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The organization of the school is changed from year to year. In 1912 the department of military engineering will be transferred to Fort Leavenworth. The instructors are detailed from the officers of the Corps of Engineers supposed to be specially fitted by their experience in the charge of works pertaining to the department to which they are detailed.
The student officers are all graduates from West Point and have the benefit of the technical training at that academy; after graduation they are ordered to special designated stations of river and harbor or fortification work, where they are required to observe the operations of the work of construction and submit these as the results of their observations. These being satisfactory, at the end of one year they are ordered to the Engineer School to take up the required course. No examinations are required for entrance, it being assumed that the preparation as outlined above is sufficient.
COURSES OF STUDY.
The courses of study are not definitely fixed, as changes are constantly necessary in order to keep up with the knowledge gained by recent works of construction and operation.
In general the courses are about as follows:
Civil engineering, about 12 weeks; military engineering, about 8 weeks; and electricity, mechanics, and power, about 32 weeks.
STUDY AND APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS
Pure mathematics is not studied at the Engineer School. The application of the principles of mathematics is required in all departments. A detailed statement of the requirements is shown below.
Roads and pavements.—An elementary knowledge is required of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry; an extensive knowledge is required of descriptive geometry.
Foundations, roofs, and bridges. These require an extensive knowledge of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, analytic geometry, and calculus.
Building constructon, heating, and ventilation.-The course in these subjects requires a fair knowledge of geometry and an extensive knowledge of descriptiv or practical geometry.
Water supply, sewage disposal, etc.-These courses cover principally the practical application to hydraulics of such mathematical subjects as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, analytic geometry, and calculus, of which a fair knowledge is necessary. The practical and descriptive parts of the above courses require no mathematics.
Surveying and practical astronomy.-These are practically studies in mathematics and, particularly in the case of astronomy, require an extensive knowledge of the application of the principles of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, analytic geometry, calculus, and least squares.
Harbor improvement, wave action, etc.-The course in these studies is principally a course of reading as to the practical application of the effects of tides, ocean currents, river currents, jetties, etc., in the formation of harbors. In the reading as outlined above frequent mathematical deductions are made, requiring a fair knowledge of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, analytic geometry, calculus, and least squares.
Ordnance and gunnery.—The course is principally one of reading, covering the construction of battleships and principles of design; these require an elementary knowledge of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, analytic geometry, calculus, and, at times, least squares.
Design of coast fortifications.-This course is supplemented by visits to seacoast fortifications and mine fields at New York, Fort Monroe, or other suitable seacoast defenses. Students are required to design plans for defense of certain portions of the seacoast, showing plans of defense complete and in detail. This course requires an extensive knowledge of geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, and analytic geometry.
Electricity, practical.-This course is very complete, including experiments of all kinds with electricity in its application to motors, dynamos, lights, etc., for use in seacoast defenses, mines, etc. An extensive knowledge is required of algebra, geometry, descriptive geometry, and analytic geometry.
Mechanics. This is a further study of mechanics and civil engineering as studied at the United States Military Academy. The course is short, but in portions requires a fair knowledge of algebra, geometry, descriptive geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, and calculus.
Power, engines, plants, etc.-This course covers only an incomplete knowledge of the principles of operation of the larger classes of engines, but requires a very good knowledge of the smaller ones. Tests are made of the smaller engines; their efficiencies are obtained; the advantages and disadvantages of their application to the works of construction and operation of rivers and harbors and seacoast defense are systematically studied. These studies require an extensive knowledge of the principles of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry, and analytic geometry.
METHODS OF INSTRUCTION
Instruction is both practical and theoretical. The course for the year is discussed by the instructors in the school at a board meeting at which the commandant of the school presides. The time allotted to each department is here decided upon, and a schedule is submitted by each department to the commandant. Upon his approval, the course of this department is adopted. Certain books are selected for reading by the students, and portions of these books are required; other important books on the subjects are listed, the reading of which is optional.
Lectures are given during the year on the subjects of study. The lecturers are generally officers of the Corps of Engineers who have had experience in the subject under discussion; other engineers of special experience in similar work are secured as lecturers whenever possible. The library of the school is a very good scientific library.
Enough copies of each book are kept to provide each student with such reading matter as is necessary for his use at the time the particular subject is being studied.
