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Occurrence of ores
80 150 200 320 150
80 380 275 150
WM. KENT (by letter): The report of the committee shows a highly satisfactory agreement in opinion among engineering teachers and practitioners as to the unwisdom of specialization by the undergraduate. It also shows a general agreement as to the several subjects that should be taught in an engineering course. The text of the report in general has my hearty approval. I append here a few notes in the way of suggestions that have occurred to me in reading some of the paragraphs of the report.
Page 101-Value of Spanish. Can any time be afforded in the four years of an engineering course for this subject when the course is already overcrowded with subjects that are more essential to nine out of every ten engineers ?
Page 102—“A Reading Knowledge of both French and German, or of one of these only.” Two years of one of these languages should be given in the high school and required for entrance, as a culture study. It is continually becoming more difficult to find time for them in an engineering course.
Page 102–Chemistry, Qualitative Analysis. The time usually given to qualitative analysis should be greatly shortened and quanitative analyses of ores, fuels, metals, cement, furnace gases, etc., be substituted.
Page 103—“Shop Work is considered advisable in all but Civil Engineering Students and for these it is in favor with a strong minority." Elementary shop work properly taught in an engineering college is largely a “culture” study. It tends to develop the mind through the hand and eye. It teaches the importance of accuracy and cultivates the habit of close attention. It should be given in the freshman year to all engineering students, and until this year is finished they should not be divided into civil, mechanical or other kinds of engineers.
Page 103– Electrical Engineering. “A General Descriptive Course.” A descriptive course in electrical engineering is of doubtful value. What is needed is such a course as will utilize a student's knowledge of mathematics, mechanics and physics, and compel him to do hard thinking-to work out theoretical and practical problems-involving at least two hours of study for each recitation period.
Page 104–Surveying. Some surveying, theory and practice should be given to mechanical and electrical as well as to civil and mining engineering students.
Page 115—“Mechanical Engineers should be familiar with train, grade and curve resistance." Electrical engineers should be equally familiar with them.
Page 118—“I apprehend that the modern course goes too much into detail.” There is no danger in going into detail in the proper way as principles are best fixed by study of detail. There is a tendency in many students to skim over the surface of a subject and get a vague knowledge of its principles. The antidote for this tendency is to make the student work out the details whenever possible by rigid calculation and by use of the drawing board.
Page 120—“Architecture is essentially a Fine Art and stands by itself.” Architecture is two things: (1) Construction (engineering). (2) Fine art.
No one man unless he is a genius can be both an architectural engineer and an artist architect. The attempt to make both kinds of architects out of one man has failed. The result is either a poor engineer or a poor artist or both. The architectural profession should be subdivided the same as the engineering profession is. We should no more attempt to turn out in four years a man educated as both a constructive and artist architect than we should attempt to make of the same man a civil and an electrical or chemical engineer.
Page 121-Table of Distribution of Time. This table may be subdivided as follows:
An important deduction from this table of the committee seems to be that since more than four sevenths of the whole time in each of the four courses is preparatory and general work, it is well as far as possible to have this work done in the first two years of the course and to give it to all students alike, so that they do not specialize as civil, mechanical, electrical and mining engineers until the end of the two years. In the freshman year at least all the courses might easily be made the same, and in the sophomore year the civil and mining engineers could be classed together in one group, and the mechanical and electrical engineers in another, leaving the final separation into four divisions to the beginning of the junior year.
Another deduction from this table is that there seems to be a larger fraction of the time devoted to the preparatory subjects than need be. Can not the time given to language, mathematics and physics be cut down, leaving more time for the strictly professional subjects ? This suggestion may seem to be opposed to the commonly expressed ideas of “more fundamentals, more rudiments, more principles- less specialization," but does not the professional study of such subjects as machine design, bridges, hydraulics, etc., give training in the fundamentals? It is a common complaint that junior and senior students and even graduates are often sadly deficient in the two fundamentals of English and arithmetic. Will not a more intense study of the