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Lagher and Walter McAfee of Somerville, and Susanna Kennedy of Brockton.
It was hoped that Dr. Wallace W. Atwood, formerly of Harvard and now president of Clark University, would give an address at the meeting, but he was unable to be present and sent a letter of regret which Professor Turner read, and in which he said:
"During the past two weeks while I have been in attendance at educational meetings in each of the states of the upper Mississippi Valley I have been impressed with the emphasis that educators are placing upon visual education. Many of the city schools are establishing distinct departments to promote education through the eye. I have found motion pictures on exhibition at several meetings and many of the superintendents whom I visited have already introduced the motion picture as a regular part of their instructional work. I think educators fully appreciate the immense possibilities in moving pictures as supplementary aids to education and the appearance of good films will be most heartily welcomed by them.
THREE INSTITUTE MEN IN CHEMICAL CONSULTING BOARD
In view of the enormously important part that chemistry played in the recent war, the chief of the Chemical Warfare Service has caused to be established an organization of official advisors, the members of which are to be picked from among the leading chemists in the country. Of the fourteen men who compose this board, three are from the Institute Faculty. They are Professors W. K. Lewis, R. C. Tolman, and W. H. Walker.
Professor Lewis is chairman of the advisory committee on the development of new processes and ideas. He has in his department three men who held very important positions during the war, and who will assist him in his work on the consulting board.
Professor Walker has stated that the next war will be fought mainly with the aid of chemistry. He says that the nation which can develop the greatest airplane service and the deadliest and most effective poison gas will win the next war.
WHERE OUR SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION GOES WRONG Education on the job, instead of in the classroom, is the new idea
From an interview written by C. W. Duke in the Philadelphia "Public Ledger" the REVIEW is reprinting the following extract on the subject of scientific education, since it believes that the speaker, Dr. W. R. Whitney, director of the research laboratories of the General Electric Company and an Institute graduate has something worth repeating.
"AND how best are we to train our young people for this advanced investigation for modern research work, as the world knows it?" I asked.
The question touched on a matter close to the mind and heart of Dr. Whitney. Instead of sending boys off to schools with bundles of books to make of their minds "a storage house for facts," he would have them share the inspiration of actual engineering work in the research laboratory or the workshop, just as in Schenectady they take the boys from Union College right into the big electrical shops.
"Give the boys teachers who are themselves investigators," he said. "Men who are not content to give their pupils merely the results of the attainments of scientists of the past, but who are themselves experimenting to learn new scientific truths and who encourage their pupils to experiment.
"The boy of today, even before he is sent to college, has received Arlington wireless time and listened to Nauen on his home-made wireless set. He knows more about airplanes and automobiles than his dad. When he goes to school, if he is sufficiently tamed, he makes the football squad and takes part in a system of enjoyable effort which is a thousand times more practically organized and attractive than the rest of the curriculum. Later, or incidentally, he looks forward uninterestedly to the grind which an inflexible system has arranged, having his eyes ever on the future stopping place, a job. He usually concludes that he does not want the kind of a job that his teacher seems to fill, and frequently wonders if he would not have been better off had he stuck around the garage.
At this point Dr. Whitney offered a series of questions that quite clearly put his point in popular style.
Would the condition above recited be true if that boy could get his hands into real experimental work with a professor who was earning twenty-five thousand dollars a year as a pioneer?
What would be his reaction if his "prof" let him help in experiments
on crossing the California redwood with the rubber plant?
Might he not at least take natural interest in De Vries and the
historic primrose, or Mendel and heredity in peas?
If he assisted in diluting magnesium with chromium and saw the
promise of light-weight airplane metals, might not even the freshman magnesium ribbon experiment interest him?
If he co-operated in subjecting cancerous mice or tuberculous rats to gamma rays, or watched monstrosities produced from fish eggs, might he not take part in the greatest warfare of his lifetime, the fight against disease?
If he wound a coil of wire around a space in which electrons moved, and by the magnetic field produced a new deflection, might he not keep his mental trolley on longer and go further than any one ever went before?
“Our American engineering education is always at the training table and practically never reaches the game stage," said Dr. Whitney. "We seem to have plenty of ambitious young men, plenty of schools, infinite distance to advance and countless directions, but our engineering students are seldom practiced beyond the 'shoulder-arms' stage. We Americans wish to be foremost in new constructive work. But there is something holding us back at school, and this something is lack of contact with interesting work and inspiring workers. Every technical school is now overcrowded with anxious students. But every technical teacher is so swamped by his need of imparting, in wholesale quantities, accumulated knowledge that he has no time to realize the tremendous strides which science is making, much less to take any active part in bringing them about. As for mature and material inquisitiveness, it is almost absent."
"Then so far as electricity as a career for young men is concerned it is not so much a matter of getting the boys into it for they already love it - but of getting the trained investigator as a teacher!"
