Quantitative Reasoning Courses
Quantitative reasoning courses may focus on the organization, analysis, and implementation of numerical and graphical data, or they may involve learning mathematical ideas, understanding their application to the world, and employing them to solve problems. In QR courses, students will learn some or all of the following:
- To use statistical methods to analyze and interpret data.
- To make inferences and decisions based on quantitative data; for example, by developing and testing hypotheses.
- To critically assess quantitative information; for example, by reading and critiquing journal articles with quantitative information and analysis.
- To design experiments, and learn and apply data-collection methods; for example, by developing data in laboratory exercises.
- To use mathematical reasoning and the axiomatic method; for example, by using systems of symbolic logic.
- To develop and use mathematical models; for example, to predict the behavior of physical, economic, or biological systems.
- To learn and apply the basic ideas of probability, chance, and uncertainty.
- To understand and apply concepts in algorithms and computer programming.
- To communicate quantitative information and mathematical ideas; for example, by constructing and interpreting graphical displays.
A given QR course probably will not include all of these abilities, but every QR course will engage students in some of them. In courses identified with the QR tag, the use of quantitative reasoning is a major and continuing theme. Although the subject matter of QR courses will vary by department and discipline, the quantitative knowledge and skills developed will be applicable in a wide variety of settings.
A course will satisfy the quantitative-reasoning requirement only if it is designated a "QR" course for the semester in which it has been taken. A particular course may change in character from one year to the next, so that it may count as a "QR" course during one semester but not during another. (See guidelines in Part B, below, for changes in approved courses.)
On the course approval form, the faculty member proposing the course should fill out the QR section of the course approval form. In addition, the instructor should provide sufficient evidence (planned assignments, exams, homework, etc.) to demonstrate that quantitative reasoning is a major and continuing theme in the course.