Mathematics and Computer Science

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Mathematics

Through study of mathematics at UTS, students will develop the mathematical concepts and skills required of knowledgeable citizens and become prepared for successful studies in university. There is a dual emphasis on application of mathematics to real world applications such as personal finance, statistics and computer science and recognition of the beauty of pattern, shape and design inherent in pure mathematics. In addition to developing computational skills, students will develop their critical thinking abilities and reasoning techniques through study of problem-solving involving numerical analysis, algebra and geometry.

Starting Out at UTS: F1 Math

All F1 students take our F1 math course, which covers the Ministry of Education curriculum for grades 7 and 8. The goal of our F1 math course is to bring all new students, who come with a wide variety of prior experience in mathematics, to a common set of essential knowledge, skills and attitudes toward the study of mathematics. Special care is taken to find ways to engage each student at their current level and help them expand their mathematical horizons.

The Middle Years: F2, M3 and M4 Math

For students in F2 through M4, we teach the Ministry of Education curriculum for MPM1D (Principles of Mathematics I), MPM2D (Principles of Mathematics II) and MCR3U (Functions). These courses are enriched by providing further depth in the treatment of the topics. Students who have a special interest in mathematics may apply to the “B” level courses offered in each grade; along with the curriculum, students in the “B” level are introduced to topics in abstract algebra and number theory. Students in a “B” level course should be comfortable with working through initial confusion and have a desire to learn mathematics for its own sake. Applications to “B” level courses are reviewed by a committee of teachers and administrators.

Preparing for University: S5 and S6

UTS students in S5 take the MHF4U (Advanced Functions) course, and most go on to take MCV4U (Calculus and Vectors) in S6. A student may choose between the Ministry-only stream and the Advanced Placement (AP) stream for these two courses. The AP stream prepares students for the AP Calculus AB exam in the spring of their S6 year. Students in S5 or S6 may also take the MDM4U (Data Management) course, again choosing between the Ministry-only and AP flavours. Admission to AP stream courses is subject to adequate standing in the previous year’s math course. Admission to AP stream courses is completely independent of participation in “B” level courses in the middle years.

Moving On: Alumni Experience

Many UTS alumni have expressed their appreciation for the quality and depth of their preparation in mathematics while at UTS. Whether they have gone on to further studies in STEM, liberal arts or anything in between, they feel that they have a firm understanding and esthetic appreciation for the subject that sets them apart and provides a foundation for a life-long mathematical journey.

Try some math problems out yourself here and here!

Co-Curricular Math

UTS has a vibrant and supportive mathematics community. Our Math Society and Junior Math Club offer a wide range of activities that will appeal to mathematically-interested students, regardless of their previous preparation or experience.

Junior Math Club
This club is open to anyone in the Foundation years who would like to explore new topics in mathematics in a friendly get-together with fellow math enthusiasts. The club meets once a week and is organized by senior math students who are eager to share their enjoyment of mathematics through the creation of fun and engaging activities. You do not have to be a math whiz to enjoy participating in this club – simply bring your enthusiasm! Members will be invited to try the Caribou Math Contest, offered six times throughout the school year. 

Math Pods
Math “pods” are small groups of students matched up with a senior student. They meet once a week and focus on preparation for math contests. This allows younger students to benefit from the preparation and experience of more seasoned competitors, and gives them the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other students with similar interests. More than one F1 student has been heard planning her future pod meetings when she is a senior student!

Starting in the spring of 2020, UTS students author and publish their own 6-question contest, “Anti-Viral”. Each pod takes their turn creating the questions, and the contest is taken by many students in Canada and around the world.  While writing questions may sound daunting, many pod members find that they have many more ideas than they could have imagined!

Team Contests (outside of UTS)
The UTS Math Team travels to several events throughout the year, including the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament (HMMT) (November and February), Carnegie-Mellon’s Informatics and Math Competition, the Canadian Team Math Competition in Waterloo, and the American Regional Math League (ARML) at Penn State University. We recently finished 12th at HMMT February 2020 and 5th (B Division) at the 2019 ARML.

