The latest use of electronic computers is to help students do their school homework. Six?
The latest use of electronic computers is to help students do their school homework. Six students have been using special telephones in their homes on which they dial a computer directly with mathematical problems which the computer then solves.
This experiment is being conducted jointly by the Catholic Schools Diocese of Brooklyn, New York and the International Business Machines Corporation, the builders of the computer.
The six high school students participating use the computer from their homes by feeding it a problem, using a push button dial next to the telephone. The Computer, located 50 miles away, solves the problem and speaks the answer back to the student on the telephone from a series of tape recorded words stored in it memory. The computer is programmed to handle any mathematical problem from 2 times 2 to the square root of a 14-digit number.
The computer is not designed to do the homework for the student, but rather to complete routine, time-consuming problems which then free the student to do more problems and get more practising in setting them up.
One 16-year old student said, in referring to the computer, "it's not like it's doing your homework for you, because you still have to know math and all the rules." Another 16-year old said, "at first I used to try to solve a problem any way, but not I think it through in advance."