critically about quantitative data and the inferences that can be drawn from these data. They also gain experience with the use of quantitative analysis to interpret empirical data and to test hypotheses.
Courses in calculus and computer science do not fulfill the requirement because these courses do not require students to analyze actual data sets with the goal of evaluating hypotheses or interpreting results. To count toward the Quantitative Data Analysis Requirement, a course must include such data analysis.
Formal Reasoning and Analysis
In contrast to Quantitative Data Analysis courses, which deal with inductive reasoning, courses designated for this requirement focus on deductive reasoning and the formal structure of human thought, including its linguistic, logical and mathematical constituents. These courses emphasize mathematical and logical thinking and reasoning about formal structures and their application to the investigation of real-world phenomena. In addition to courses in mathematics, this sector includes courses in computer science, formal linguistics, symbolic logic and decision theory.
To prepare for an increasingly interconnected world, College students are required to take at least one course to develop their ability to understand and interpret the cultures of peoples with histories different from their own. The Cross-Cultural Analysis Requirement aims to increase students’ knowledge and understanding of socio-cultural systems outside the United States. The focus may be on the past or the present and it should expose students to distinctive sets of values, attitudes and methods of organizing experience that may not be obtained from American cultures. This exposure to the internal dynamic of another society should lead students to understand the values and practices that define their own cultural framework.
Through courses designated as fulfilling the Cross-Cultural Analysis Requirement, students learn methods of analyzing alternative systems of living and making meaning and are exposed to the “local knowledge” of another culture, as made
|visible in its social practices and
institutions. This might encompass the art of close,
careful reading of texts, pictures and other artifacts of
culture as well as their analysis, interpretation and
placement in a larger context. Likewise, it might include
social immersion into or the ethnographic study of an
unfamiliar locality. The goal is to develop intellectual
habits necessary for a lifetime of understanding diverse
cultures and societies and to encourage a thoughtful
approach that stresses different ways of looking at the
This sector focuses on the structure and norms of contemporary human societies, including their psychological and cultural dimensions.
Courses in this sector use many analytical techniques that have been developed to study contemporary society, with its complex relations between individuals and larger forms of mass participation. Some Society courses are largely devoted to the analysis of aggregate forms of human behavior (encounters, markets, civil society, nations, supranational organizations, and so on), while others may focus on the relations between individuals and their various societies. While historical materials may be studied, the primary objective of Society courses is to enable students to develop concepts and principles, test theories, and perfect tools that can be used to interpret, explain and evaluate the behavior of human beings in contemporary societies. This objective will be realized through the specific content of the various courses, but the emphasis in each course should be on developing in students a general capacity for social analysis and understanding.
History and Tradition
This sector focuses on studies of continuity and change in human thought, belief and action.
Understanding both ancient and modern civilizations provides students with an essential perspective on