Two Faculties: Software Engineering Students

Kevin Veloso - 4N Software
Posted on: September 28, 2011

The first time you’ve seen a Software Engineering student? Probably as a horde of first-year students suddenly coming over to join your event, donning their yellow hard hats and wearing their pink ties with pride. The concept of the pink tie originated from the Faculty of Mathematics, in honour of Ralph Stanton, the first head of Math. During this year’s orientation week, I thought it was wonderful how Ian Goulden, current Dean of Mathematics, welcomed Software in this year’s orientation. In his speech during the commemoration of the pink tie, he mentioned how the faculty wasn’t fully complete during their Math events until Software joined in to earn their pink ties. Some engineering students see them as mathies. Some math students see them as engineering.

The Software Engineering program is accredited by both the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) as well as the Computer Science Accreditation Board (CSAB). Software Engineering students pay both their Math Society fees and Engineering Society fees. They also take classes from both faculties, typically ECE (Engineering) and CS (Math) courses. Software Engineering aren’t half-math and half-engineering; they are both fully in Math and Fully in Engineering.

A typical question I’m asked: what is it like being in two different faculties at once? This question is asked by engineering students, math students, and more commonly by my fellow first-year software students (FroshWare, as they typically liked to be called), as they have yet to explore the opportunities that both faculties have to offer. As with most full-time students under a faculty, they are welcome to participate in their Faculty’s society events. Come to EngSoc meetings, as well as MathSoc meetings. Talk to your class reps, EngSoc reps, and MathSoc reps to learn more about the events that happen within the faculty. Or better yet, just go to their respective websites, take a look at their events calendar, services, clubs, and any other relevant information that may be of interest.

In some cases, we may have students that are more inclined to participate in one faculty over the other. You could find some Software students who participate in more Engineering events than in Math events, and vice versa. For instance, some of the editors in Math’s paper, mathNEWS, are in Software Engineering. Meanwhile, you’re finding this student writing an article in the Iron Warrior (although you may have seen me in some older issues of mathNEWS, just to be fair). In regards to graduation, we alternate between both Faculties for convocation. My class will graduate with Engineering (since 2012 is an even number), while the next class will graduate with Math. With regards to Gradcomm? Engineering and Math have their own thing; it’s a matter of getting volunteers from Software to help out with both Engineering and Math events. Even in Orientation Week, Software students can choose to become either an Engineering Leader or a Math leader!

There is also the odd but somewhat typical case of not participating in either faculties. Engineering and Math students have these students too. Everyone has their own schedules and can choose not to participate at all. We still love you. I think.

For me, I’m quite neutral in terms of how I dedicate my time and attention to both faculties. People have asked for my opinion in certain issues. For example, some Math student have asked me what they thought about their Natural Log getting stolen, or if I can help them steal the Tool. Some engineering students have asked me to steal the Boar, since Engineering guards the Boar (or so I’ve been told). Don’t worry — I don’t know where the log is, I won’t steal the Tool, nor the Boar. (Although don’t jump to conclusions to thinking that a Software is to blame for any of those mishaps — although Tie Guard, Boar Tribe and the Toolbearers have been doing a pretty good job.)

If you want to talk about the contents of the program of Software Engineering, or debate about the difference between this program and other (such as Computer Science or Computer Engineering) that will probably be for another day. Or better yet, you can check out the details of our program at http://softeng.uwaterloo.ca/