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Canadian University Puts Tech Whiz Kids in 'Dormcubator'

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the already-gestated-for-nine-months-thanks dept.

Education 188

jades writes "The University of Waterloo (Canada), sometimes billed as the 'MIT of the North' is establishing a residence 'incubator'. Meant to challenge 70 of their very top students in the tech and business fields, students will live together and work on 'the future of mobile communications, the web and digital media'. It's called 'VeloCity', and it launches in Fall 2008 after renovations are completed this summer."

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Oblig (0, Redundant)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621634)

Fine - but will they use Linux?

Re:Oblig (2, Insightful)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621794)

Fine - but will they use Linux?

That, or a Pirated copy of Windows. These are students, and therefore dirt poor :)

Re:Oblig (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621838)

Yep. Dirt poor and smart - therefore Linux.

Re:Oblig (4, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621926)

These are "top students", not necessarily smart ones. There's usually a difference. There's little in this world in which the only way to succeed is true intelligence; hard work, organization, and time investment can almost always substitute (and are usually more important).

Re:Oblig (1, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621950)

Cramming the night before (or even right before hand) also helps.

Re:Oblig (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622000)

There's little in this world in which the only way to succeed is true intelligence; hard work, organization, and time investment can almost always substitute (and are usually more important).

This is a sign of a good management, actually.

Re:Oblig (1)

Bopper (47004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623040)


Bill Gates - college drop out
Michael Dell - college drop out
Larry Ellison - college drop out

All tech billionaires. Thus ends the lesson.

*sigh*, you linfaggots, you.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622072)

Yep. Dirt poor and smart - therefore Linux.
When did smart become synonymous with MAINFAGGOT? - Only the frostiest faggots run Lunix,

..and they're equally proud of both their faggotry and their Lunix-ism, (seeing as the 'fields' go hand-in-hand.)

Re:Oblig (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622008)

I wouldn't really say that. I'm a Canadian, and most of our students aren't dirt poor. If these really are the best students, they probably have a scholarship covering their most of their tuition. Not only that, tution is probably only around $6000 a year. Not bad for the best tech school in the country. Also, being that they are the best students, they probably get the best co-op placements. If you have a reasonable sized scholarship, and get a good co-op placement, you could probably get through without having any loans.

Re:Oblig (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623066)

Indeed, you can. I went to Waterloo and got through without taking out any loans, and I didn't, generally speaking, have the top marks in my classes. It's actually pretty easy to do, if you budget reasonably.

Re:Oblig (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623102)

These are students, and therefore dirt poor
Unlikely. I can't remember where I read it originally, but a quick Google search brings up a report [unc.edu] with details of a study of top universities. Turns out in the top 146 universities, 74% of the students are from the top economic quartile, 17% from the second, 6% from the third, and 3% from the last. I don't know how egalitarian Canada's top collages are, but if they're anything like the ones here in the States, it is unlikely that the average student is dirt poor.

Re:Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621848)

They will... but won't give it any credit. This is corporate capitalism, after all.

Re:Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622132)

I'm pretty sure they will. About six years ago, when I was deciding on a university for my graduate research, I visited the University of Waterloo. It was this visit that actually made me choose not to go there, but to return to MIT.

At one point in the tour we walked past a group of ultra-geeks all wearing Linux t-shirts, holding a pro-Linux rally in the Waterloo engineering building. Now, I like Linux, and I use it on a few of my servers. But for those fellows, it was a religion. A life-or-death situation. While we were passing, I asked one of them about how Linux compares to FreeBSD, knowing full well the answer. Unexpectedly, one of the chaps started yelling to me about how the BSD license encourages code theft, and other crap like that. It was truly one of the strangest things I'd ever seen. Even at MIT we don't see such a religious attachment to software.

Updated title (0, Flamebait)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622756)

"Canadian University Puts Tech Whiz Kids in 'Dorkubator'"

There, fixed it for you.

    -dZ.

Poor kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621650)

They'll work on wonderful technology projects. But will they have any time to ponder if all that technology is actually useful?

Re:Poor kids (1, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622370)

Poor kids is right.

The ones that don't get rich will commit suicide. This project is the academic equivalent of cockfighting.

I was going to say... (1)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621658)

I was going to say PIX PLZ but then, hey, why not start "Geek Big Brother" or "I'm a Geek... Get Me Out of Here!"

I'm not sure, that it is the best way to get serious things done, but it sounds fun.

