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take another examination. He had often been surprised, after drilling a class and supposing they had a good knowledge of the subject and that only the shiftless and indolent ones would fail, he had been surprised to find frequently that one-half of the class would fail on such questions as were given. He returned all the papers to them, and if they found that he had erred in judgment, they would be allowed to pass to another subject. They did not pass necessarily on marks of fifty, or sixty, or seventy, or eighty, but they passed on the correctness of the principles, or not at all. The method had recommended itself to him very strongly. He was glad to add his testimony to its good effect upon the young men. Take the subject of resistance of beams. The amount of study which he had secured on that subject by this process exceeded anything that he believed possible in any other way. They did not know what was coming, only that they were to have an examination, and they would study all sorts of conditions and all sorts of beams, and he would give them an average question, and then find that a great many would fail. The young men that had failed once usually got through all right another time, so that it was a good exercise, provided it was done so that they got a better knowledge of the entire subject than they had before.
PROFESSOR WILLIAM H. BURR said, in closing the discussion, that he would say one word, not in answer to any criticism of the paper which he had had the privilege to read, but to add another word in reference to the matter of lectures or lecture notes. It had seemed to him, in his experience as an instructor, that one of the main difficulties with the lecture system was the fact that it entailed upon the students an immense amount of unproductive work. He thought that it was practically impossible for a student to follow a lecturer in his notes and follow him in his reasoning at the same time, and he thought for that reason, that the general principles—which always remain the same, however varied their applications might be—should be taught from text books. He knew applications might be very profitably put before students in the shape of lecture notes and then the lecturer could follow in his detailed explanation of some difficult points and of the detailed applications to living engineering questions. He did not believe that it was feasible to properly do without lectures. He thought lectures perform a very important function in engineering education, but he would make them a part only, and use them in connection with text books, or rough notes which have already been prepared, so that the greatest possible amount of instruction may be given to the student with the least possible amount of uninterrupted work.
THE GROWTH OF AMERICAN MINING SCHOOLS AND THEIR RELATION TO THE MINING
BY SAMUEL B. CHRISTY, PROFESSOR OF MINING AND METALLURGY, UNIVER
SITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, CAL.
[Read in Joint Session of the Mining, Metallurgical, and Educational
Sections.] Columbia College has the honor of founding the first well organized School of Mines in America. The University of Michigan, however, shared with her the honor of graduating the first class, in 1867. Prof. Thomas Egleston was the pioneer in the new movement. He drew up the original plan for the Columbia School of Mines in 1863, and was in 1864 appointed its first professor.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology turned out a class of mining students a year later, and others followed in the order of their first graduating class, as shown in Table I. condensed from the Engineering News, of August 11, 1892.
Besides the above, mining schools have been organized in the States of Arizona and Nevada, and more or less instruction is advertised in connection with other engineering schools.
It will be noticed that Columbia easily heads the list with reference to the number of graduates; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stands second; the California University, third, and then follow Lehigh, Washington University, Michigan University, Lafayette College, Michigan Mining School, Missouri, Colorado and others.
Total Number of Graduates from Mining Schools in the
Total in 26 years..
*It is to be understood that this list includes the graduates from the mining courses only, as the total list of graduates from most of the institutions named is many times these numbers.
+This institution, up to 1891, graduated its students on a three years' course. It now requires four years.
This institution has graduated its students: first, on a two, then on a three years' course. It now announces a four years' course. The rest all require four years, though some have unsuccessfully attempted to require five-year courses.
The total number of graduates from these sixteen schools, in twenty-six years, has been 871, or an average of thirty-three per year; but as all these schools give a partial education to many who do not graduate, it is probable that from 2,000 to 3,000 mining students have received from them considerable training.
An interesting comparison of the rate of growth of the engineering schools has been recently instituted by the Engineering News, for the period between 1860 and 1892.
Table II shows that civil engineering had the advantage in numbers from the start, which was maintained until 1890, when it was surpassed by mechanical engineering. The development of the latter course may be said to date from 1880.
There are many interesting facts evident in this table. It will be noticed that the curves all show inflection points in the same years. The minimum points, traced back four years, show that the year in which the minimum of graduates entered was in each case a period of profound financial depression.
But the two most remarkable points are the enormous development of mechanical engineering since 1880, and the lack of growth of mining engineering for the same period. Thus the number of graduates from all the engineering schools was: