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what might be called projection sketching from the sketching of two or three projections of a piece for the sake of working them up into working drawings, would be the most valuable that they could have. He wanted to say one word with reference to what Prof. Denison said in regard to an educated imagination, the ability in examining a drawing to see the article stand right up in front of one. He remembered a classmate of his who took his descriptive geometry by actually memorizing where each line on the plate went, and if anybody gave him different conditions he was unable to put his problem on the black-board. While he has since made a good theoretical engineer, a good engineer in a mathematical sense of the word, the speaker did not believe he would ever become skilled in construction.
PROFESSOR SPANGLER remarked that the author of the paper, in speaking of the drawing necessary to a mechanical engineer, said something to the effect that graphical delineation of gearing was something that would take up too large a per centage of the time. He wished to strongly endorse that opinion. He believed that the time spent in the accurate delineation of gearing is time thrown away. It did not seem to him that an engineering school is the place to develop immense charts of gearing. While there is no question that in particular circumstances this class of work has resulted in great value to the engineering profession as a whole, still from the students' standpoint he could not imagine what educational value the actual drawing of gearings could have.
BY ALFRED E. BURTON, Professor of Topographical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of
Practical surveying enters as an essential feature into every course of civil engineering study. Its position in the curriculum is assured. There is little need to plead for its wider recognition. A certain amount of skill in the use of surveying instruments must be guaranteed to the young man who is to use these tools at the very outset of his career and for whom they often furnish the only possible means of beginning professional work, but in the practical application of the principles of surveying much time can be easily wasted, and it is important to see that surveying does not crowd from the course of study subjects of a more advanced character and of a greater ultimate usefulness to the civil engineer. It is with the idea of suggesting a suitable method for condensing practical instruction in surveying that this plan for vacation work is presented.
Practical instruction in surveying is naturally divided into two parts. First, that which is generally considered to furnish sufficient training for the land surveyor, and for the town or city engineer. Second, that which is the special training for the topographer and geodesist. The first part can, without embarassment to other studies, be readily incorporated into the term work of the four-years' course.
The second part requires so much time for its proper development that it cannot properly be included in the term work of the regular curriculum of civil engineering study. The following suggestions with reference to the condensation of the first kind of surveying practice are derived from some ten years' experience in teaching. They
First, that whatever time per week is given to this subject should be so arranged as to permit of continuous hours of work, thus producing in the field and drawing exercises a condition of things analagous to that of actual practice and reducing to a minimum the loss of time incident to the beginning and ending of such exercises.
Second, the employment of a large corps of instructors, so large in fact that it shall be possible in field exercises to have one instructor for every three or four students. (This last condition can be attained without great expense by so arranging the scheme of recitations as to permit all the instructors regularly engaged in other branches of civil engineering to give their time for a few hours to this special work.) In this way the maximum amount of instruction can be given in the minimum amount of time.
According to the tables recently published by the Engineering News the Massachusetts Institute of Technology appears to give very nearly the minimum amount of time to surveying when compared with other technical schools, yet the writer believes that the student is given there as much practical instruction as is needful. Six hours a week for thirty weeks is given to instruction in plane surveying and levelling. Two hours a week for thirty weeks is given to instruction in the use of instruments employed in topographical surveying. Practice in the field operations of geodetic and topograghical surveying is given during the vacation and for the greater number of civil engineering students this work is made optional. It is only when we wish to meet the demand of our general government and state surveys for skilled topographers and observers that this brief course in surveying appears inadequate. This demand is not a great one and the number of students who desire to follow this work and are naturally qualified to do so is small. Why then force every civil engineering student to specialize further in this line? Why exclude those especially fitted and desirous of taking this work from an opportunity of obtaining proper and adequate training!
The writer does not think the term periods of a regular four years' course allow time for the proper training of a topographer or observer, in connection with the other studies of a civil engineering course. His suggestion for meeting this difficulty is to establish a course of field work, or a school of application, during one or more of the summer vacations. Require students who desire to become topographers and observers to attend to this course, and to specialize their studies subsequent to this work by omitting some subjects which may be really essential to the general civil engineer but not to them, should they follow their chosen professional career.
Thus there can be graduated better civil engineers and better topographers and observers. This change need not be very radical and should only be introduced in the closing years of college work, but it seems to be essential, and in order to better develop such a plan the writer has thought it best to describe the method of carrying on the summer school of the civil engineering department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the past five years. The essential characteristics of this school are:
First, it is an entirely optional part of the general civil engineering course, it being required only of students who wish to take the more extended course of geodesy in the senior year in place of some of the work in bridge design and railroading.
Second, only students in the junior or third year class of the civil engineering department in good standing or students from other departments or colleges who can show themselves equally well prepared, are allowed to attend.
Third, the time is limited to four weeks in the month of June.
Fourth, the subjects considered in the summer school are field problems in geodetic, topographical, hydraulic, and geological surveying.
Fifth, the location of the school is determined entirely by the adaptability of the region for the illustration of the problems considered.