Re:I was going to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621728)

They want to have 70 geeks living together. I would hope that you don't have Smell-o-vision.

nice (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621660)

We have a similar thing going at the University I go to. It's nice to be around other people that are as academically minded as yourself.

Re:nice (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621812)

Isn't this similar to what happens in the Vatican? They have this kind of brainstorming thing too when they have to elect someone. Maybe they should call theirs a Mass-cubator.

curb the turb, my nurb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621996)

Isn't this similar to what happens in the Vatican? They have this kind of brainstorming thing too when they have to elect someone. Maybe they should call theirs a Mass-cubator.
That's turbator to you, old man, turbator.

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621992)

When will they learn that the free market combined with an accessible and properly enforced software patent system is the best incubator ever invented?

Damn champagne-socialist dog-in-a-manger Botox-"achedemics" keep re-inventing the wheel and it always turns out square. Then again, if they had anything to contribute, they'd be in industry contributing to society, instead of some jumped-up state-funded politburo scrounging off the Canadian tax-payer, himself subsidised through military protection by that decandent hoard of criminal infadels the USA, with its kitten-drowning corporations and creationism-peddling Christiano-conservative-fundamentalists - at least if you believe the Islamo-enviro-Trotskyist control freaks that both constitute and hijack the media, achedemia and any other mouthpiece that doesn't rely on its ability to generate wealth for its legitimate claim to get in your face with its worn-out 1960s hallucination of a politically correct, environmentally friendly deadbeat-dystopia.

In my opinion, stupid Canadian colleges incubate nothing but endless warmed over Botox-"progressive" neo-bolshevikite proto-climato-totalitarianism. Thanks for reading, be safe out there.

Re:Linux (1)

RicardoGCE (1173519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622448)

Gene Ray, is that you?

Re:nice (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622680)

Academics are nice and all, but where do I sign up for the pool to guess the date of the first LAN party?

Shad Valley does this already, doesn't it? (1)

KWTm (808824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623134)

Shad Valley does this already, doesn't it? They still have it at the U of Waterloo, I think.

bs (2, Interesting)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621670)

I have friends who go to The U of Waterloo, and not one has EVER called that school "the MIT of the North"

when asked, "how's your University", most of them just shrug and say "meh, it's alright, its a University."

MIT of the North? who said that? the Marketing department for Waterloo?

Re:bs (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621688)

As a UW student it's true that UW isn't the most engaging atmosphere, it's full over no-fun over-achievers (the best party I can find on some Friday nights is the math homework party). But one thing is does have is great academics and international performance. It is definitely regarded as the best university in Canada for computer science, and possibly the best in north america. Many tech companies (Microsoft, Amazon, RIM, etc.) hire more UW students than any other university. It has the worlds highest cumulative score in the ACM competition. So although it's lacking in student engagement in many respects, calling in the MIT of the north probably isn't the worst title. At the very least it's as well respected in Canada as MIT is in the US.

Submitted anonymously because I'm gonna get modded down for bragging. Slashdot user taylortbb if you want to reach me.

Re:bs (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621734)

I agree - (UW '92) - back then, I heard Microsoft indeed hired more grads from UW then anywhere else (could never verify that). At any rate, I did get hired at IBM (long since left), from an English programme!

Join the Imprint - that rocked way back when - we were always pissing of the engineers with obscure record and film reviews. It seemed all they cared about was Monty Python.

Re:bs (2, Informative)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623158)

Well, I have an MMath in CS from Waterloo. Let me tell you that UW is nothing like MIT or any other top notch university. UW's achievements are almost exclusively on the undergrad teaching level, and while that is great if you are an undergrad and want to be taught, it doesn't put UW anywhere in the same league as a true research university like MIT (or UofT, UBC, and McGill in Canada).

Re:bs (3, Informative)

wrook (134116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621726)

I'm going to have to agree. Waterloo isn't a bad school for engineering and comp sci. But it's not significantly better than any of the other accredited schools. As someone who has hired a lot of people in my career, I wouldn't even put Waterloo in the top 5 of the schools I aimed for. Mostly that's because the less well known schools have a lot of good people, but they are in less demand and thereby easier to hire. In fact the two best Canadian programmers (in terms of pure talent) I've met came from Calgary and Carleton.

