Quantitative Reasoning Across the Curriculum


In order to become effective citizens, workers, advocates –indeed in order to perform a great variety of roles– students must become competent in using and reading quantitative data, in understanding quantitative evidence and in applying basic quantitative skills so that they can solve real life problems.  Such skills are usually taught through work in mathematics and statistics courses, but they can be taught more effectively through work in courses within the students’ chosen major (or minor) discipline.  A program that involves quantitative reasoning across the curriculum gives students the opportunity to learn the broad significance and applicability of quantitative reasoning in the particular subjects that are meaningful, important and interesting to them.

The Quantitative Reasoning Requirement at Hollins

In 2001 Hollins University implemented a two part Quantitative Reasoning program consisting of a QR Basic Skills requirement and an QR Applied Skills requirement.  This program will ensure that all Hollins graduates have not only a mastery of basic quantitative reasoning skills but also an appreciation for how these skills apply to the liberal arts curriculum.

The QR Basic Skills Requirement

The QR basic skills requirement is designed to help students gain an understanding of fundamental mathematical skills that they need to be successful in courses that require quantitative reasoning.  The basic skills requirement can be satisfied by achieving a satisfactory score on the Quantitative Reasoning Assessment (given to new students every fall) or by passing Mathematics 100, Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning.  This basic skills requirement is a prerequisite for all courses satisfying the QR applied skills requirement and must be completed by the end of each student’s sophomore year.  A student who has satisfied the QR basic skills requirement will demonstrate a baseline understanding of various quantitative topics (algebra, graphing, geometry, data analysis and linearity).

The QR Applied Skills Requirement

The applied skills requirement is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply mathematical and quantitative skills as they solve problems in their chosen disciplines.  The applied skills requirement can be satisfied by passing a course designated as a QR applied course.  Our goal is for students to choose a QR applied course in their major or minor field.  A QR applied course should involve students in the application of quantitative skills that arise naturally in the course, in a way that advances the goals of the course and in a manner than is not merely a rote application of a mathematical procedure.  Writing, student collaboration and thoughtful use of instructional technology all have important places in a QR applied course. The list below shows 37 QR Applied Skills courses that Hollins currently offers.  (click here for specific QR course information)

List of QR Applied Skills Courses 

Art 261 Ancient Art
Biology 121 Plants and People
Biology 207&L Ecology
Biology 241&L Plan Biology Lab
Business 349 Corporate Finance
Chemistry 101 General Chemistry I
Chemistry 105 Principles of Chemistry
Chemistry 204 General Chemistry II
Chemistry 214 Analytical Chemistry
Classics 261 Ancient Art
Computer Science 160 Computer Science I
Communications 205 Research Methods in Communications
Economics 110 Women and Economics
Economics 241 Economics of Social Issues
Economics 254 Economics of Health Care
Economics 261 Public Finance
Economics 272 Money, Credit, and Banking
Economics 321 Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
History 207S France Since the Revolution
History 255S US Social History
History 343 European Imperialism
Mathematics 140 Precalculus
Mathematics 152 Intuitive Calculus
Mathematics 241 Calculus I
Mathematics 242 Calculus II
Mathematics 255 Methods of Matrices and Linear Algebra
Philosophy 211 Symbolic Logic
Physics 151&L Physical Principles I
Physics 152&L Physical Principles II
Physics 201&L Analytical Physics I
Physics 202&L Analytical Physics II
Political Science 216 Research Methods in Political Science
Psychology 318 Human Memory
Sociology 341 Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine
Sociology 358 Methods of Social Research
Statistics 140 Introduction to Statistics
Statistics 251 Statistical Methods I
Theatre 253 Lighting Design
Women’s Studies 111 Women and Economics

Grant Information

NSF Grant  2000-2001
Faculty Development in QR

Grant Summary

Grant Activities

Course Development

January 2001 workshop

May 2001 workshop
MAA-AMS San Diego Talk