Friday, December 08, 2006

Complex Integration, Residues, and Our Education System

I knew that Dr. Jazbi as a mathematician does not say anything definitely unless it is proven to her, so why was she strongly asking us to prove it, in any case distinctively, that the last statement evaluates to zero, although she definitely told us that it will always evaluate to zero? Finally someone asked her, and she simply answered, "Well, if all you have to do is to find a few residues, then what are you here for? Everyone can do that."

We should prove that so that the problems remains sufficiently difficult for the examinations. Many parts of the education system of Iran acts this way. They are not preparing students to solve real problems. In real world we have access to all textbooks, tables, computers and calculators, and we know that statement always evaluates to zero. So Isn't something seriously wrong about this system of education? But real world problems tend to be much more complicated that the ones they want us to solve in the exams. If they want their exams to be sufficiently difficult, then they can use some real world problems and let us free to use anything we want. So why don't they do that? I guess that is because it takes them a lot of effort, for this is not a simple change in the exams but a big change in the education system itself.

They might argue that in some courses, like engineering mathematics, there is no real world problem unless, of course, they go into details of something like a real mechanical system. That is correct, and that's why I say we need a fundamental change in the educations system. I mean I really doubt about the necessity of a course like engineering mathematics (in its current form). As a computer engineering student, I don't think I will ever need to solve heat equations. In fact, if I were to study only software (i.e. if I could), I would hardly needed a bit of non-discrete math like differential equations (and I'm not going to talk about all the non-sense we are mandated to study in the Islamic Knowledge department).

A university is a place that attracts a lot of smart people and can let them do great things. That is good, and this is why I still like it, and if we compare it to all other state run institutions it's definitely a lot better than them (bad is better than worse, or worse is better than the worst!) but it could be a whole lot more productive, and more fun.

1 comment:

Jeremiah said...
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