In Canada, my opinion is that there isn't a good undergrad program for comp sci at all (I'm willing to be convinced, though). But all of the accredited schools are adequate. I'm not qualified to comment on engineering. However, my understanding is that Waterloo primarily achieved it's engineering reputation by being one of the first (if not the first) Canadian engineering department to really embrace a coop program. Now almost every school has one.

Re:bs (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622732)

Only having experience with UofOttawa myself, I'd have to quite a agree at the quality of computer science programmes. However, you may want to take a look at the software engineering programmes. Personally I think that a software engineering degree can prepare you much better than a comp sci program for real world programming. Now I could be a little bias, because I have a degree in software engineering. However based on what I've seen from the two disciplines, and the people I've met in both programmes, I'd have to say that software engineering is by far the better programme.

Re:bs (2, Funny)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621824)

MIT of the North? who said that?


American reporters.

Hmmm. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621836)

you code only in basic, and you rip a decent university. Let me guess. You were shot down for admission?

Re:Hmmm. (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621878)

If you pay close attention to my post, I am in no way ripping U of W.

I simply state that not one person I know calls it the 'MIT of the North', and I know quite a few people who go there.
This leads me to believe that its a BS line made up to sell an article.

I'm sure it's a very good school.

But why call it the "MIT of the North"? thats like announcing "hey, we play second fiddle to MIT", "we're not quite as good, but we're close."

Relax (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621924)

I was just kidding. Every nation has what they regard as their own MIT. Some really do compete, and others do not. All nations are proud of what they have to offer, for in general, they have at least one person in each major fields who is competitive. After all, I noticed that North Korea was matching their child prodigies around the stage for the philharmonic. Says a lot.

Re:MIT of the North (3, Interesting)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621906)

Waterloo is only ONE degree north of Cambridge, and not too far west. On a global scale, they're in the same place.

Re:MIT of the North (1)

Kinthelt (96845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623628)

Nice obscure reference. :) Mod parent up!

Re:bs (1)

IainMH (176964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622160)

I WENT to UoW on exchange. I've never heard it called that. Anyway, isn't MIT the the MIT of the North?

Re:bs (3, Interesting)

Francis (5885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622682)

I have friends who go to The U of Waterloo, and not one has EVER called that school "the MIT of the North"

when asked, "how's your University", most of them just shrug and say "meh, it's alright, its a University."
You're right on the first point, noone ever calls UW the "MIT of the North". As far as being just another university though, I'd have to disagree. I think UW is one of the strongest technical universities in the world. One of the things they like to brag about at UW is their results in the world ACM programming contest. (For reference, UW placed ahead of MIT 10 years in the last 15.) More anecdotally, having worked with graduates from all around the world, I'd really have to say that UW tends to produce more effective software engineers than other schools.

I can see how your friends might have mixed feelings about the place though - the administration can treat people quite poorly, and life as an undergrad can be stressful. As an alumni, I'm glad to have gone through it, and I'm glad not to be there :)

As for the original story, I'm glad to see UW doing something like this. Developing UW spinoff companies wasn't something that most of us considered, but this could really encourage that sort of thing. I think that's good for the school and the economy in the long term.

Re:bs (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622746)

You do bring up a good point.

If I went to MIT, I'd major in marketing.

I have no reason to doubt that their technical degrees are quite good. However, based upon the absurdly disproportionate amount of press they receive, their marketing people have got to be absolutely fucking brilliant.

Perhaps one of their engineers managed to clone Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field......

Re:bs (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622784)

Waterloo is only about 75 miles more northern than MIT.

Re:bs (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622978)

Speaking as someone in a Computer Science department in the UK, I'd put Waterloo near the top in terms of perceived reputation internationally (as would my head of department, who I discussed the university with a couple of weeks ago in reference to some historical parallels). That said, I'd put MIT in the same league as Cambridge for computer science - did some really great stuff a few decades ago, a few interesting things recently, but survives mostly on inherited reputation and marketing these days.

Re:bs (1)

kraig (8821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623198)

No, C&PA have never said that, nor has any official that I've ever seen. (I looked.)

I have friends that go or have gone to virtually any school in Canada you care to name, when asked "how's your University", most of them just shrug and say "meh, it's alright, it's a University." I've yet to see masses of undergrads enthusiastic about *anything* that isn't alcoholic.

Re:bs (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623520)

I've definately heard MIT of Canada. Though I believe the name came about speaking to Americans that had never heard of the place, It gets across quickly the idea that its a CS nerd school. Aside from CS though the BIG thing about waterloo is its COOP program rather than research (MIT). It actually has a pretty tiny research faculties.

