The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50
|Sophomore class||Irregulars and Regulars||23|
In addition to the regular professional work with the above classes, I taught, during the second semester, the class in elementary mechanics through statics, consisting of four academic students.
The classes in topographical surveying and engineering have, by frequent practice in the field, familiarized themselves with the use of the theodolite, sextant, spirit and water levels, leveling-rods, chain and compass and plane-table. And the class in surveying, by frequent practice in the field, have familiarized themselves page 111 with the use, manipulation and capabilities of the theodolite, compass and chain, and leveling-rods and spirit-levels, and the solar compass.
The energy, enthusiasm, painstaking care and accuracy displayed by these classes, have confirmed me in the opinion previously formed from observations and experience of seven years with field officers of the U. S. Coast Survey and Navy, that the American mind possesses a fertility of resources, a power of adapting means to ends, and an acuteness of perception which peculiarly fits it for an observer in the exact arts.
The engineering classes of 1877-78-80, laid an accurate base line and completed a trigonometrical survey of the University campus, horticultural grounds, and a part of the agricultural farm. In this trigonometrical frame work they filled the detail topography with the plane-table—plotting in the live-feet contour lines with the greatest accuracy. This system of triangulation and plane-table topography, thus begun, has this year been extended over the agricultural farm; and after this, it is hoped, will be gradually expanded till it eventually covers the entire State of Missouri.
My colleague, Prof. Jno. J. Haden, has instructed the class in descriptive geometry during the entire session, and with great success. Of this class he makes the following report; "For instruction in Descriptive Geometry, 'Church's Descriptive Geometry' has been used as a text. Each member of the class has been required to construct graphically, on paper, and submit for correction in the classroom, all problems relating to Orthographic and Spherical Projections, and Shades and Shadows and Linear Perspective, given or suggested in the text. Besides, a number of practical problems like the following: In Spherical Projections each student was required to construct an outline map of the State of Missouri: in Linear Perspective, to construct the perspective of the Scientific building of the University, etc. I have endeavored to make the work very thorough and to see that each member of the class understood the principles involved and their practical application to the construction of projections in Engineering work, to map drawing, perspective, etc."
During this session my colleague, Prof. J. W. Spencer, who is a graduate of the Engineering Department of his University, has delivered to the Senior Engineering class an admirable course of lectures on Economic Geology and Geological Surveying.
Prof. George C. Pratt, Railroad Commissioner State of Missouri, furnished in manuscript, two admirable lectures on railroad engineering, which were read to the engineering classes. Subsequently Prof. Pratt visited the University and delivered to the Senior Engineering class two most excellent and practical lectures on the subjects—"How to Make a Reconnaissance for a Railroad," and "How to Make a Preliminary Survey for a Railroad."
Drawing has been made a more prominent feature of the course; and Warren's entire series of engineering drawing books is now used as the text. MacCord on Mechanical Drawing, and Smith on Topographical Drawing are also used as texts. The progress of the class in this subject is highly gratifying.
The course in Topographical Engineering has been strengthened by giving greater prominence to the subjects of Hydrographic Surveying and Hydraulic Engineering.
The fact that we have been able to secure positions (on the surveys and improvements of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, on the coast survey, on railroad sur- page 112 veying and engineering parties, and on government land surveying parties), for the graduates from this department, has assisted materially in awakening an intelligent interest—a healthy enthusiasm—in the cause of engineering education at this University. And the present revival in the industries which demands engineering and chemical skill, has already increased, and promises to further increase the number of students in this department.
Thomas J. Lowry, Dean of the Faculty.