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they are perfectly free from the strain of regular work. On this point of vacation work he would speak again. The only point he wished to make now was, that it is possible within the school year, when the work is properly arranged, to give a course of adequate instruction in such field work as is necessary for the young graduate to be familiar with in order to serve as a stepping stone to more responsible positions.
PROFESSOR MERRIMAN wished merely to say that, after an experience of several years in Lehigh University, where very precise surveying work had been done by the senior class, he felt inclined to agree with Professor Jameson that such work could be materially abridged, and that they may have gone too far in that direction. Perhaps it would be better to spend more time on the elementary operations and less on the advanced work. For instance, in triangulation, his base lines had been measured with a probable error of one three hundred thousanth, instead of about one thirty thousanth, as mentioned by Professor Monroe. A large amount of such precise work seemed unnecessary to fit a young man for the practice of surveying. But there were two points in Professor Monroe's remarks which he desired to notice. First, in regard to checking the work. That certain monuments should be established by which results can be checked, no one will deny, and it is particularly necessary for beginners, but he had no idea that the matter was ever carried so far as covering the ground with monuments and stakes of all kinds in order to check individual measurements. It seemed to him that this was so far removed from the conditions which prevail in actual practice that wrong ideas might be inculcated. The student should be trained to check his own work, and different parties should check the work of others, and thus methods of actual practice be taught. Lastly, in regard to the implication which had been made, and which he had heard there for the first time, that students are supposed to manufacture field notes in surveying for the purpose of passing in their work, it seemed to him astounding that any such idea should prevail. He was sure if there was anything calculated to destroy the character of a young man it is the implication from professors and instructors that he was going to do anything of this sort. It was contrary in every respect to the development of the high scientific spirit which should actuate every surveyor and engineer.
PROFESSOR MONROE replied that the object of the checking employed at Columbia was not so much to prevent dishonest work as it was to make sure that correct methods of handling instruments were adopted by the students. Unless they were able to check each measurement they could not possibly know whether the student had done his work accurately until the survey was completed, and even then the survey would often close by the balancing of errors.
The main object was therefore to make sure that correct methods were used. In regard to the detection of fraud, he thought that the method adopted tended to remove temptation from the students, and he did not think that any honest student objected to having such temptation removed from him or from others. He knew practically in these seventeen years, that until they adopted this method there would always be one or two men in the class who would prefer to do their work in a dishonest way. There were several men expelled from the college for dishonest practices of this sort, and of course that had a very beneficial effect on those that were left, but there are always in every class one or two or three weak men who would act dishonestly by preference, and such men demoralize the whole class far more than any method of removing such temptations.
TRAINING OF STUDENTS IN TECHNICAL LITER
BY MANSFIELD MERRIMAN,
Professor of Civil Engineering in Lehigh University.
The courses of study in engineering schools generally occupy the close attention of students during the forty weeks of the academic year. It is indeed a common remark among students that they have little time for miscellaneous reading, much less for the perusal of technical books and periodicals. No definite course of training in technical literary work can therefore usually be attempted, yet in a certain way much can be done. Progress in this direction has been marked during the past twenty years so that today the graduates of our engineering schools are better informed regarding technical literature and better able to write technical articles than ever before.
The teacher can exercise a great influence in inciting the interest of students in technical literature by appropriate references during recitations and lectures. It has been the writer's experience that such references are received with the greatest interest when stated from a historical standpoint, namely, with the intent to illustrate the development of the science or art rather than to impart mere technical facts. For instance, in surveying reference can be made to its origin in Egypt, where it was synonomous with geometry, to the methods of the Romans, to the instruments used in the middle ages, to the early writers, to stern old Edmund Gunter, inventor of the scale and chain which now bears his name, to the American authors of a century ago, Jess and Rittenhouse, and to the charming essay of Amos Eaton, the first professor of civil engineering in our oldest technical school. When a student is interested in some of these, and when his knowledge of the subject is further advanced, he will listen with interest to references to articles regarding controverted points, methods of work or the judicial functions of surveyors. Many men in a class will consult the articles or books to which reference is made, and thus these topics often become matters of conversation among students during hours of leisure.
What has been said regarding surveying applies with greater force to geodesy, where the historical material is more abundant and more important. In all the subjects of a civil engineering course there is ample historical material to allow the same method to be followed. In strength of materials we go back to Gallileo and refer to his curious picture of a beam projecting from an ancient wall. In construction the great Egyptian pyramids with the ingenious speculations regarding their origin, and the substantial work of the Romans in stone and cement, inspire interest and admiration. In bridges, we go back to Cæsar and Trajan for but a moment, as the history of their marvellous development during the present century affords abundant opportunity for thousands of references. In sanitary engineering the ancient