Page 12

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Title Ivory Ghetto, The
Subject Science
Description The 33rd Annual Frederick William Reynolds Lecture
Creator Dick, Bertram Gale, 1926-
Publisher Division of Continuing Education, University of Utah
Date 1969-02-17
Date Digital 2008-05-29
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications Original scanned on Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner and saved as 400 ppi uncompressed tiff. Display images generated in PhotoshopCS and uploaded into CONTENTdm Aquisition Station.
Resource Identifier http://content.lib.utah.edu/u?/reynolds,898
Source Q171 .D525
Language eng
Relation Digital reproduction of "The Ivory Ghetto," J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Rights Digital Image Copyright University of Utah
Metadata Cataloger Seungkeol Choe; Ken Rockwell
ARK ark:/87278/s62v2d2c
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 320157
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62v2d2c

Page Metadata

Title Page 12
Description 12 THE THIRTY-THIRD ANNUAL REYNOLDS LECTURE sequence of steps can be reordered a bit, by-ways can be avoided but there aren't any real shortcuts. This tends to make the earlier stages of scientific study a bit humdrum. In the sciences, most students begin in college to learn the language of science at a time when, in their study of other subjects, they can come to grips with controversy and develop opinions. At a time when a student is beginning to feel the excitement of ideas and to develop some intellectual maturity, our retarded program of science education puts him into the role of a beginner learning ABCs. A university student may spend one hour trying to come to grips with the fascinating puzzle of determinism versus free will and the next hour, in a science class, may be learning how to convert from centigrade to fahrenheit. This is boring. Because of the tardy start, the time lapse before a student begins to come to grips with the problems of contemporary science is discouragingly long. We do our best to aggravate this difficulty in our neglect of mathematical education. Mathematical illiteracy is the bane of our whole educational system. The low level of mathematical accomplishment among educated people seems so striking that it appears at times as if it almost had to be purposefully organized. One almost feels that, if left to itself, the level must naturally rise. If there is some sort of boundary to the attainable general level of mathematical sophistication, a boundary set by the inherent aptitudes of individuals, I am not convinced that it has been even approached. Without mathematics, the job of learning some non-trivial science in a reasonable length of time becomes almost impossible. I believe that mathematical illiteracy is the core of the problem of neglect of science in education. Maybe "mathematical illiterate" is too harsh a term; although it's a pity to be a mathematical illiterate, there is no particular shame to be attached to the status. Most people never had a chance to be otherwise, not because of bad teaching, necessarily, but because mathematical instruction stopped too soon. Unlike reading, which we never forget, there is little to keep up what mathematical proficiency we acquire; and so, like unused foreign languages, it ebbs away. To study science without adequate mathematics is like trying to read German without knowing German. When I first studied German, I had a teacher who, on the first day, assigned us two pages in a German novel to read. With great effort and expense of time we deciphered, word by word, dictionary in hand, and gained a very hazy and incomplete concept of what was being said. The mathematical illiterate is perpetually involved in a similar task in studying science. Elementary approaches to physics using only the most elementary mathematics are possible at all only through virtuoso teaching; and even then, the operation is marginal and requires a virtuoso student as well. Physics
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 014-RNLT-DickG_ Page 12.jpg
Source Original Manuscript: The Ivory Ghetto by Bertram G. Dick.
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 320146
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s62v2d2c/320146