Library News

Faculty Colloquium: James Friedrich

Please join us Friday, November 5, from 12:40 – 1:40 pm in the Hatfield Room for the fifth Faculty Colloquium of the semester. The Colloquium will be presented by James Friedrich, Professor of Psychology. Jim will be presenting on: Basic Numeracy Skills versus Mathematics Self Doubt:Why the Distinction Matters, and What the New QUAD Center Might Have to Contribute.
His abstract:
Considerable recent research has focused on issues of basic numeracy and its implications for important decisions.For example, when people make choices about medical treatment, does basic numeracy predict how
effectively people make use of information on outcomes and risks?Are some modes of information presentation better than others? One pressing problem in the research is in distinguishing between the effects of basic quantitative skills (the ability to process certain kinds of information) and motivational factors such as self-confidence and self-doubt.Are some of the problematic “numeracy effects” observed in the research literature more a function of self-confidence with numbers or other motivational factors than of actual skill deficits?
In my colloquium, I will present some research done here at Willamette, the results of which suggest an important role for understanding feelings and motivations surrounding quantitative reasoning and not just the skills themselves. From this, my talk will move to a discussion of Willamette’s new “QUAD Center” (Center for Quantitative Understanding, Analysis, & Design) and some initiatives being planned by the Center to address quantitative reasoning skill and attitude issues through specific course and curricular interventions.
We hope to see you there.