Dr F Bath was elected president, and Dr R P Gillespie vice-president, at the opening meeting of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.
Mr G Lawson, the retiring president, delivered an address on "Robots in First Year Algebra." The Mathematical Association's report on School Algebra, published in 1933, and the British Association papers on School Algebra (1937) were taken as showing the present position with regard to the teaching of elementary algebra. In this field, the lecturer said that there were three unsatisfactory features of the present system, the neglect of form, which he regarded as the fundamental thing in algebra; defects in the treatment of the laws of formal algebra; and the difficulties experienced in applying the now commonly accepted treatment of negative numbers. Mr Lawson gave an account of his method of introducing the idea of negative numbers to his pupils, and criticised some of the methods used in the text-books. His own method, which he published ten years ago, was really an application of the modern theory of number pairs. In the subsequent discussion, in which a number of members of the teaching profession took part, most attention was directed to the question of negative numbers, and the lecturer's views met with some criticism, to which he replied.
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