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Science and Mathematics Education Commons

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Numeracy

Higher Education

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Full-Text Articles in Science and Mathematics Education

Numeracy And Social Justice: A Wide, Deep, And Longstanding Intersection, Kira Hamman, Victor Piercey, Samuel L. Tunstall Jan 2019

Numeracy And Social Justice: A Wide, Deep, And Longstanding Intersection, Kira Hamman, Victor Piercey, Samuel L. Tunstall

Numeracy

We discuss the connection between the numeracy and social justice movements both in historical context and in its modern incarnation. The intersection between numeracy and social justice encompasses a wide variety of disciplines and quantitative topics, but within that variety there are important commonalities. We examine the importance of sound quantitative measures for understanding social issues and the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration in this work. Particular reference is made to the papers in the first part of the Numeracy special collection on social justice, which appear in this issue.


Parts Of The Whole: Hands On Statistics, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2018

Parts Of The Whole: Hands On Statistics, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

In this column we describe a hands-on data collection lab for an introductory statistics course. The exercise elicits issues of normality, sampling, and sample mean comparisons. Based on volcanology models of tephra dispersion, this lab leads students to question the accuracy of some assumptions made in the model, particularly regarding the normality of the dispersal of tephra of identical size in a given atmospheric layer.


Providing Open-Access Know How For Directors Of Quantitative And Mathematics Support Centers, Michael Schuckers, Mary B. O'Neill, Grace Coulombe Jan 2017

Providing Open-Access Know How For Directors Of Quantitative And Mathematics Support Centers, Michael Schuckers, Mary B. O'Neill, Grace Coulombe

Numeracy

The purpose of this editorial is to introduce the quantitative literacy community to the newly published A Handbook for Directors of Quantitative and Mathematics Centers. QMaSCs (pronounced “Q-masks”) can be broadly defined as centers that have supporting students in quantitative fields of study as part of their mission. Some focus only on calculus or mathematics; others concentrate on numeracy or quantitative literacy, and some do all of that. A QMaSC may be embedded in a mathematics department, or part of a learning commons, or a stand-alone center. There are hundreds of these centers in the U.S. The new handbook ...


Review Of Sustainable Energy -- Without The Hot Air By David Mackay (2009), Kira Hamman Jul 2016

Review Of Sustainable Energy -- Without The Hot Air By David Mackay (2009), Kira Hamman

Numeracy

David MacKay. Sustainable Energy: Without the hot air. (Cambridge, England: UIT Cambridge Ltd., 2009). 384 pp. ISBN 978-0954452933 (also available as a free e-book).

Physicist David MacKay transforms what has historically been a debate fraught with skepticism and hysteria into an informed conversation. He does this by providing clear, accurate quantitative information on energy production and consumption in a form that allows comparison and invites thoughtful analysis. By recalibrating power into kilowatt-hours per day per person, he makes the numbers meaningful on an individual level. He then meticulously estimates the productive capacity of various renewable energy sources, explores alternative energy ...


Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 3: Designing General Education Mathematics Courses, Samuel L. Tunstall, Vincent Melfi, Jeffrey Craig, Richard Edwards, Andrew Krause, Bronlyn Wassink, Victor Piercey Jul 2016

Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 3: Designing General Education Mathematics Courses, Samuel L. Tunstall, Vincent Melfi, Jeffrey Craig, Richard Edwards, Andrew Krause, Bronlyn Wassink, Victor Piercey

Numeracy

In this paper, we describe the process at Michigan State University whereby we have created two courses, Math 101 and 102, designed to foster numeracy and alleviate mathematics anxiety. The courses--which are not sequential--provide a means of satisfying the University's general education requirement without taking college algebra or calculus, among other options. They are context-driven and broken into modules such as "The World and Its People" and "Health and Risk." They have been highly successful thus far, with students providing positive feedback on their interest in the material and the utility they see of it in their daily lives ...


Random Number Simulations Reveal How Random Noise Affects The Measurements And Graphical Portrayals Of Self-Assessed Competency, Edward Nuhfer, Christopher Cogan, Steven Fleisher, Eric Gaze, Karl Wirth Jan 2016

Random Number Simulations Reveal How Random Noise Affects The Measurements And Graphical Portrayals Of Self-Assessed Competency, Edward Nuhfer, Christopher Cogan, Steven Fleisher, Eric Gaze, Karl Wirth

Numeracy

Self-assessment measures of competency are blends of an authentic self-assessment signal that researchers seek to measure and random disorder or "noise" that accompanies that signal. In this study, we use random number simulations to explore how random noise affects critical aspects of self-assessment investigations: reliability, correlation, critical sample size, and the graphical representations of self-assessment data. We show that graphical conventions common in the self-assessment literature introduce artifacts that invite misinterpretation. Troublesome conventions include: (y minus x) vs. (x) scatterplots; (y minus x) vs. (x) column graphs aggregated as quantiles; line charts that display data aggregated as quantiles; and ...


Parts Of The Whole: Moderating Competition In The World Of Ideas, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2015

Parts Of The Whole: Moderating Competition In The World Of Ideas, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

In both biological and mathematical dynamical systems, competition may be moderated by the presence of a top predator of both competing species. Applying this principle in memetics sheds light on why some strategies are more likely than others to promote quantitative literacy in various kinds of institutions.


Parts Of The Whole: Strategies For The Spread Of Quantitative Literacy: What Models Can Tell Us, Dorothy Wallace Jul 2014

Parts Of The Whole: Strategies For The Spread Of Quantitative Literacy: What Models Can Tell Us, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

Two conceptual frameworks, one from graph theory and one from dynamical systems, have been offered as explanations for complex phenomena in biology and also as possible models for the spread of ideas. The two models are based on different assumptions and thus predict quite different outcomes for the fate of either biological species or ideas. We argue that, depending on the culture in which they exist, one can identify which model is more likely to reflect the survival of two competing ideas. Based on this argument we suggest how two strategies for embedding and normalizing quantitative literacy in a given ...


Parts Of The Whole: Only Connect, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2014

Parts Of The Whole: Only Connect, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

This is the first of several columns that will focus on the mechanisms by which new ideas become accepted by a culture, offering some familiar examples, deriving basic principles from these examples, and applying them to the problem of promoting quantitative literacy in an educational system. In this essay we describe how new concepts become embedded in a culture through their connections to existing ideas, and use this principle to suggest strategies of discourse about numeracy that promote it among various constituencies in the culture.