The quantitative reasoning requirement has been established to develop students' abilities to collect, summarize and analyze numerical data; to make abstract concepts operational; and to think critically about the accuracy and soundness of conclusions based on data or on mathematical models.
Quantitative reasoning courses usually embed methodological training in their subject matter. These courses vary widely in the skills that are emphasized, but they usually include one or more of the following:
- Learning to read, construct, interpret and evaluate tables, graphs and charts.
- Developing quantitative measures of physical, behavioral or social phenomena.
- Using mathematical models to express causal relationships and to explore the implications of changed assumptions or proposed solutions to problems in the physical or social world.
- Collecting and organizing numerical data from archives, surveys, lab experiments or other sources.
- Testing hypotheses using experimental or statistical controls.
- Assessing the limitations of research, such as there liability and validity of measures, adequacy of experimental design, sample size and quality, and alternative hypotheses and interpretations.
- Submit a quantitative reasoning course proposal.