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The Center for Teaching and Learning

Quantitative Reasoning Across the Curriculum

The Center for Teaching & Learning has organized the following discussions around the topic of quantitative reasoning. The objective has been to stimulate discussion about how quantitative and analytical reasoning might be articulated in College's curriculum, and to provide a forum for faculty to learn about productive pedagogies.

Brief notes on these meetings, and relevant attachments, are below.


Meeting, 09-Mar-2009



Meeting, 04-Dec-2008

Guest Speaker: Martin Braun (Mathematics and Freshman Year Initiative), "Good teaching practices: 'John von Neuman meets Henry VIII'"


Meeting, 22-Oct-2008

Guest Speaker: Susan Kuhn (English), "Incorporating quantitative reasoning into writing, strengthening both"



Meeting, 25-Mar-2008

Guest: Ellen Smiley (Psychology [CCNY] and Faculty Fellow at the Office of Academic Affairs [CUNY])

Materials distributed ahead of this meeting are available here.



Meeting, 20-Feb-2008



Meeting, 30-Oct-2007

Participants: Susan Croll (Psychology); Lev Deych (Physics); Eva Fernández (LCD & CTL); Wallace Goldberg (Math); Betsy Hendrey (Dean, Social Sciences); Tsai-Shiou Hsieh (WAC Assessment Coordinator); Howard Kleinmann (Academic Support Center); Susan Kuhn (English); Ken Lord (UCC & Ed Tech Lab); Joanne Miller (Sociology); Kate Pechenkina (Antrhropology); Steve Schwarz (Physics & Dean, Research/Grad Studies), Tom Strekas (Dean, Natural Sciences), Jerry Waxman (Computer Science)

Topics discussed:

  • Definitions
  • Current requirements and expectations for QC students, looking toward increasing expectations:
    • technical versus formal math
    • all students versus science/math majors
    • mechanisms in curriculum to ensure that all students get foundations: are there students who place out who really should  not?
  • Availability of Mathematics department to collaborate with others on designing courses to fit needs; existing technical math courses:
    • Math 110: Mathematical literacy, intro to college mathematics
    • Math 113: Ideas in mathematics
    • Math 114: Elementary probability and statistics
    • Math 115: College algebra for precalculus
    • Math 116: Mathematics of finance
    • Math 119: Mathematics for elementary school teachers


  • A request, to the Deans of Social Sciences and Math/Natural Sciences, to collect sample syllabi for courses with quantitative reasoning component; the group will examine these syllabi to evaluate current practices

(This request was sent out 11-Nov-2007, and some materials have already come in; they will be available at our next meeting.)

For the group's further consideration:


Inaugural meeting, 19-Sep-2007

Roundtable discussion, moderated by George Hendrey (SEES) and Dean Savage (Sociology); additional participants: Eva Fernández (LCD & CTL); Stephen Grover (Philosophy); Howard Kleinman (Academic Support Center); Susan Kuhn (English); Robert Lanson (Psychology); Ken Lord (UCC & Ed Tech Lab); Joanne Miller (Sociology); Mindy Miller (CTL & WAC); Kate Pechenkina (Anthropology); Steve Schwarz (Physics & Dean, Research/Grad Studies); John Walker (Accounting/Info Systems)

Topics discussed:

  • CUNY math standards for admission, COMPASS scores
  • "Task 2" in the CUNY Proficiency Examination
  • Resource allocation for adjuncts teaching lower-level courses
  • Faculty training
  • What students know now, compared to what students ought to know (a working list):
    • reading and describing data presented in graphs and tables
    • making arguments using quantitative evidence
    • performing basic financial calculations
    • asking valid questions
    • logarithms (and prepositions!)


For the group's further consideration:

  •  Goals for Student Writing at QC is an example of how WAC has articulated its objectives; note in particular the parallel statements on what students will be able to do and how faculty can help students work on those abilities
  • "The case for quantitative literacy," a chapter in Mathematics and democracy (L. A. Steen, Ed., 2001), outlines definitions of quantitative literacy, as well as forms in which it is expressed
  • Campus-wide open forums on changes in CUNY math standards will be held Monday 24-Sep and Wednesday 10-Oct (12:15 to 1:15, KY 806)
  • TO COME: more information on recent EdCast aired on CUNY TV this month, on changes to math standards
  • ALSO TO COME: assessment in math talk by James Pellegrino (LITD at UIC), at the Office of Academic Affairs, 7-Sep-2007


  • December 14th, James Gee talk, "Literacies, learning and video games," at the CUNY Graduate Center, Elebash Recital Hall, 2-4 PM


Please send questions or comments to Eva Fernández.

The date and time for the next meeting will be posted here and announced via qcmailer.