On 2013-03-20, Paul <email@example.com> wrote: > On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:04:36 PM UTC, Herman Rubin wrote:
>> The official prerequisites are almost always as certain courses
>> or equivalent. Whether those courses as taken were any good is
>> now highly questionable. >> ...
> I agree with this. A book's prerequisites might say (for example) that the book assumes knowledge of undergraduate linear algebra and a rigorous course in calculus of one variable. I would then have a good feeling for the level of the book.
> However, I feel that this prerequisites problem is much greater in university education, because a prerequisite might be "Must have passed M323GKY". However, if M323GKY was a badly taught course by an unmotivated professor who hates teaching [the exact opposite to David Ullrich, BTW, who, judging from his expositional skills and his maths work on sci.math is someone who is very committed to undergrad teaching], then filtering the students by their having passed M323GKY doesn't work well.
> I'm puzzled though by the word "now" as in "now highly questionable." Do you believe that this is a recent problem and that higher maths education used to be much better. Please explain the "now" part, or is it just a typo?
It is not a typo. It was somewhat questionable in the past, but the pressure to teach to the level of whatever students are put in the class by administrators, together with the dumbing down of high school courses so everyone can graduate, has made it much worse.
> Paul Epstein
-- This address is for information only. I do not claim that these views are those of the Statistics Department or of Purdue University. Herman Rubin, Department of Statistics, Purdue University firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (765)494-6054 FAX: (765)494-0558