An Introduction to String Figures. An Amusement for Everybody

W. W. Rouse Ball
1921 Mathematical Gazette  
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more » ... tor.org This content downloaded from 194.75.77.114 on Thu, 29 May 2014 16:03:56 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions REVIEWS. REVIEWS. REVIEWS. REVIEWS. School Dynamics. By W. G. BORCHARDT. Part I. Pp. vii + 286 + xix 6s. Or in two parts, 3s. 6d. each. 1920. (Rivingtons.) Mr. Borchardt's course Part I. suffices for the demands of the Junior Locals, Part II. including all that is required for the Senior Locals and for the Army, etc. The text is clearly written, the admixture of experiment and theory has evidently been the outcome of much careful thought and of long experience. The author believes in the clarity of thought involved by the expression of results in formulae rather than in words, holding that this outweighs at this stage the advantage gained by statements in words. All teachers will not agree on this point, and the weariness which Mr. Borchardt dreads to see arising from the second of the alternatives, and the confusion which he has found to persist in consequence, may possibly be attributable to the comparative neglect of English as a subject on a modern side. Both the absolute and gravitational systems of units are employed in the formulae dealing with Force; historical stimulus is not forgotten, e.g. in the account of the experiments of Galileo; and where methods of approach are lacking in unanimity of support the teacher is left free to adopt his own plan, and the arrangement is such that he can do this with comparative ease. The most gratifying feature about the book is the appearance of rigid dynamics in a course so elementary. In these days when most boys have, or wish to have, ideas about motor cars, and cycles, aeroplanes and gyrostats, there is everything to be said for such an innovation. Graphical methods are carefully set forth and explained, and appropriate stress is laid on the applications of the principle of Energy. The examples are numerical and should excite the interest of every boy of a mechanical turn of mind. William Done Bushell, of Harrow. Pp. 74. 3s. net. 1919. (Cambridge University Press.) This little pamphlet contains a short account of Mr. Bushell's life, and of his work as a teacher and as an archaeologist, from the pen of his son, Mr. W. F. Bushell. Canon Glazebrook writes of him as a housemaster, and Father Denys tells the tale of Mr. Bushell's connection with Caldley Island. There are seven illustrations. We make no apology, in this jubilee year of the A.I.G.T. for quoting the following passage:-" Mr. Bushell was an original and enthusiastic member. It is possible that little was accomplished at first, but it did succeed in two great points :-(a) in bringing together masters from different schools who might not otherwise have known one another, and (b) in sowing the seed of future reform. Most reforms are classed as heresy at first-but the heresy of 1871 became the common-place of twenty years later, and now-a-days would be regarded as antiquated. The Association ... were by no means a quiescent body; they were not satisfied with turning their attentions to Euclid, but soon extended them so as to cover other branches of Mathematics." The great activity of the Mathematical Association and the dethronement of Euclid during the last ten or fifteen years have overshadowed these early efforts; but it was then that the seed was sown, and Mr. Bushell must be given full credit for his share in the pioneer work. Of the earlier reforms Mr. Bushell was a keen advocate; and when after his day Euclid as such passed away he always hesitated to express a decided opinion as to the situation, feeling that he did not wish to hamper the efforts of the younger men who were then conducting the campaign of reform. He had, however, a great belief in the form and substance of geometrical reasoning, thinking that it was conducive to clearness of expression and thought. And though this is probably true, modern experiment has shown that the intellectual appetite of the dullard at all events can never be satisfied by the formality and stiffness of Euclid.
doi:10.2307/3602591 fatcat:nm5zp3libbdqlg236upty7llwm