As for velocity, lol this doesn't really deserve /. ing. Its JUST a residence, with slightly more requirements to get in. It is not a new building, i doubt anything will be reworked. And i'm sure nothing will come of it. The idea only got 1 article in the waterloo school paper and i dont think it was even 1st page since we were having elections or something. For that to make it to /. is surprising in the least. Not that i'm not happy to see my school /.ed i'm sure theres something nerdier we did that coulda been posted.

Re:bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22623542)

I have friends who go to The U of Waterloo, and not one has EVER called that school "the MIT of the North"
I thought UOIT in Oshawa was supposed to be the MIT o' the North?

Great idea! All the troublemakers in one place! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621706)

I can imagine the justification when the idea was being considered:

Hey, that's a great way to make it easy to keep an eye on all the pesky bright-eyed troublemakers -- put them all in one place!

Funny summary (5, Funny)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621708)

That's funny, I never heard of MIT before, I've always heard of it as "The University of Waterloo (Canada) of the South."

Re:Funny summary (2, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622116)

I just want to know what chuckle-head thinks that University of Waterloo is significantly further north than MIT. Pretty sure that Boston and Toronto are roughly at the same latitude.

Re:Funny summary (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622546)

Tell that to the idiots that come here to Southern Ontario to go skiing in the summer.

Re:Funny summary (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622792)

Probably the same people that think Barry is in Northern Ontario.

Re:Funny summary (2, Funny)

Pope (17780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623120)

Well, he did move a few years ago and it's been a while since I talked to him. Tell him I said "Hello!"

Re:Funny summary (1)

vajaradakini (1209944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623590)

Which probably includes the same people who don't know how to spell Barrie.

Re:Funny summary (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622982)

I just want to know what chuckle-head things that University of Waterloo is in Toronto.

Yeah, I checked it out... Waterloo is 1 degree north of Boston.

Re:Funny summary (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623296)

Well, strictly speaking MIT isn't in Boston either - I was just sort of going for closest major city. I know that Waterloo is close to Toronto (what, an hour's drive?), and I've actually walked across the river to Boston from MIT. It's the first stop in Cambridge on the "T".

Re:Funny summary (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622782)

I wonder if the French Canadians secretly resent having to go to a school called Waterloo.

It's called 'VeloCity'... (5, Funny)

mykdavies (1369) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621722)

but known as the "Dorkubator"

Re:It's called 'VeloCity'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621792)

Mod this up! It's the obvious and correct name for the place. veloCity... puh-leeze.

When it ultimately comes down to it.. (1)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621962)

but known as the "Dorkubator"
..I suspect the proper term would be "Mass-Turbator."

VeloCity? Seriously? (2)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621730)

They wanted an incubator for academically minded people and they called it VeloCity? Seriously? You'd have thought they'd have come up with a decent name rather than trying to combine a word for speed with a word for a large conurbation (which I doubt it is) in some jauntily capitalised construction.

The basic idea is quite good, even if it does just sound like a slightly more segregated version of "Halls of Residence" from the summary.

Waterloo vs U of T (5, Interesting)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621732)

Waterloo has always fancied itself an industry supplier of productive bodies. My brother the EE went there and benefited from their work-term model. He got lots of practical experience which helped him land a job, although he took longer to get his degree than me.

I did an ME at the U of T. (Funny that the article calls Waterloo "MIT North", because U of T profs liked to call MIT "U of T South". Which is all very embarrassing, like stop with the MIT comparisons for heck's sake.)

The problem I have with this Velocity thing is: who pays and who benefits? Seems to me a chunk of everyone's tuition will go toward it, while only some will be in a position to get in. And those who can get in will be the ones who can deal with the extra work load.

In a perfect world, it would be the more clever who could handle the added work. In reality, it is the ones who have external support, like whose parents live not far away, or who come from richer families, that can focus on the work. The poor slobs who have 2 pair of pants for 4 years and who eat leftover mac & cheese for 5 days in a row wouldn't fit in.

I have no problem with elitism, it's a central component of hereditary capitalism, our beloved system. But not when the winners are being subsidized by the losers, that just strikes me as wrong.

I'm obviously biased, but I like the U of T approach: classical. Give everyone the same education and chuck them all into the market and let life sort them out. I hate the idea of university admins having the power to pick winners.

