The teaching of mathematics at the introductory undergraduate level is done in different ways at different places. Some schools have a large corps of teaching assistants who teach classes on their own; other colleges have a staff of junior faculty whose job it is to teach all of these courses. The structure of our mathematics courses is a consequence of Hopkins' educational philosophy. From page one of the catalogue:
The unique educational philosophy of The Johns Hopkins University was first articulated more than a century ago by Daniel Coit Gilman, the university's first president. Gilman believed that the highest quality education must be carried out in a research environment and that the best training, whether undergraduate or graduate, takes place under the supervision of an active researcher.
This approach was pioneered in this country by the Johns Hopkins University, and is the practice at many major universities, both public and private. Faculty, graduate students and undergraduates are all here primarily because of the reputation the school has earned as a center of research.
This approach has many benefits for the student, but it also presents new challenges. It is our experience that the adjustment to the university setting presents at least some difficulty for the majority of entering students. Some students will not survive in these courses unless they understand and carry out the necessary adjustments. We hope that by identifying some sources of difficulty for students we may help them to meet these challenges and to get the most from their mathematics courses.