Link for the week: lectures and ibises

This week’s link is to a short article by the mathematician Tom Körner, “In Praise of Lectures”. It contains some good advice about getting the most out of maths lectures, as well as explaining why university maths teachers still make so much use of them. In case that sounds a bit too pious, here’s a sample of the style:

The Ibis was a sacred bird to the Egyptians and worshippers acquired merit by burying them with due ceremony. Unfortunately the number of worshippers greatly exceeded the number of birds dying of natural causes so the temples bred Ibises in order that they might be killed and then properly buried.

So far as many mathematics students are concerned university mathematics lectures follow the same pattern.

Although most of the other articles on “Körner’s korner” are rather more Cambridge-specific, they might be worth a browse — especially if you feel that nobody could possibly be as eccentric as some of your lecturers at Strathclyde…

Oh, and if you want to see what a properly buried ibis looked like, you need look no further than the one in Glasgow’s own Burrell Collection.

(DP)

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