Re:Waterloo vs U of T (2, Interesting)

Dulcise (840718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622090)

Mod perant up.
While this may benefit a select few, those that were already achieving well, those that aren't doing so well now have less places to look for good study practice, which I have found (at least on me) rubs off.

When you're working with people who party all the time, you tend to work less, when you are with people who study more, you study more. So now the struggling student has even less of a work atmosphere than before, and the students that don't need more of a work atmosphere and are doing fine are being skimmed off to be in one.

Re:Waterloo vs U of T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622612)

I have no problem with elitism, it's a central component of hereditary capitalism, our beloved system. But not when the winners are being subsidized by the losers, that just strikes me as wrong.

I can grok each sentence on its own, but I don't understand how you can line them up this way.

Re:Waterloo vs U of T (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622722)

Well, for starters, I imagine that this will be funded through the government's grant rather than tuition dollars.

Most students outside of the US pay very little for tuition. Tuition fees generally fund the university's variable costs associated with taking on more students, whilst the university's core operation and fixed costs are paid for by the government. State universities in the US operate on a somewhat similar principle, unless you happen to live in a state that is unwilling or unable to fund its public university system, or want to (gasp!) leave your home state.

The problem I have with this Velocity thing is: who pays and who benefits? Seems to me a chunk of everyone's tuition will go toward it, while only some will be in a position to get in. And those who can get in will be the ones who can deal with the extra work load.
From what I've seen, even the most "gifted" university students are worked to the core. The divide between the "average" and "better" students is typically directly proportional to the amount of time/work spent studying. The assumption that the most gifted students are also going to be the least worked/stressed is just plain false. Given the general flexibility of a university curriculum, "gifted" students most frequently increase their courseload so that they can graduate early, or begin to take graduate-level courses as part of their undergraduate studies.

The notion that there are gifted students who barely do any work is an absolute myth at the university level.

(Note: None of this applies to Arts majors)

Re:Waterloo vs U of T (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623346)

Well, for starters, I imagine that this will be funded through the government's grant rather than tuition dollars.

If it is funded from general revenue then the money comes from a mixture of tuition and subsidy. Subsidies are allocated per student, so each student is worth a certain number of tuition plus subsidy dollars to the university. The university is not compelled to spend the money it gets from a given student on that student.

That might sound hard to believe but it's true. At my alma mater the administration was much hated for allocating less money to the engineering faculties that it received from them. Basically it took some of the engineering tuition and subsidies and diverted them to other faculties like arts & medicine. We resented that a lot.

So it's very possible this Velocity thing is feeding off non-participants.

The divide between the "average" and "better" students is typically directly proportional to the amount of time/work spent studying.

That's true, but stress levels play a big role too. In the interest of full disclosure I have to admit my academic career was a story of redemption. I was the guy with the 2 pairs of pants & the mac and cheese and I flunked out because it was just too hard. At the same time lots of the other students had their own nice apartments and cars and girlfriends and shoes etc etc. and they definitely weren't as stressed out. Which can only have been good for them.

Funny thing is, after the department of Engineering Science left me for dead, Mechanical Engineering (and in particular one prof) for some reason let me in and I became a top student. So I'm living proof that you shouldn't try to pick winners. Not people that are that young and who come from such diverse circumstances.

So if you are trying to say that life's fair in school, no I don't think so. The bureaucrats that run a university have no way of knowing who fails because they lack the mental chops and who fails because they have a nervous breakdown. Allocate the funds that each student is worth to that actual student and let the chips fall where they may.

Re:Waterloo vs U of T (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623368)

I completely agree on the MIT comparisons, but this:

I'm obviously biased, but I like the U of T approach: classical. Give everyone the same education and chuck them all into the market and let life sort them out
doesn't make sense to me. EVERY university is in the business of picking winners; it is called "admissions".

One problem that Candadian Universities face is that because of their public status, and (in most provinces) the resulting mandate to educate the masses, the variance of student capabilities is much higher than at elite universities down south. Most lectures will aim somehwere at the center third of the students, leaving behind the bottom third, and not really challenging the top third at all. The way to fix that is to offer tutoring to the bottom third, and more challenging activities such as research involvment (or this new "VeloCity" thingie) to the top third.

hmmm (1)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621736)

Did they mean Dorkubator? And what will be the implications of this ungodly dork breeding program, if hell in fact does freeze over and it is successful?

