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Name of File :- Foundation Engineering
There can be no better introduction to the subject of Foundation Engineering than the following advice Prof. A. Casagrande used to give to his students at the start of his lectures in Soil Mechanics at Harvard University.
The following are some of the general remarks I would like to make at the beginning of my course in Soil Mechanics. I stress particularly the necessity of critical thinking and of independent judgment. In my experience I have found nothing more stimulating and better suited to the development of the courage that is necessary for independent and critical thinking than a knowledge of the historical development of the subject. Unfortunately, the type of undergraduate instruction offered by many engineering schools and the typical average textbooks show just the opposite trend which, in my opinion, tend to smother any critical instincts which the students may possess. I admit that it is very much easier for students merely to memorize “by heart methods and formulae” for the solution of the problem. It is also better for their peace of mind if they do not hear about all the simplifying assumptions which make up our theories and all the difficulties we encounter in the actual application of the theory to engineering problems. Whether the students will appreciate this kind of training in later years when they begin to discover the shortcomings in their studies is another question.