After they graduate, our students will be making important decisions, for themselves and others, under conditions of uncertainty. They also will be called upon, as individuals and as citizens, to evaluate empirical claims made by others. Courses in empirical and quantitative reasoning help students learn how to make decisions and draw inferences in matters that involve the evaluation of empirical data. They teach students how to gather and assess information, weigh evidence, understand estimates of probabilities, solve problems, draw inferences from the data available, and also how to recognize when an issue cannot be settled on the basis of the available evidence. To develop these abilities, students need to learn how to apply the abstract principles and concepts of probability theory, statistics, decision theory, logic, and mathematics to concrete problems.
CRITERIA FOR EQUR COURSES
Teach the conceptual and theoretical tools used in reasoning and problem solving, such as statistics, probability, mathematics, logic, and decision theory
Provide exercises which apply these tools to concrete problems of wide concern
Be taught in the context of a variety of subjects so that students can work on topics of intrinsic interest to them, such as medicine and disease, public policy and political behavior, and legal or economic decision-making
Familiarize students with some of the mistakes human beings typically make in reasoning and problem solving