Better watch the male/female ratio (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621746)

...or things could get ugly, if you know what I mean.

Campus news sources (2, Informative)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621750)

If anybody is interested in further reading, the campus newspaper did a story on this [uwaterloo.ca] a couple of months ago, as well as the engineering newspaper [uwaterloo.ca] .

Re:Campus news sources (1, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622230)

Waterloo, jeesh. That's not a campus newspaper....THAT"S [skule.ca] a campus newspaper. (Large pdf warning).

Example article titles: "White Guilt Month Set to be Best Ever" and "The Many (Retarded) Uses for Facebook". Yeah. Waterloo sucks.

What a waste (4, Insightful)

Shohat (959481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621796)

It realy "grinds my gears" to see bright people waste their valuable time on Web/Social/Communication applications. If one thing in the world is currently going well, it's that field. That field has been developing well, there are plenty of bright minds working on it, no need to direct more geniuses that way.
Let them work on REAL challenges. Like better engines (we've been using the same combustion engine for 100 years now), better flight (which as not progressed much since WW2 jets), new energy sources (we never went beyond nuclear, which was 60 years ago). Why not let them work on wireless power, on indoor agriculture, desalinization technologies ? REAL challenges, not some hyper-popular niche that doesn't suffer from the lack of talented people.

Re:What a waste (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621806)

--
My Starcraft 2 Blog [sc2blog.com]

You're so wrong (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621870)

Funny I see this thing the opposite way. We have great technology all around, nothing is impossible. We just lack the reason to do anything and prosperity is distributed very unevenly. Some people are literally bathing in milk when other people are dying of thirst.

Unfortunately I don't think those people were intended to ponder the really important questions of humanity but instead the petty little issues you want them to think about.

Re:What a waste (2, Insightful)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622238)

I tend to agree with the anonymous coward (who in a cruel display of injustice got modded -1) that you got your priorities wrong. The real challenges are not so much technological, they're in areas like sociology, economy, politics. Technology is easy, that's why it can evolve so fast. Of course, technology is also an area where you can achieve a lot by just being intelligent.

Burning what I got (1)

Shohat (959481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622368)

I am going to be modded down for this, because there is no "+1 I hate this person and he is fucking wrong" mod thingy.
I agree with you, that our great challenges are sociological, economical and political. But Thing is, we are already living in the peaceful times in human history. We have not a single real war outside of Africa. If you think I am wrong, I advise you to take a few history classes.
But the real social challenge is moving away from democracy and capitalism, and embracing a more advanced model which does not revolve around individualism and revenue. Of course, the USSR stands as shining beacon of colossal failure, which simply makes communism and the lack of individual rights look bad, and it pisses me off even more to see China "opening up" instead of other countries taking its model and improving it. Democracy is not the end of political and social evolution. Nothing truly great can be achieved as long as we act as individuals.

Re:Burning what I got (2, Insightful)

piemcfly (1232770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622630)

Not entirely disagreeing here, but last time I checked, Colombia, Papua, Iraq, Mexico, Birma and Kashmir were all in a state of war...

I think your high opinion of the chinese system is also a bit... silly. Unless you agree with a confucian ethic (nepotism, corruption, yay?), mixed with dictatorial suppression (that is what the chinese model is after all... capitalist economics with political dictatorship). Unless you're talking about the old china, which was just as bad as Russia.

Re:What a waste (1)

Sethus (609631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622928)

How can you claim that time spent on Web/Social/Communication applications is wasted? Do people in this world work inside of a box completely devoid of human communication? No! Yes, there are issues and problems to work on that this world desperately needs, but social interaction and communication is a part, and I would argue a major part of this age's work force.

How can you communicate with your client, boss, or coworkers excactly what you want and need from them if you have inadequate social skills? Appropriately conducting yourself at work is a key aspect of garnering the respect of your peers as well as making yourself known to those around you. Nay sayers might argue that in an ideal situation you shouldn't have to garner any respect or authority, but this isn't the case in the real world. Social skills are more important than ever, espeically on group projects and in a large workforce, and it's not something that you're taught in class, but rather learned through human interaction in our society. How many of you have learned effectively on how to pick up social cues and nuances? This is a difficult skill, and most likely this program is just another type of class to encourage human interaction and to help the students excel in school.

