What is QR? Quantitative Reasoning: “As If Your Life Depended on It”

Faculty Colloquium: James Friedrich, Professor of Psychology

Title: What is QR? Quantitative Reasoning: “As If Your Life Depended on It”

Abstract:

Mathematics and science requirements have long been standard components of the undergraduate curriculum, and specific applications of mathematical tools and scientific reasoning permeate work in many disciplines. Recent discussions of liberal education goals have begun to reframe some of the justification for these courses in terms of the importance of “quantitative reasoning” (QR) and “quantitative literacy,” and yet the significance of the broader meaning behind these new labels is not widely understood. If QR is not simply “math” or “science,” then what is it? In this faculty colloquium, I hope to take up the conceptual issues underlying the recent changes in terminology and discuss their implications for general education (including Willamette’s current revision efforts). In doing so, I will be drawing examples and illustrations from health care and medical decision making as a way of illustrating why your life might, indeed, depend on QR.

Details: Friday, November 2 at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room