First Year News Feed August 28, 2020: Virtual Backgrounds & Pre-Calculus Prep

Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering


September is almost here! Before we get into this week’s content, please mark your calendars for these important dates: On Wednesday, September 9 at 10 a.m. EDT, you’re invited to attend a Welcome to the Faculty Session that will introduce you to key staff and faculty members and share need-to-know info for the start of the Fall term (if you’re participating in F!rosh week, don’t worry – this time has been set aside in the schedule). Your first day of class on Thursday, September 10 will begin with a special plenary lecture for all first-year engineering students at 9 a.m. EDT. More info to come on these events next week!

This week in the News Feed find out how to grab a virtual U of T Engineering background for online meetings, get updated info on timetable changes, learn about next week’s Pre-Calculus Prep program, and consider attending an upcoming event on entrepreneurship at U of T. In this week’s Student Blog, Mirjana will let you know how and why to get involved with the Engineering Society. 

Please be sure to read your  Guide to First Year, follow us on Twitter and if you have questions and want to connect with us you can reach us by email or through our Live Chat service.  

You’re also welcome to book an appointment with your academic advisor through the Advising Portal.  

Have a nice weekend,

The First Year Office Team 
(Leslie, Jennifer, Emzhei, JesusMiracle & Hannah)    

P.S. Not joining U of T Engineering? If your plans have changed, please notify our Admissions Office at  

Virtual Backgrounds

U of T Engineering has created virtual backgrounds that you are welcome to use on your upcoming Zoom or Teams conversations! These feature a variety of images, including equity, diversity and inclusion-themed backgrounds and favourite campus locations, and allow you to bring a little bit of U of T Engineering into your online interactions. Learn more and download your virtual U of T Engineering backgrounds

Timetable Updates

As mentioned in previous emails (and as you have likely seen in ACORN), your timetable should now be posted for the upcoming year. As outlined in the recent Dean’s Message, the Faculty’s remote access guarantee means that none of your classes will require you to be present on campus in either the 2020 Fall term or 2021 Winter term, as all courses will be offered online. Your instructors will clarify how exactly the course meetings will be conducted, but any synchronous (live) course meetings will be recorded for later viewing for those who are not able to attend live.  

Our scheduling office may be making some adjustments to first-year timetables early next week, so please check ACORN for any changes. 

Sorry, but first-year schedules cannot be rearranged for personal preferences. However, if religious, medical, time zone, Varsity sport, or other important accommodations need to be made, we will work to accommodate your request.   

Time Zone Notes:  

  • For students in other time zones, we are happy to accommodate changes that will make it easier for you to maintain your general well-being and a healthy sleep schedule – we do not expect you to attend classes at 3 a.m. your local time!  
  • We recommend that you request timetable changes that prioritize synchronous (live) attendance in Tutorials and Practicals (as these sessions are usually more interactive than lectures), and as many synchronous (live) lecture times as are feasible, and then plan a regular personal schedule to review videos for the remaining class recordings (ideally within a day of the original meeting, so that you do not fall behind the class).  
  • Also, note that there are now sections of both MAT186H1: Calculus I and MAT188H1: Linear Algebra which will be held in the very early morning hours Toronto time (5 a.m. and 4 a.m., respectively), which should be helpful for those studying from overseas.  

If you need to request timetable changes for the above reasons, you can find all course section options listed in the Engineering Timetable, and we recommend using a time zone converter like this one to determine what is optimal for you (if applicable). When you have determined the best sections for you, please submit a Timetable Change Request form*. The deadline to request timetable changes for the Fall term is September 23

Please note that we are only accepting requests for Fall term changes at this time; we will post a similar form for the Winter term later.  

You can also meet with your academic advisor if you have timetable concerns, and get in touch with us if you have questions. 

*Note that in order to submit the Timetable Change Request form, you must log in with your UTORid. Activate your UTORid through the TCard Office

Pre-Calculus Prep
We hope that you have been working on your Math Self-Assessment Quizzes that were sent to you by email on August 20 (if you didn’t receive these, please email the First Year Office), and identifying any areas that you might need to brush up on before classes start. As a reminder, these quizzes are worth 3% of your MAT186H1: Calculus I grade, and are due by September 14

To help with your math review, all students are encouraged to participate in next week’s Pre-Calculus Prep program (August 31-September 4) through Quercus. No registration is required, and you can choose to participate in as many of the sessions as you need to.  

Read more about the Pre-Calculus Prep program (formerly called Math Boot Camp).  

The Entrepreneurship Hatchery Demo Day

Demo Day is the culmination of  The Entrepreneurship Hatchery NEST program, an intensive four-month process where student teams develop their startup ideas into commercial innovations. Startup teams are paired with experienced mentors — including executives, lawyers, entrepreneurs etc. — to develop their businesses. The Hatchery supports U of T students to leave university not only with a degree but with a job they have created themselves and the mindset of an entrepreneur. Check out this short video on last year’s Demo Day. September 9-18. Register for Demo Day online.

The First Year Office team periodically updates our Frequently Asked Questions page, and you’re always welcome to email us or use our live chat during office hours for questions that you can’t find answers to.  

In addition, given the ongoing pandemic, there are a lot of details still being confirmed for the upcoming year which are being communicated as they are determined. Be sure to monitor your email regularly for official updates, and you should also check the following authoritative pages regularly for current information:    

First Year Office
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

University of Toronto
35 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A4


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