QR Applied Skills Courses 
Hollins University     

May 2001 Workshop                                   (QR home)        

Hollins is excited about the development of new applied Quantitative Reasoning Applied Skills courses.  In these courses, students apply quantitative skills to problems within a specific discipline.  During a May 2001 workshop (and also during a January 2001 workshop),  Professors  Caren Diefenderfer and Trish Hammer led  NSF funded QR activities for Hollins faculty members.  All participants developed materials for courses that will satisfy our new applied skills quantitative reasoning requirement.   Some of the courses that were developed are listed below.


History 207 S
France Since the Revolution

Travel with the Grand Armee as it marches  from Poland toward Moscow from 1812 to 1813.  Students in this course use an authentic chart (right, shown by Professor Spies) to investigate this march quantitatively.  What proportion of soldiers survived the march to Moscow?  What proportion of soldiers returned to Poland?  How did temperature affect the survival rate of soldiers?

Communications 205
Research Methods in Communication

Ever wonder about the news you watch?  Is it entertainment or news?  How much time is spent on hard news, soft news, weather, sports and advertising?  Professor Jane Tumas-Serna and students answer these questions by carrying out a quantitative content analysis of TV news on the three major networks - ABC, CBS, and NBC.  


Biology 207 E
Ecology Laboratory

In order to better understand life tables and survivorship curves, students in Professor Renee Godard's class go on field trips to visit several graveyards. Using grave markers,  students collect data on males and females born during 1830-1839 and 1890-1899. A close and careful analysis of this real data allows students to  better understand patterns of survivorship, population dynamics, and fertility.

Classics/Art 261
Ancient Art

In this course, students analyze writings of Vitruvius and use real archaelogical data (e.g. column measurements, drawings of temples) to discover proportional relationships in Doric temples.  Students then  reconstruct Doric temples based on given “units” and these proportional relationships.  At left, Professor Tina Salowey shows workshop participants a scaled drawing of the Parthenon. 

Theatre 253
Lighting Design

Students will examine the potentials and problems of theatrical lighting through a series of laboratory explorations with standard industry equipment. Professor Laurie Powell-Ward covers quantitative concepts such as placement (angle) of lights, beam spread and intensity of lights, selection of lamp wattages and programming of control board (timing).  Students apply these ideas to the design of a plot for a given stage setting and execution of their design allows students to see their schematics "in action." 

Statistics 251
Statistical Methods

Professor Julie Clark and her students take a hands on approach to sampling using Reese's Pieces and Goldfish  (Yummy!).  This tasty approach gives students a better understanding of sampling techniques, sampling variability and ultimately demonstrates "the" theorem which allows one to make predictions and estimations with high degrees of confidence.



Philosophy 211
Symbolic Logic

Is symbolic logic useful in today's society?  Professor Michael Gettings answers this question by teaching students how to apply everyday reasoning processes such as argument, inference, premise and conclusion in the reconstruction of arguments in ordinary language.  Students look at specific excerpts from Washington Post editorials and from John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society.  At right, Professor Gettings "breaks down" an argument from a Washington Post editorial.