Re:What a waste (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623044)

We all know that happened the last time we tried to develop a plane in Canada [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What a waste (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623452)

That was most definitely not the last time Cnaada developed a plane. Baombardier must have developed a dozen new plane models since then. It MAY be the last time Canada developed a FIGHTER plane (I wouldn't know for sure), but maybe you can give it a rest after 50 years? Sheesh.

But can they solve this? (4, Funny)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621818)

What is the average air speed VeloCity of an unladen geek?

Re:But can they solve this? (3, Funny)

hool5400 (257022) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621948)

African or European?

Re:But can they solve this? (1)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622156)

I don't know.

Re:But can they solve this? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22622356)

As a current student at UW, I assure you, the correct option is "asian."

Re:But can they solve this? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623174)

Canadian obviously. Didn't you read the summary?

Re:But can they solve this? (4, Funny)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622868)

What do you mean by unladen? A geek is always prepared. Maybe you meant unlaid?

Very smart (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22621828)

I have been trying to get the state of Colorado to offer various X prizes for needs of the state. For example, one of the suggestions was to come up with a means of stopping Pine beetles, which are devastating literally 100 of millions worth of lodge pole and other pines. I figured that ppl, roughly students, would go into the woods and look for lodge pole trees that appeared to survive the beetles. Once they do that, they could then look for what is different. What is amazing is that now a company in Mass (from MIT), has a way to stop them. They found it by following the method that I suggested. It appears that Colorado will spend somewhere between 10-100 millions to save just a fraction of the lodgepole pines. I suspect that other states will spend similar amounts or more.

All in all, Gov. CAN help fund ideas. The Canadian approach will help lead to companies with loads of ideas AND ppl to try and incubate them. My suggestion would only have costs iff an idea was worthy. Hopefully more universities will pick up the idea of integrating ppl, rather than separating them (and perhaps offer incentives).

The real question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22621970)

Does the business field count with lots of women?

North. (1)

DTemp (1086779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622118)

Judging by my freaking freezing ears, MIT is in the North.

Re:North. (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622684)

Kind of like declaring that you are the smartest person North of Barrow, or the best public University in Wyoming.

"As Far Away As..." (4, Informative)

Taeolas (523275) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622196)

Gotta love the article saying how they got applicants from "As far away as Wilfred Laurier" (a university that is literally a block away from UW) and UofT (90 minutes away by the 401). In any case, seems like UW's looking at ways to turn their new company budding into a formal process of sorts.

Real Genius (1)

jbeardsl (887329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622276)

Is it just me, or does this idea sound straight out of the movie Real Genius??

Drunk computer science majors (1)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622496)

No one else in college drinks as much as business majors. So by mixing them with engineering types, you are only going to get drunk engineers. Maybe they stay in the Ballmer peak [xkcd.com] , and make beautiful, functional programs that the business majors will market, giving little of the profit to the computer science majors.

Re:Drunk computer science majors (1)

Rampantbaboon (946107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622948)

Are you lambasting drunk engineers?

I resent that. Although I do plan on business for grad school, so whatever.

(more beer, please)

Re:Drunk computer science majors (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623266)

I love it when I code something drunk. The next day, I'm always amazed at the progress that I've made - and the errors are always amusing and really, really, basic.

You shouldn't try to debug drunk, though. Just move on and get it tomorrow.

Here in Canada... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22622586)

Our government will support social networking DORMS... which will probably lead to research on better methods of intoxication. If we were american, it'd lead to faster methods of (insert aggressive american stereotype here).

Actually, it's not *that* north.. (2, Informative)

yebb (142883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623164)

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada - 43 28'
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - 42 36'

Most people forget that southern Ontario dips well south into the great-lakes basin.

As a former Waterloo student... (1)

FlyingOrca (747207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623380)

...I have to say that the geekubator concept is already up and running, and has been for a long time. It's called WCRI [wcri.coop] . It was well-established when I was there in the 80s.

As if athletic ghettos weren't bad enough (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623436)

We segregate our student athletes at a lot of schools, now we're going to segregate the nerds? Am I the only one who feels uneasy about this?

Just go to MIT, Caltech, CalPoly, etc (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623504)

Where the whole school is that way. Its an amzing experience to be surrounded by people with 140 IQs 24/7 and interested in technology.

Fact checking required (2, Informative)

Kinthelt (96845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22623554)

The university has received applications from as far away as Wilfrid Laurier University

2 blocks is considered far away?
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