"Just it. Few good engineers play for the gate receipts; they are led on by the will to accomplish. To the devotee, scientific research may well become a religion, but whether he sees in the infinite possibilities of matter only the necessary results of permutation among seventyodd decaying elements, or the hand of an all-wise Creator ever uncovering new principles to hopeful investigators, he cannot be blind to the blessings of new truth. This is not produced to order. Conventions do not establish it. It comes only with following with interest Nature's devious and unexpected ways, studying irrelevant phenomena, learning by experiment, regardless of aim. And since it is important to us that pioneer effort be individualistic, wanton, clean, but vagabond, it is this rare type of teacher we must support. Our real need is the teacher who is the inquisitive searcher of nature. The boys are ready, willing and on the job what will we do for them?”
Dr. Whitney has been director of the General Electric research laboratories since 1900. Born at Jamestown, N. Y., in 1868, he was graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1890, and numbers among his degrees a Ph.D. from Leipzig. Through all his years he has been a teacher as well as an investigator, and always a very busy man, so busy that he had had no time, as he put it, for so much as a look at a game of golf. Yet he is not too busy to stop and tell you of
his work. Over the door of his office in Schenectady is printed, "Come in rain or shine."
Any young men interested in electricity as a career may take the word of Dr. Whitney that so far as accomplishment is concerned "the half has never been told." There are plenty more worlds to conquer. No one may predict what marvels of science the future holds; the world may go on and on as long as time shall last. The descendants today of those men who hewed out the forests, built roads through trackless wastes, made brooks turn water-wheels, converted prairies into wheat fields, and eventually worked out the telephone, the automobile, the steam turbine, the tractor and all the other remarkable inventions and developments of the last half century have open sesame to an almost limitless future.
Go to it, is Dr. Whitney's admonition. But get practical work with trained experts engaged in modern research rather than confine yourself to musty booklore.
ENGINEERING SCHOOL STATISTICS
STATISTICS compiled by the department of investigation and statistical research of The Tech Engineering News, the monthly engineering journal published by undergraduates of the Institute, show that out of a total of 18,807 students enrolled last year in eighteen leading engineering schools, only 1975 received degrees last June. If the total number of students enrolled were distributed equally among the four classes, this would indicate a graduation percentage of forty-two. But if allowance is made for the fact that the lower classes were unusually large because of the after-war reaction, the graduation percentage will be nearer 50 per cent, which is probably the correct figure.
Of the 1975 graduates, 31 per cent received their degrees in mechanical engineering, 18 per cent in both civil and chemical engineering, 17 per cent in electrical engineering, and 16 per cent in other branches.
All but one of the eighteen colleges grant the degree of Bachelor of Science, ten grant the Master's degree, and seven the Doctor's degree. One of them gives the degree of Engineer of Mines.
KEEPING TABS ON ROOM SPACE
How the Registrar's office analyzes space requirements and allots rooms
It is a vexing problem sometimes how to express simply yet clearly the use of rooms by different groups of people at different hours of the day in a place where there are a large number of rooms put to varied uses. An excellent solution of this problem by means of a scheme board is now in daily use in the registry department of the Institute.
For its classes Technology has ready for use seventy-five to one hundred rooms, and many of them are in almost continuous demand. The largest is the auditorium. There are six class days a week and eight hours of class work daily, so that with its complement of rooms there are more than four thousand combinations of room and use to be tabulated on this board. To do this and afford the information at a glance about what is being done or to be done has been solved very neatly by the registrar, Walter Humphreys, himself an alumnus of the Institute. He speaks of it modestly as an adaptation, but it displays ingenuity and is withal very simple. Some of the older methods included tablets with grooves so that cards could be slipped into them, but these have the disadvantage of the need of the close fitting in of the cards, and to make changes the entire row must be removed and then replaced in the original order.
The board consists of about seventy-five wooden strips, four or five feet long and three-quarters of an inch wide. These are held in vertical position in a rack by slipping the ends into holes in the top and bottom rails of the racks. Each strip is wound with broad tape, the edges of which are horizontal. The bottom of each piece is overlapped by the top of the one below, and the inner one is held by a tack, which forms the bottom of the little pocket thus made. Cards may be slipped into these pockets.
Printed cards in horizontal rows across the board give the day of the week; cards at the top and in intermediate rows indicate the room, while the horizontal rows between the day cards represent the hours. Each space, in this way, represents a certain hour of a given day for one of the rooms. The card slipped into this pocket tells what exercise or class is in progress in that room on the day and hour represented.
If necessary, different colors of cards may be used to indicate outside activities, such as the marine engineer and navigation classes of the United States Shipping Board, special lectures or outside meetings, etc. Yellow, blue or pink cards stand out clearly and are located at a glance.
This board does not have its usefulness limited at all to registry rooms in colleges, but may easily be adapted to commercial use. It is