Resources

Sometimes a quick review of a topic or procedure is all you need to progress comfortably in a quantitative class. Listed below are some internet resources (with links) and also some supplemental book titles. You may use these resources on your own or request a QR tutor to assist you with your review. Please note that access to a tutor is not guaranteed; tutors will be assigned first to students in MCSR courses without study groups and to students in courses with groups who need additional assistance. Students requesting tutors for general review are most likely to be matched with a tutor if the request is received early in a semester.


Self Help

The QR Program recommends that you work with others in study groups to improve your quantitative skills. If the course you are taking does not have a study group, an individual tutorial may be a possibility. To inquire about services available, contact Eric Gaze, Director of the Quantitative Reasoning Program located in The Center for Learning and Teaching in #102 Kanbar Hall. Students may stop by during the day, or make an appointment by calling 725-3135, or email egaze@bowdoin.edu

If you want to improve your skills independently, the following may help.

Web Sites


Resources on the Internet

Demonstration of a "Plinko Board" from Rand

  • A nice visual display of a Plinko Board in action - demonstrating the normal approximation to the binomial distribution and the Central Limit Theorem       
  • URL: http://www.rand.org/methodology/stat/applets/clt.html

Demonstration of how different bin widths change a histogram

  • This applet allows the user to change bin widths on the number of minutes Old Faithful Geyser's eruptions last. The differences in the appearances of the resulting histograms are dramatic.
  • URL: http://www.stat.sc.edu/~west/javahtml/Histogram.html

Applets from "Probability by Surprise"

  • These applets include the famous "birthday problem" among many others.
  • URL: http://www-stat.stanford.edu/~susan/surprise/

Recommended Readings

On the importance of good quantitative skills:

  • Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos. Hill and Wang, 1988.
  • Mathematics and Democracy: The Case for Quantitative Literacy, by the National Council on Education and the Disciplines, Lynn Arthur Steen, Executive Director. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 2001.

For those wanting some review of basic skills, a text to review before taking the Q-Skills Assessment:

  • The Math Workshop: Algebra, by Deborah Hughes-Hallet. W.W. Norton, 1980.

A good text to accompany an introductory MCSR course:

  • Using and Understanding Mathematics: A Quantitative Reasoning Approach (2nd edition), by Jeffrey O. Bennett and William L. Briggs. Addison-Wesley, 2002.

Some basic statistics texts that might be useful in courses utilizing statistical concepts:

  • Statistics: A First Course (7th edition), by John E. Freund and Benjamin M. Perles. Prentice Hall, 1999.
  • Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences (3rd edition), by Alan Agresti and Barbara Finlay. Prentice Hall, 1997.
  • Probability and Statistical Inference (6th edition), by Robert V. Hogg and Elliot A. Tanis. Prentice Hall, 2000.
  • Seeing Through Statistics (2nd edition), by Jessica M. Utts. Duxbury Press, 1999.

Regarding visualization and graphics:

Three books by Edward R. Tufte, all published by Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.

  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 1983.
  • Envisioning Information, 1990.
  • Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative, 1997.

On the use and abuse of statistics:

  • How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff. W.W. Norton, 1954.
  • Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers From the Media, Politicians, and Activists, by Joel Best. University of California Press, 2001.
  • A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, by John Allen Paulos. Doubleday, 1995.


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