Problems are hard enough for the average undergraduate who takes mathematics, without adding technical difficulties to the mathematical ones. Specifically, Math A with its promiscuous sections often fails to give men a sound fundamental training in its field.

In the first place, if after November Hours the budding mathematician attempts to change his section, he will find that this is quite impossible because no two instructors cover the field in the same order. And not only do the section men assert their independence in the matter of order, but they also differ in their exams and teaching technique. On the one hand there are men who make every effort to teach, to clarify the subject to even the slowest student; on the other hand there are those who merely lecture, treating any question as an inexcusable interruption. Of course the mathematical genius can learn under any system, but for the average student the question in class is the most important single factor in making the subject understandable.

Certainly this situation is unsatisfactory; more than that, it is unfair. There is still an implicit contractual agreement between student and teacher; for his course fee the undergraduate is still entitled to demand a certain amount of instruction in sections as distinguished from lectures. Only by limiting the freedom in which the Math A instructors now revel can the Mathematics Department effectively fulfill its duty to the average Math student.

Recommended Articles