The Center for Quantitative Understanding, Analysis, and Design (“QUAD”) is a new initiative at Willamette University, supporting students and faculty in the College of Liberal Arts in their efforts to develop and apply quantitative reasoning or “QR” skills. As a new program in the 2010-11 academic year, the Center is still in the development phase. Over the coming semesters, we hope to be able to expand both our hours of availability and the range of services we can provide.
Resources and Support
At present, we will be providing support related to quantitative activities and assignments associated with courses ranging from introductory classes to senior thesis projects. The Center focuses both on the kinds of basic mathematics central to academic and civic literacy and on research design and statistical issues arising in a broad range of disciplines across the liberal arts. This emphasis complements extensive expertise related to calculus and more advanced mathematical topics already available through the Mathematics Department.
More information can be found on our QUAD Resources page.
The Center is designed to:
Assist people not just with data collection and analysis but also with their efforts to interpret, critically evaluate, and incorporate quantitative information into papers and other projects or assignments. Quantitative information properly collected and interpreted is often a central component of well-constructed arguments. Not everyone carries out studies or performs quantitative analysis on raw data, but virtually everyone "consumes" quantitative information generated by others. When we write persuasive papers, advocate for policies, wrestle with personal decisions, and engage in other forms of argumentation, a sound understanding and interpretation of quantitative information can be critical. We must also then be able to use such information effectively in writing, speaking, and other forms of communication.