Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Understanding first principles

Letters

Having taught surveying before my retirement five years ago I would like to support the case Tim Hughes makes for traditional surveying courses (NCE 22/29 August).

In my latter years we used a combination of 1960s theodolites and levels plus modern total stations. The idea was to use the old equipment to give the students a better understanding of what they were doing. Traverses would be reduced and closure errors corrected using no more than a pocket calculator.

Once the students knew what they were doing they were allowed to use the electronic equipment. Computer packages were used only after the calculation had been done by hand. GPS was introduced only to give them a flavour of modern techniques.

The prime purpose of a university education is surely to teach first principles. Skills can be picked up later.

David Naylor (M), D.J.Naylor@swansea. ac. uk

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.