Individual Contests
UTS offers all students the opportunity to write individual contests from University of Waterloo’s CEMC, Mathematical Association of America’s AMC 8 and AMC 10/12 (A and B), and Canadian National Math League (CNML). We also offer the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC), with many students each year qualifying for the Canadian Mathematics Olympiad. Over 20 students have represented Canada at the International Math Olympiad, including two each of the on the 2019 and 2020 teams, which garnered four medals: two Bronze, one Silver and one Gold.

Origami
There are quite a few origami enthusiasts among the staff and students at UTS, and ample evidence of this is displayed in our building.  Much of our work is geometrical in nature; paper folding gives us insight into symmetries and trigonometry, and is also a lot of fun, not to mention nice to look at! 

Team Contests (at UTS)
Students also participate in team contests at UTS: American Regional Math League (ARML) Local and Berkeley Mini Math Competition were offered in 2020. UTS will also be an official partner with the Berkeley Math Tournament in 2021 to offer the competition to students from the GTA and surrounding area.

The Math Society also authors and hosts a team competition (UTMC) in February for students from in and around the GTA.

fR00t
Since 2019, a puzzle magazine has been appearing intermittently, apparently produced by an anonymous cabal of students and staff! If you enjoy logic and word problems, the archive is on the math department website. And start working on your puzzle building skills, there’s word that new puzzle-setters are always in high demand at The fR00t! 

More information:
You can find out more about our co-curricular at our website math.utschools.ca, or by emailing math.contests@utschools.ca


Computer Science

Computer Science courses at UTS provide a detailed look at the principles of computing with an eye toward possible careers in scientific or computer related fields. Throughout each course a conscious effort is made to focus on concepts and principles that will be of lasting value in the face of changes and improvements in technology.

ICS3U

The Ministry curriculum for ICS3U (Introduction to Computer Studies) dovetails nicely with the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSA) course, and UTS was one of the first schools to be certified to teach CSA. Students are introduced to basic knowledge of computer hardware, networking and programming. The ICS 3U course uses Python as its main language.

ICS4U

Students in ICS4U (Computer Studies) learn the foundations of object-oriented design using the Java programming language while also covering the Advanced Placement Computer Science A curriculum. Students will gain a basic theoretical understanding of the structure of computer programs and the features of different programming languages and paradigms.

Cultivating Innovation

Inside our classrooms and in our rich co-curricular environment, we focus on skill acquisition along with positive, inclusive and team-focused attituded toward the use and development of technological tools. Students can expect to be challenged and supported while learning to:

  • make connections and come up with new ideas
  • embrace ambiguity, try new things and make mistakes
  • become creative problem solvers
  • become a modern learner, utilizing the internet and directing their own curiosity
  • 3D CAD modeling
  • 3D printing
  • hands-on experience with circuit building
  • fundamentals of robotics

Try out some coding with this exercise →

  • Programming in multiple languages, including
    • Python,
    • Java,
    • Arduino,
    • Scratch,
    • mBlock
    • MicroBit
    • Tinkercad

UTS Success in Computer Science

  • 2019 AP Computer Science Principles course: UTS had the highest scores in Canada and the most perfect scores in the world.
  • Beaver Contest: 6 UTS students with perfect scores
  • CCC Junior: 40 to 50 Certificates per year
  • CCC Senior: 10 to 15 Certificates per year
  • UTS students selected to compete with Team Canada at the International Olympiad in Informatics, including a 2016 Bronze Medal and Gold Medals in 2014 and 2015.
  • 2018: 4 Top Places at the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO)
  • 2018: 3 Teams competed at ECOO Finals
  • 2018: 2 Teams competed at Woburn Finals
  • 2019: ECOO Provincial Championship 2nd Place

Co-Curricular Computer Science

  • Robotics (Lego FLL, Ontario Skills)
  • Competitive Programming Club
  • Engineering Society
  • AI/Machine Learning Club
  • 3D Design / 3D Printing
  • Lego Robotics Club
  • Nintendo Switch Programming Club

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