The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Topic: MIT Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement
Replies: 17   Last Post: Oct 24, 2012 12:51 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]

Posts: 8,157
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: MIT Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement
Posted: Oct 22, 2012 8:18 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Dave L. Renfro Posted: Oct 22, 2012 2:06 PM

>I too am rather amazed, but not because they're
>essentially precalculus level, but because the
>difficulty level doesn't seem to exceed what shows up on
>average level precalculus tests.

OK, Dave, so you are amazed and Bob is amazed and we are all amazed. Let's draw an inference. Let me suggest one.

About a dozen years ago, I heard Barry Simon
(scroll down the page for a lovely picture of Simon's one-two punch)
retired chairman of the math dept at Caltech. He said, at that time, that Caltech recently had to re-organize their calculus curriculum. He strenuously insisted that the incoming freshmen were as bright as ever, but their mathematical preparation had degraded significantly.

Clearly, what we are seeing at MIT is all of a piece with Caltech's experience and the experience of others. For instance, I heard several years ago that national laboratories have had trouble filling math and science positions because those positions require high skills AND US citizenship. Perhaps the laboratories have implemented accommodations since then. If so, I can only wonder what they are.

Maybe Paul should send Simon and MIT and the national laboratories a few citations to straighten them out.

No representation without taxation.

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2017. All Rights Reserved.