Written examinations are required in certain subjects, principally those covered by courses in reading. Experiments, if successful, are accepted in lieu of examination in certain parts of the experimental
III. ORDNANCE SCHOOL OF APPLICATION
SANDY HOOK PROVING ground, n. J.
The object of this school is to impart to those officers of the Army who are detailed to duty in the ordnance department a theoretical and practical knowledge of the science of designing and using ordnance.
METHOD OF OBTAINING STUDENTS
Officers of the Army at large desiring service in the ordnance department are permitted to take, upon application, a competitive examination held annually. The officers selected are detailed to duty in the department and, as a rule, are sent to the school during their first year's service. The majority of the students are graduates of the United States Military Academy and the remainder of other colleges and technical schools throughout the country.
The entrance examination is intended to demonstrate that each successful candidate has a practical working knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, descriptive geometry, differential and integral calculus, and mechanics.
COURSE OF STUDY
1. Pure mathematics. Differential equations. Four weeks. Limited courses in elliptic functions, hyperbolic functions, vectors, and determinants are now being prepared.
2. Ordnance engineering, 21 weeks.
3. Chemistry of explosives, gunpowders, oils, and fuels, 8 weeks. 4. Practical and theoretical electricity, 16 weeks.
Nearly all branches of mathematics are required in the solution of problems connected with the design of guns, gun carriages, projectiles, fuses, and other ordnance material; with the determination of the action of powder in guns and of high explosive bursting charges in projectiles, and with the course in alternating current electricity. The solution of the problems involved in the designing of gun carriages requires a more complete mastery of the different
branches of mathematics than any other class of ordnance and perhaps any other class of engineering work.
The course in differential equations embraces: Equations of the first order and first degree, equations of the first order but not of the first degree, singular solutions, linear equations with constant coefficients, linear equations with variable coefficients, ordinary differential equations with more than two variables, and partial differential equations.
METHOD OF INSTRUCTION
Instruction is given by lectures, on which the students take notes. The instruction is limited to the deduction of fundamental principles, generally expressed in equations or formulæ, and to explanations of the practical applications and conditions covered by each problem.
Recitations are not held. The results of each exercise and test are carefully scrutinized and checked, and each principle of which there is an indication of any lack of full understanding is fully explained in a subsequent lecture. During lectures full and free discussion of the principles involved is invited. The discussion among students of their work is encouraged, but the results must be the production of the individual. Stress is laid on the making of calculations correctly. The instructors and students live together in a mess and the latter are under the constant observation of and in contact with the former.
IV. THE COAST ARTILLERY SCHOOL
This school, situated at Fort Monroe, Va., is a school of application, the object of which is to prepare officers and enlisted men of the Coast Artillery Corps for the active duties of their arm of the service; to make research in such branches of science as relate to practical gunnery, submarine mining, and torpedoes in coast defense; to make experiments and to dissiminate such knowledge as may be desirable in the interests of the Coast Artillery service.
COURSES OF STUDY
The regular and advanced courses for officers are embraced in two departments, as follows:
I. Department of artillery and gun defense:
1. Artillery proper.
2. Artillery defense, advanced.
3. Explosives, advanced.
II. Department of electricity and mine defense:
1. Electricity and mine defense.
1. Electricity and mine defense, advanced.
The object of the advanced course is to amplify for specially selected officers the instruction and work of the regular course, with a view to improving their qualifications as instructors, fitting them for board and technical work, instructing them in the duties of the general staff of an army, and preparing them for duty at the Army War College.
The courses of instruction comprise practical exercises, problems, research, partial examinations, conferences, and lectures.
The course in exterior and interior ballistics requires advanced mathematical training and is, for the greater part, a graduate course in mathematics. The following topics are taken up in this course:
Exterior ballistics. The principal and secondary problems. Accuracy and theory of errors. The calculation of constants, including the coefficient of form and the drift constant. Classification of trajectories. Deductions of empirical formulas. Perforations. Practical work in setting up, adjusting, and using ballistic machines.
Interior ballistics. Relation of maximum pressure to charges. Mode of combustion of powder and its relation to pressures. Initial pressure on the rifling. Characteristics of a powder. Variations. Recoil.