The Q Center, the Center for Teaching & Learning, and Professor Nick Horton have developed a program that provides funding to support faculty in less-quantitative fields who would like to integrate quantitative or computational analysis into their courses. We are thinking of short modules, one or two classes, in which quantitative reasoning could shed light on a topic that is relevant to the course.

Possible examples include:

  • measuring poverty and inequality
  • applications in digital humanities such as text analytics
  • data visualization
  • how to make sense of numbers and figures that get tossed around in popular media
  • understanding graphs
  • using statistical analysis to determine authorship
  • analyzing the gender wage gap in a SWAGS course
  • understanding educational achievement gaps
  • using quantitative measures to understand the importance of place – residential segregation, environmental exposures, asthma rates
  • interpreting quantitative studies on women and financial independence
  • analyzing housing data or police shooting statistics by race or gender or other variables
  • understanding election polls and results in a history or political science class
  • integrating environmental science and statistics such as climate warming data into the more humanities focused environmental studies courses. 

To facilitate the development of these modules, less-quantitative subject matter instructors will be matched with quantitative faculty who can assist in the development of the module (note that both faculty members could be in the same department). The less-quantitative instructor may already have a partner in mind, or the Q Center can assist in finding a suitable match. In addition, the Q Center, as a partner with the Center for Teaching & Learning, will facilitate access to staff and resources from the CTL who can assist with designing and developing the modules if needed. During the first iteration, both faculty will teach the module. In future semesters the subject matter instructor will be in a position to do this on their own. Furthermore, some of these modules could be generalizable and used in other courses. They could also be repurposed as online modules that faculty could direct students to, somewhat separated from the core course content.

Both faculty members will receive $2,500 stipends to support the creation and deployment of the modules, which could include hiring a student over the summer to assist in this work.

Timeline:

  1.  By  late January, interested instructors are asked to submit a brief proposal to Adam Honig outlining the topic of the module and how it fits into the course. The Q Center is available to match instructors with quantitative faculty.
  2. Depending on faculty availability and when the course is offered, modules could be deployed in the spring of that year or during the next academic year, after which the faculty who worked together on each module will submit a brief joint report on how the module worked, lessons learned, and suggestions for the future.