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test whatever of a man's knowledge. In his own practice, for the first term examination, he gave the men a problem of some actual work to carry out, and gave them a week in which to do it. Each student sends in his papers with a statement that he had had no assistance whatever, and full notes as to how he has arrived at it. This is all that is done at the end of the first term's work. After the second term's work he always gave a set of problems and allowed them to use their own note books; it enabled them to do what they all have to do in after life. If a man wanted to get out any design, he did not set to work without a single note or single help of any description, but he searched up his note books and other text-books. This method put a premium on the note-books. Then, for the third term's work, he set the ordinary paper and it is done in the ordinary way: a certain number of questions, and generally a whole day-giving them perhaps a dozen or twenty questions—and half of them to be answered, giving them plenty of time in which to do it.
He did not believe in the rushing system. It was not at all the test of a man's real ability.
PROFESSOR Bull wished to add something from his own experience. He had spent four years in Zurich, and he knew there was a good deal of difference between the German and the Zurich schools. He agreed fully with the method of examinations. Not requiring any examinations in the second, third and fourth years, he thought it was liable to make the students lazy, but in Zurich, besides the lectures, they have reviews one hour a week, at which they are compelled to be present. If they are not present, and it should appear that they do not work, they are very soon sent away. They are fully as severe there as here. There is the remedy. Besides all of this, they have examinations at the end of the term, and by means of these examinations, especially the reviews, the students come in personal contact with the professor.
As to compelling students to do some work, it is a good thing. Last summer he had been on the continent and he had met an old acquaintance who used to be an assistant in Zurich, and who is now a professor in Munich, in charge of the steam engine laboratory there. He had inaugurated the same methods in Munich as were in vogue in Zurich. The speaker fully agreed with Professor Swain. There were engines in Berlin, Munich, and Zurich, but the only proper steam laboratory was in Munich. That was the case last summer (1892). In Berlin some advanced students do a little work with gas engines and so on, but you only find one real steam engine laboratory, and that is in Munich.
DR. H. T. EDDY said he could conceive the hesitancy with which the gentlemen present would rise to discuss these papers which have treated the subject with such elaboration and care, and such admirable good judgment, and he thought this explained the difficulty the chairman met with in finding persons to discuss cursorily, and in the main, subjects of such very great importance as these which had been laid before the section. Perhaps the thing which he desired to say most was how thoroughly he agreed with the sentiments and expressions which had been already presented. With these sentiments and ideas most of those present doubtless fully agreed, although they might not see how in the present stage of technical education, to carry out all that they unitedly desired to see carried out. It was, he believed, customary in English societies, whenever a paper was read, to criticise it severely. He felt that the trend of criticism in this country was always a little different from that, so far as his observation went. He knew that Prof. Swain was so modest that he would allow the speaker to state a word in his behalf. He had very distinctly disclaimed following the title of his paper,--he wanted it distinctly understood that what he said did not apply to English schools, as he was wholly uninformed in regard to them.
As to Prof. Burr's paper the speaker agreed with him fully as to the present and future possibilities of the profession of engineering, and which rests so largely in the hands of the educators,—the engineering educators—and when such a spirit as he exhibits, such aspirations as he has voiced, are those of the engineering educators, we must feel that engineering as a profession is to enter into the great field which we all hope and believe it will occupy. The field is widening, the needs of modern life are constantly growing larger, and it has been greatly added to by electrical engineering in the most recent times, and on the part of this conference he hoped it might be added to in the aerial fields in the almost immediate future. He felt that these congresses and the work of their several divisions, have helped us very greatly towards new ideals. Those who have felt that they were somewhat beyond the present realization—have felt perhaps, they were a little cranky-have had their faith straightened by exchanging views as we have here to-day.
PROFESSOR J. B. Johnson said he had long hoped that the teachers of engineering might accomplish something in the way of establishing standand requirements for entrance and for graduation in our engineering schools, and the minimum of plant and of instruction which should lead to graduation from such a course of study. This would greatly assist those who are now trying vainly to raise their standard but who are prevented from so doing by the powers above them. Doubtless all are doing the best they can under the circumstances.
What we need is some way of changing the circumstances, but it could not be done by an occasional meeting of this kind. He believed, however, that this was the most significant meeting that technical educators had held in America. He believed that all felt the importance and dignity of this series of meetings, and he hoped that something permanent might grow out of them, something in the nature of a permanent organization of engineering instructors. He had understood that Prof. Robinson had something of that sort to present and he had made these remarks only as an introduction of the subject of a permanent organization. Doubtless all would like to carry out the ideas advanced in the papers, but all of them could not do what they would like. If, however, they could bring some suggestions and decisions from some organized body of engineering educators before their home people and before the authorities of their institutions, such a body would become an important agency, with very great weight in shaping future developments of technical education in America.
THE CHAIRMAN said that arrangements had been made for the presentation of the organization of an association of engineers at this Congress for the promotion of engineering education.
PROFESSOR S. W. ROBINSON wished to emphasize one truth stated in Prof. Burr's paper. Laboratory studies are coming on to be a very important thing in our schools. The point is, we should study in college those things which we are not so likely to study and familiarize ourselves with in practice, and leave those things we are more likely to learn in practice to that practice; give attention to the study of those things likely to be overlooked in practice, that is, theoretical training. Thorough theoretical training is the prime essential. If we are obliged to omit anything, let it be the laboratory. He thought it was a very important consideration not to neglect the laboratory altogether, but let that bear on the enforcement of the principles of the study rather than experiments for investigation, and in training the student in systematic ways of keeping notes, etc., and devote his other time more to the study of principles.
PROFESSOR S. B. CHRISTY thought no one who had listened to these papers, especially the last one (by Prof. Burr), could fail to feel a sense of satisfaction at