In 2006, Bridgewater State University adopted its , a program of required coursework designed to ensure that all BSU graduates can think critically, write clearly, think logically, reason quantitatively, and express themselves creatively.
The Core Curriculum contains a two-part requirement for quantitative coursework:
The QuAC program, in large part, grew out of a faculty project to clarify the Core's quantitative skills requirement and adopt common learning outcomes for its courses. This effort is ongoing, and a working draft of our rationale for the QR requirement and proposed new learning outcomes can be found below.
ICPSR advances and expands social and behavioral research, acting as a global leader in data stewardship and providing rich data resources and responsive educational opportunities for present and future generations.
The following are resources that QuAC has found useful to share both on and off BSU's campus. There's a lot here; the starred resources () indicate some of the most widely-accepted "standard" resources in the field and would be ideal starting points.
The NNN is a professional organization dedicated to promoting issues of numeracy and quantitative reasoning in higher education.
NICHE is a project of CUNY's Quantitative Reasoning Alliance, and their website is a treasure trove of practical resources for understanding, teaching, and assessing for numeracy skills across the curriculum.
Advanced Mathematical Decision Making (Dana Center, University of Texas)
This beautifully-developed high-school QR course was adopted as an "alternate" fourth-year mathematics course by the Texas State Board of Education in January 2011.
Quantitative Reasoning, Inquiry, and Knowledge (QuIRK) (Carleton College)
Carleton's portfolio-based, cross-curricular QR program was one of the first and among the most successful of its kind. QuIRK has a wealth of resources on its website to support the development of quantitative coursework and assignments in higher education.
OWL's rich resource on integrating statistics with writing offers suggestions for "quick tips, writing descriptive statistics, writing inferential statistics, and using visuals with statistics."
Mathematics and Democracy: The Case for Quantitative Literacy, by the Mathematical Association of America
The Chicago Guide to Writing About Numbers, by Jane E. Miller
Stat Spotting: A Field Guide to Identifying Dubious Data, by Joel Best
Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You, by Gerd Gigerenzer
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos
A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, by John Allen Paulos
How to Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff
This first chapter of the 's Mathematics and Democracy makes a detailed and referenced case for why numeracy is a democratic imperative.
(New York Times, 10/3/2009)
The Times is better than most newspapers at sourcing its data, and the quantitative reasoning in this article is fairly sophisticated — though it raises many good questions.
at the blog
A variety of examples and discussion of misleading data and charts in recent popular media.
(Updated each year)
Taken from the annual , the Factbooks are assembled by the Office of Institutional Research to give a snapshot of BSU's students in a variety of academic, affective, and demographic domains.
(ThinkReality, 11/20/2012) and a (Learn Liberty, 3/8/2013)
(IPS News, 10/26/2011)
The popular movement that began with "Occupy Wall Street" is increasingly driven by income- and wealth-distribution data such as . However, in the political echo chamber, how can we distinguish between sound quantitative inference and misleading appeals to emotion?
by CEO Kent Wells, 5/24/2010
This video briefing reports on the efforts by BP to recover spilled oil from the Gulf of Mexico during what was an ongoing crisis for both the environment and BP's public relations. Note Wells' preference for a cumulative distribution (total barrels collected, which of course is always increasing) over the capture rate (which had slowed down at the time of the briefing).
On the Media frequently presents detailed pieces on data consumption and presentation in journalism. Their podcasts are also made available for download.
(NPR Blog, 11/1/2013)
In this provocatively-titled blog post, the author argues that more numerate people are more likely to know how to color numbers to support their cognitive biases. It makes a forceful case that numeracy is about far more than computation; it's about reasoning and reflection.
Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government (Article retrieved 11/1/2013)
Mathematics — in the abstract — is invariant under changes in context. But life is highly context-specific, and according to a new study by Dan Kahan et al., personal biases and beliefs strongly affect how we present and interpret numbers.
It's yet another reminder not to believe everything you read, even (especially!) when you're reading about numbers.