Summer Quantitative Reasoning Institute

Find 2020 program information on our new website.

Dear SQRI Students and Families,

The English mathematician, Karl Pearson, once observed that “statistics is the grammar of science.” We know now that it is also the language of public policy. Understanding how to use quantitative data to support one’s arguments and evaluate those of others are among the essential skills students must learn in college. This skill is the focus of the Summer Quantitative Reasoning Institute (SQRI).

The institute is not a “math camp” but an intense program of training in several social science disciplines: political science and international relations, economics, and psychology. Students will learn how to think like a social scientist by not only receiving instruction in how these disciplines study the world, but by designing and engaging in a sustained, three-week collaborative research project with peers and their faculty mentors. Students will be trained in how to use the statistical tools of these disciplines to answer a variety of research questions.

All students in the SQRI present their analyses and their results in writing and in public presentations, culminating at the end of the program in an oral exposition of their project’s findings using text, figures, and graphs. In short, during the three-weeks of the SQRI, students gain the very same experience that Carleton students do who eventually major in the social sciences and go on to use their quantitative reasoning skills in diverse fields such as law, science, academics, public policy and public administration, journalism, and information technology.

We wish to welcome you to the SQRI experience as one of the best ways to mix excellent college-level training in the social sciences with the fun of engaging with peers and faculty in the study of some of the most compelling issues we grapple with every day.


Al Montero
Frank B. Kellogg Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Political Science Department
Director of Summer Quantitative Reasoning Institute