Quantitative Reasoning University: November 30-December 1, 2006

A workshop for faculty featuring the best of Carleton's Quirk workshops for faculty.

Quantitative Competency Made Simple: 10 Questions to Ask about Numbers
Neil Lutsky, Department of Psychology

What should an informed reader know to be able to interrogate numerical information and numerical claims in common sources (e.g., The New York Times)? This course will identify and address 10 questions that consumers of quantitative information should be prepared to ask about numerical claims. Examples from medical, world news, business, and science stories in The Times will be featured. No prior expertise or positive experience in statistics or mathematics is assumed, but quantitative competency is guaranteed as an outcome (or we refund your tuition).

Spelunking for Data
Bob Dobrow and Laura Chihara, Department of Mathematics,
Paula Lackie, Academic Computing Coordinator for Social Sciences and Humanities, and
Kristin Partlo, Reference and Instruction Librarian for the Social Sciences

You wouldn't enter a cave without a headlamp and harness, so don't start a data search without the proper tools. When you need to locate a single figure, distribution, trendline, or small dataset for your teaching, how do you avoid sinking too much time into the search process? In this course we will equip you with strategies for finding datasets and data points. We'll also talk about various means of accessing these data, once discovered, and share rich teaching resources and tutorials. Don't forget your crampons!

Celebrating Q Connections: Quantitative Reasoning across the Liberal Arts Disciplines
Corri Taylor, Wellesley College

A review of Wellesley College’s creative efforts to illuminate links between quantitative reasoning and work in the arts, social sciences, humanities, and popular media.

How to Make Excel Work for You (Instead of the Other Way Around)
Joann Martyn, Academic Computing Coordinator for Arts, Performance and Recreation (and resident Excel expert)

Excel is a flexible program that can improve your and your students’ ability to visualize numbers. Give us an hour and a half, and we'll give you Excel power at your fingertips—or at least improve your Excel mojo! By the time you leave, you will be able to work Excel’s magic to create items including a gradebook and charts to represent your data visually.

Help! I Need to Teach Statistics/Methods/Analysis/Get My Research Done!
Where Are My Tools?

Paula Lackie, Academic Computing Coordinator for the Social
Sciences & Humanities, (SPSS license coordinator & overall advocate
for the right tool for the job)

There are a large number of options for statistical tools and packages. What are our current and future options at Carleton? What tools are available to sort through the mind-numbing tangle of software and methodological choices? In this workshop we will share the current licensing situation for all known stats-related packages on campus and work toward understanding which directions will benefit all interested parties. We will also provide an overview of the statistical package landscape and of ways to choose statistical software.

Geology, the Environment, and Human Health: A Quantitative Perspective
Mary Savina, Department of Geology

You may have thought that tobacco, radon and other factors caused lung cancer. But, according to the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/radon/radonqa1.html), "Most of the increased lung cancer risk is attributable to smoking through mathematical modeling." Don't worry - in this QRU course, we will study only non-toxic quantitative evidence from epidemiology, demographics, and statistics to examine the relationships between environment and disease. In this course, we examine the nature of epidemiologic and other evidence about the relationship between environment and disease.

Quantitative Reasoning in the Arts, Literature, and Humanities
Nathan Grawe, Department of Economics, Adriana Estill, Department of English,
Cliff Clark, Department of History, and Carol Rutz, Writing Program

Curious about how quantitative reasoning can be used in the Arts, Literature, and Humanities? Experienced faculty share how quantitative reasoning assignments and classroom activities have enhanced student learning in their courses. The course will include time for discussion and suggested sources of data to serve as the basis for future quantitative reasoning assignments. At least one specific example of a classroom activity will be offered.

Exploring Google Earth and Virtual Globes
Peter A. Selkin, University of Washington, Tacoma

Newspaper reporters to citizen activists, grade school teachers and our students, and possibly even the President of the United States have been using “The Google” to explore high-resolution satellite images of the Earth. What’s all the fuss about? In this session, we’ll see how Google Earth and other virtual globes are not only fun but also powerful tools for visualizing and investigating geographic data in the classroom.