I really like this approach.  As a graduate from a program which 
required all students to complete a BS degree even when it was in 
English, I had to take many math and science classes which I have found 
to be of limited use to me in my careers (20 years in the Air Force in 
a technical field and 20 more years teaching at a research university). 
  However, the concept of quantitative reasoning provides an entirely 
different perspective.  One can gain that through numerous other 
approaches than College Algebra or Calculus.  If, for example, I want 
student to learn logical reasoning, I would recommend a course taught 
by the Philosophy department called Logic rather than a math class 
though, I agree, math does help one learn to be logical.

I hope we can pursue the questions in Brenda's e-mail rather than 
getting bogged down in discussing specific math classes.


Ronald D. Illingworth
Interior-Aleutians Campus
University of Alaska Fairbanks
907-474-5890 (w)
907-474-5561 (fax)

On Jan 9, 2007, at 6:40 AM, Tiefenbruck, Brenda F. wrote:

> Could we revisit the Math for Liberal Arts topic today from another 
> angle
> since the dreaded algebra word evoked so many emotional comments. I 
> would
> like to know:
> 1.	What is quantitative reasoning?
> 2.	How do you know when a student can reason quantitatively?
> Perhaps this avenue will be helpful as a discussion.
> -- 
> Brenda Tiefenbruck
> Director, Mathematics Resource Center (MaRC)
> University of St. Thomas
> MAIL #OSS201
> 2115 Summit Ave
> St. Paul, MN 55105
> (651) 962-5529
> On 1/9/07 9:25 AM, "Robert Ciervo" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> A great quote:
> "However, it does have a pre-requisite of intermediate algebra."
> As it should...
> Robert L. Ciervo, Ph.D., Director
> Rutgers-Camden Learning Center
> Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Camden
> 231 Armitage Hall
> 311 N. Fifth Street
> Camden, NJ 08102
> (856) 225-2722
> (856) 225-6443 fax
> [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] <mailto:[log in to unmask]]>  On
> Behalf Of Kathryn VanWagoner
> Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 10:14 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Math for Liberal Arts Majors
> Sorry, Nic. That was a rather random statement.  When I read the first
> chapter of Keith Devlin's book (below) I was struck with the sense that
> there is a mathematical connection to everything in the world, keeping
> in mind that "mathematics" does not equal "algebra."  That's where that
> comment came from.  Again, I recommend at least Chapter One of Keith's
> book.
> Which brings us back to Teresa's original question.  There are some
> very cool mathematical ideas that are great for liberal arts majors to
> study.  (Personally, I'd like to see everyone take that kind of class.)
> Yes, Teresa, we offer such a course.  However, it does have a
> pre-requisite of intermediate algebra.
> Kathy
>>>> "Nic Voge" <[log in to unmask]> 1/8/2007 4:35 PM >>>
> Kathy,
> What do you mean by "In truth, it's all mathematical"?
> Thanks,
> Nic
>> By the way.  I love art, music, poetry, even sentence diagraming
> (it's
>> kind of mathematical). I even enjoy archeology and physical science
> in
>> smaller doses.  It is quite possible that my general education
> provided
>> the opportunity for me to develop those interests.
>> In truth, it's all mathematical.  If you want to see how important
> math
>> really is, I recommend the PBS series Life by the Numbers and/or the
>> companion book for the series by Keith Devlin.  Just read the first
>> chapter.
>> Cheers!
>> Kathy
>>>>>  "Laura Symons" <[log in to unmask]> 1/8/2007 11:03 AM >>>
>> Kathryn's response was so cool! Now here's a rationale for taking any
>> course in the curriculum:
>> In a world where change is the only constant, the one true survival
>> skill is the ability to adjust and adapt to the needs of the moment.
>> That skill requires flexibility of point of view and the ability to
>> apply different kinds of thinking in different situations.  College
>> courses provide a rich array of different ways of thinking.
>> Mathematicians approach the world very differently than
> anthropologists,
>> than historians, than artists, than writers and the list goes on
> through
>> the entire curriculum. Why take courses in subjects that are
> difficult?
>> To create new skills you probably would not go after on your own. To
>> learn more about yourself. To do something you don't like to do. To
>> learn to deal with fear, frustration, and may even anger in a
> relatively
>> low stakes setting.
>> Happy New Year, all!
>> Laura
>> Laura Symons
>> Coordinator of the Learning Center
>> Piedmont  Virginia Community College
>> 501 College Drive
>> Charlottesville, VA 22902-7589
>> 434 961 5310
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