Zaslow’s course will be part of Bridge, a residential five-week program that provides intensive instruction in pre-calculus mathematics and chemistry. Students will learn to apply quantitative skills to a wide range of topics and problems that will not only help them succeed in future courses at the University but also in everyday, real-world situations. The course will develop a student's ability to "argue with numbers,” Zaslow said. “They will apply basic mathematical skills in making reasoned, quantitative arguments to address questions from a variety of real-world concerns and a host of academic disciplines.”
The course will cover, for example, computing compound interest, assessing the value of a college degree, estimating the cost/benefit of undocumented workers and deciding whether health insurance is worth the expense.
“Society continually reminds me how much our citizens need to be able to understand numerical arguments when making personal financial, medical, environmental and political decisions,” Zaslow said. “I am inspired by the idea that creating a course in quantitative reasoning and, more broadly, creating a platform and vehicle for teaching it, might actually make a bit of difference.”