Yet again I read that universities are complaining that their students' grasp of mathematics is inadequate. Are these universities teaching the same civil engineering practised by the profession?
The level of mathematics needed in day to day civil engineering is basic arithmetic, trigonometry, algebra and basic statistics is often useful. Much of this is covered in the A level maths syllabus, so university teaching should focus on the application of these skills in an engineering context.
Surely civil engineering is more about creativity and management and less about mathematics? Being able to think - and express oneself - in three dimensions is far more important. I would have benefited far more from life drawing classes (NCE 11 April) than from the mathematics that I was force fed and never understood.
Isn't it time that the ICE played a more active role in guiding universities on the real needs of the profession?
John Ratsey (M), john. ratsey@ntlworld. com