Leadership

Engineering Association of the South.

Issue 18 and Volume 1893 14.

Engineering Association of the South. At the regular meeting of the association in Nashville, Tenn., October 12, Prof. W. W. Carson of Knoxville, Tenn., presented a paper entitled ” A plea fora more rational presentation of the calculus.” The beginner in the calculus finds the continuity of mathematical science broken, and, instead of meeting the characteristic clearness of proofs, he is surrounded with perplexity and darkness. Prof. Carson investigates the causes of this state of affairs and proposes a remedy. The demonstrations of the calculus of to-day rests either on limits or infinitesimals, or on both. The former proves the formulas without giving any foundation or any explanation of the nature of the calculus ; the latter explains, but does not prove ; yet, as it leads directly to true results, it is accepted. Proofs by limits, when sifted down, rest on slippery definitions and ambiguous language; infinitesimals are invested…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now