HIGH SCHOOL CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
School Science and Mathematics
One of the most important things for the teacher to note in connection with the use of numbers in measurement is the degree of approximation that should be obtained in a given case. Practical mathematics prepares results for the artisan, for the machinist, for the student who is experimenting with matter, and these results must be left in the most convenient form for the worker who is to use them. The carpenter must take account of tenths of an inch but ordinarily a hundredth of an inch is to
... of an inch is to him a negligible quantity, while a thousandth of an inch is far from negligible to the metal worker. The skilled laboratory worker may need the fourth decimal place but it is only in the rarest instances that use can be made of the fifth and sixth decimal places. A little care and attention to the nature of the problem in hand will enable the pupil to judge the degree of accuracy required. It must not be forgotten, however, that the last figure obtained in an approximation" process even though it is correct may not be the best one to use. A well-known example is that of the approximate value of TT. The correct figure in the fourth decimal place is 5 but we always use the approximation 3.1416 when we use four decimal places and properly so since the next figure is 9 so that 3.1416 is a much better approximation than 3-I4I5-HIGH SCHOOL CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. The chief purpose of these conferences is to give the high schools a chance to express their views and wishes in regard to all matters lying along the line of contact between the high schools and the University. The success of the plan depends chiefly on the presence of a good representative body of high school teachers and principals. Last year about six hundred were present. It is especially important at this time that teachers of vocational subjects, such as agriculture, domestic science, manual arts, and commercial subjects should be present in order that the most satisfactory basis possible for the accrediting of these subjects may be found.