S110 | 23214 | Klugman

ABOVE SECTION OPEN TO FRESHMEN AND SOPHMORES ONLY This course is about much more than simply charts, graphs, and tables. It is an introduction quantitative reasoning--how to make claims about reality using numbers. Everyday journalists, politicians, advocacy groups, corporations, and scientists use numbers to make claims about our opinions, consumer habits, economic-wellbeing, and even our bodies. Unfortunately, it is easy to misuse numbers of confirm one’s biases instead of making honest assessments of social processes. To be a well-informed citizen who can critically evaluate arguments using numbers requires a basic foundation in quantitative reasoning. This course will cover the basics of quantitative reasoning with a focus on sociological data, such as data about people’s cultural and political attitudes and their work lives. We will examine how to produce, analyze, and present this data, as well as how to consume others’ research. This is not a math course, but the class will introduce students to some elementary statistical techniques, how and when to use them, and how to present one’s results. The course will focus less on the mathematics behind these techniques and more on their underlying logic.