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And This Was 1928...

A.C. Maddox, describing the "minimum training prerequisite to the successful pursuit of college mathematical study," suggests:

  • A student is not studying college mathematics successfully if he habitually commits errors in simple computation, particularly if he usually fails to detect the errors.
  • He cannot reasonably be regarded as successful in his college mathematics study if he rarely remembers, or if he never deigns, to check the results of his exercise and problem solutions except by reference to answer books.
  • He is certainly not really successful in college mathematics endeavors as long as he is tenaciously antagonistic toward the subject of mathematics.
  • He is really not succeeding in the college mathematical field if he never experiences any thrills from mathematical adventures.
Unfortunately, in additon to being appropriate to today's classrooms (80 years later), Maddox's desciptions apply to students studying seconday-level mathematics as well.

Source: Mathematics News Letter, Dec 1928, pp. 14-19