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appear; one of the best means of instruction is to impress upon the student the certainty that he must do the work that is assigned him. Something of the marking system is fairly productive of that result, so that the problem that appears at first to be designed to get a mark against the student may on the whole be very efficient in stimulating the student to get ready for the mark, so that if the ultimate object is to instruct the student and get from him the work that he ought to do, the means which at first may appear to be subject to criticism will after all be very efficient. But it is very easy for teachers to improperly resolve their work into a system of securing marks.
Working back to what was originally stated in one of the papers, so far as the main work is concerned, I dislike to have more than twenty-five students in a section, but I have arranged to have a class as large as seventy-five, and within three or four years will have a class of eighty or more; and I find no serious difficulty in certain parts of the work with a class of that size. The work that I do with these large classes, although mathematical, is, I think, well suited for that treatment; twenty or thirty minutes of time is spent in lecture, in explaining practical work and its application; this is followed by a written examination for all the students. The sheets are handed to the students with the problems already cyclostyled on them so that there is no loss of time in copying the questions. The value of the exercises is several fold; first, there is the certainty the student has of being called upon for the work of the day; second, the necessity for tackling the work without asking a neighbor how to start in; third, the cultivation of the power to work under pressure, for in this particular work there is not time left for a man to do any work of preparation in the class, but only enough to do the work that is assigned. I believe that in that particular work the students are very much benefited, although at first sight it might appear that the object was to secure marks. In other parts of my work, this particular form of exercise would not prove efficient, but I have thought it might be interesting to state what is done in this particular case in that way, although the method might not be valuable in the work of any other teacher.
PROFESSOR A. N. TALBOT: I am pleased to see this appreciation of the value of working out problems having a practical application on such subjects as mathematics and mechanics. These problems are of value to the students in gaining a comprehension of the underlying principles of the subject. It seems that we should, however, in this work not fall into the error that seems in some directions to prevail, of making everything problem work, that is, of making applications and omitting systematic demonstration of theory and establishing the principles in a good, rigid way.
Considering the question of contact with students which has been raised, we have had our instructors add an office hour during the day when students are free to go there to consult with them concerning not only the regular class-room work but problem work. Many of the men come of their own accord and we find it very satisfactory.
A COURSE IN MINE SURVEYING.
BY FREDERICK W. SPERR, Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering, Michigan College of Mines.
The term surveying will apply to the subject in hand with the following limitations upon its definitionnamely:
1. To determine accurately the boundaries, position, extent, area, contour, or other particulars, by means of measurements.
2. To view in its entirety.
3. To view scrutinizingly with reference especially to working methods.
The course of instruction as we give it is divided into class-room work and field work, the former preceding with one hundred hours devoted to the solution of problems involved in the adjustment of instruments, in the use of the top and side telescopes, in “holing through” work, and in general mine traversing; and with fortyfour hours devoted to methods of coal mining and coal mine surveying. The field work receives two hundred and seventy hours with from one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five hours devoted to underground traversing, carrying survey lines through inclined and vertical shafts, measuring excavations and ore reserves, and making computations and maps for some particular ore mine. This leaves from one hundred and forty-five to one hundred and seventy hours for the more general surveys made of a number of different mines in one or more-usually two-of the different iron mining districts of our state.
The class-room work is given in the winter and early spring months. The field work begins about the first of May and continues for five weeks. About the last of March the Professor in charge of the course makes a reconnoisance trip over the different districts in order to ascertain where the work can be most advantageously conducted. Especial care is given to finding a mine suitable for the first part of the field work, where the problems presented are most suitable for such a course of instruction and where at the same time the least inconvenience will be inflicted upon the mine operators. Incidentally it is noted whether accommodations for room and board can be obtained by the students in the vicinity of the mines, and about what rates can be obtained; but no definite arrangements are made any more than may be absolutely necessary.
We find it preferable to allow the students to find their own accommodations to their own best possible advantage and satisfaction. We simply announce to them the time when they are to be at their work and indicate how they may meet the requirement unless they can find some better way for doing so. This custom has evolved the class manager.
When the classes were small each individual looked after himself; but as the numbers increased and community of interests became more apparent, it became the practice to allow some one by mutual selection on account of fitness or willingness to arrange for the transportation of baggage, and at the end of the course a small sum was contributed to this individual as a recognition of kindly services performed.
As the numbers increased still more and the work and compensation grew proportionately, the position was sought after and became a matter of class election. The usual duties of the class manager now are to arrange for all transportation of persons and baggage, including railroad fares and livery hire, and more or less for rooms and board. His compensation is about sufficient to meet his personal expenses upon the trip; and he must be a man of sufficient capacity to do the work in addition to his regular duties as a student.
During working hours the students are required to observe certain rules most rigidly and give quick and implicit obedience to orders. The two most important rules are-first, never to interfere with the signals or any part of the hoisting arrangments; second, never to go into or out of a mine without permission from an instructor-not even at the invitation of a mine official.
Outside of the regular working hours the only requirement upon the students is that they conduct themselves as gentlemen in the community and have all the good time possible, consistent with the proper execution of their work.
For the first part of the field work the class is divided into squads of four, each squad having its own instrumental outfit and making its own independent survey.
About nine hours a day are spent in the mine, and the computing and mapping are done in the evening, except that a day is usually required to finish the maps after the surveys are completed.
The latter part of the course divides itself into surface work and underground work. Different mines of