student. So he left his PhD program for that and other reasons. The office space is also really bad, the offices are really cramped. You can have 6 or 7 grad students in an office.

The other issue is dilapidated infrastructure. I remember there was a physiology class that would meet at 7:30 AM, because Leacock 112 or whatever was the only room in the university that could host 600 listeners. There was also an incident a few years back when Muslim students couldn't get a prayer room because the space was needed for an archeology lab.

I also remember that the bathrooms were a nightmare because of two reasons:
- most undergraduates are savages and babies, who don't know how to or don't want to flush a toilet
- Not enough janitors were employed.

You don't find such dirty bathrooms in US universities. At McGill, if you needed to go to the bathroom, you had to be strategic. Like in Burnside building, I would just go to the 4th floor or the 5th floor; no undergrads went there and thus the bathrooms would be clean.

Ultimately, a massive increase in funding is required, be it from undergrad tuition or government funding.


Last edited by DAChampion: 12-11-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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12-11-2012, 10:51 PM
  #449
Joe Cole
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Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post

That is not 'cooking the books.'

Government cuts on expenditures occur all the time. When they do occur, government institutions need to reduce their own expenditures to make ends meet.

Logically speaking, if they aren't going to increase tuition costs on students, expenditures need to be cut.

Cooking the books would be submitting fraudulent budgets to the public. This is neither fraudulent nor out of the ordinary.



This is of course ignoring the millions of dollars universities spend on administration, and full-time salaries.



Once again, I would like to see some actual evidence that universities are all of a sudden not providing wireless internet or computers to students.

This sounds like more of an argument from someone who sells universities these types of programs and is worried about their 'bottom line.'
You can play cute but that is passing the buck and cooking the books.

As for millions of wasted dollars on administration, you keep cutting that and see how our education stacks up internationally.

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12-13-2012, 10:55 AM
  #450
guest1467
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
In my experience in the humanities electives I took it was a matter of walking to the office, knocking on the door, and asking to speak to them. Go during office hours or make an appointment, you don't want to bother them when they're doing something else.

And yes, it's a privilege to be able to discuss things with people who are leaders in their fields.
Obviously I go during office hours.

And no, it is not a 'privilege.' Holding office hours is a requirement of professors outlined in their job description.

I am both respectful and direct, I expect profs not to blow me off and make me feel like the size of a pea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
In the end Quebec universities and thus Quebec will suffer from not investing in the future.

In order to have an elite university, you need elite professors, and the salaries worldwide for elite professors are skyrocketing. If you want to compete with Harvard, Oxford, etc you need to offer six figures starting salaries. If you're offering 50K, then you're going to end also-rans. This leads to a vicious cycle as those individuals won't be successful when applying for research funding.
I am not talking about professor salaries, I agree their standards should remain high and competitive. I am more talking about the hundreds of MUNACA full-time workers that command wages of $30+ for doing fairly low-medium skilled jobs.

I am of the opinion that universities should offer more internship position for students within their own departments. One of the leading causes of unemployment after graduation is lack of experience. By cutting into their full-time work forces and replacing them with students, you can not only cut expenditures but also give your students valuable hands-on experience. The only students that get jobs at McGill that I have seen work in the low-rung services like the bookstore or service point.

Quote:
The same is true of graduate school: graduate students at McGill get about two thirds what graduate students get in the USA, even though Montreal has a very high cost of living.

Computers and office space can be very expensive. With respect to computers, a friend of mine went into an PhD in electrical engineering program at McGill, his adviser told him to buy his own computer -- I've never heard of an adviser anyone else saying that to his student. So he left his PhD program for that and other reasons. The office space is also really bad, the offices are really cramped. You can have 6 or 7 grad students in an office.
I have also never heard of a PhD student not having their own computer.

I don't really get these posts, this is 2012 (almost 2013), every single university student needs a laptop computer at the least. Universities need to provide a base of computer services, but expecting universities to subsidize such a costly and quickly outdated technology is asinine in this day and age. These costs can easily be offset by students and this exactly what is happening.

Quote:
The other issue is dilapidated infrastructure. I remember there was a physiology class that would meet at 7:30 AM, because Leacock 112 or whatever was the only room in the university that could host 600 listeners. There was also an incident a few years back when Muslim students couldn't get a prayer room because the space was needed for an archeology lab.

I also remember that the bathrooms were a nightmare because of two reasons:
- most undergraduates are savages and babies, who don't know how to or don't want to flush a toilet
- Not enough janitors were employed.

You don't find such dirty bathrooms in US universities. At McGill, if you needed to go to the bathroom, you had to be strategic. Like in Burnside building, I would just go to the 4th floor or the 5th floor; no undergrads went there and thus the bathrooms would be clean.
I am not going to argue that McGill's infrastructure is great, because it isn't. But it also comes with the territory of being one of the oldest universities in the country.

My gripe comes when McGill spends $6 million on 'beautifying' an outside walkway beside the library that takes 2 years to complete.

Or the fact that at 2 AM, every light in the office buildings hallways is still on for some asinine reason.

Better financial management is needed at McGill, it is as simple as that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Cole View Post
You can play cute but that is passing the buck and cooking the books.

As for millions of wasted dollars on administration, you keep cutting that and see how our education stacks up internationally.
Your stubbornness is mildly amusing.

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