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Quantitative Reasoning: Thinking in Numbers

Eric Zaslow (Northwestern University, Illinois)

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Cambridge University Press
16 January 2020
Data analysis: general; Mathematics & Sciences; Mathematical logic; Mathematical modelling
Is college worth the cost? Should I worry about arsenic in my rice? Can we recycle pollution? Real questions of personal finance, public health, and social policy require sober, data-driven analyses. This unique text provides students with the tools of quantitative reasoning to answer such questions. The text models how to clarify the question, recognize and avoid bias, isolate relevant factors, gather data, and construct numerical analyses for interpretation. Themes and techniques are repeated across chapters, with a progression in mathematical sophistication over the course of the book, which helps the student get comfortable with the process of thinking in numbers. This textbook includes references to source materials and suggested further reading, making it user-friendly for motivated undergraduate students. The many detailed problems and worked solutions in the text and extensive appendices help the reader learn mathematical areas such as algebra, functions, graphs, and probability. End-of-chapter problem material provides practice for students, and suggested projects are provided with each chapter. A solutions manual is available online for instructors.
By:   Eric Zaslow (Northwestern University Illinois)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 253mm,  Width: 178mm,  Spine: 13mm
Weight:   560g
ISBN:   9781108410908
ISBN 10:   1108410901
Pages:   250
Publication Date:   16 January 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
1. Is college worth the cost?; 2. How many people died in the Civil War?; 3. How much will this car cost?; 4. Should we worry about arsenic in rice?; 5. What is the economic impact of the undocumented?; 6. Should I buy health insurance?; 7. Can we recycle pollution?; 8. Why is it dark at night?; 9. Where do the stars go in the daytime?; 10. Should I take this drug for my headache?; Appendix 1. Numeracy; Appendix 2. Arithmetic; Appendix 3. Algebra; Appendix 4. Geometry; Appendix 5. Units and scientific notation; Appendix 6. Functions; Appendix 7. Probability; Appendix 8. Statistics; Appendix 9. Estimation.

Eric Zaslow is a Professor of Mathematics at Northwestern University, Illinois. He has a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Massachusetts in mathematical physics.

Reviews for Quantitative Reasoning: Thinking in Numbers

'Quantitative Reasoning: Thinking in Numbers is as engaging as it is informative. Zaslow takes intriguing questions, such as 'What impact do undocumented immigrants have on the US economy?' and 'Why is it dark at night?', and skillfully communicates the disciplinary knowledge, data, mathematical tools, and logical reasoning skills needed to approach these questions.' Allison K. Henrich, Seattle University 'With chapter titles such as 'Is College Worth the Cost?', 'How Many People Died in the Civil War?', and 'Why Is It Dark at Night?', the author draws the reader in by means of topics that are relevant and also pique one's curiosity. The writing is very user-friendly, inviting readers to think of and write down possible answers to the posed questions, before getting into the actual mathematics. I very much appreciate the way in which perhaps nervous students will be made to feel that they can think through the questions at hand, and come to well-reasoned answers without getting bogged down in unnecessary complexities. Students using this book will improve both their quantitative reasoning skills and their self-confidence in their ability to solve real-life questions involving numerical data.' Graeme Bird, Harvard University 'A number of our students enter university without the quantitative skills needed to succeed in further STEM studies, and Zaslow's pre-college summer course - and text - in quantitative reasoning was so effective in addressing this common obstacle at Northwestern that we made the course a permanent part of the curriculum open to all students.' Mary Finn, Northwestern University 'Any late high school/early college math text that begins with the question of whether college is worth the cost should be required reading. What a powerful and enduring illustration for every instructor. And the rest of the text follows in kind. Ostensibly, Zaslow has written a text for mathematics students. In reality, he's provided a research-based, easily applicable framework for analyzing any rich problem. It's the best form of professional development and growth I've seen in years. Instructors, read it, teach it, understand it, and then apply the principles to your own favorite problems and those of your students.' Dave Meyers, Co-founder and CEO of Teachers Connect 'Quantitative Reasoning: Thinking in Numbers is as engaging as it is informative. Zaslow takes intriguing questions, such as 'What impact do undocumented immigrants have on the US economy?' and 'Why is it dark at night?', and skillfully communicates the disciplinary knowledge, data, mathematical tools, and logical reasoning skills needed to approach these questions.' Allison K. Henrich, Seattle University 'With chapter titles such as 'Is College Worth the Cost?', 'How Many People Died in the Civil War?', and 'Why Is It Dark at Night?', the author draws the reader in by means of topics that are relevant and also pique one's curiosity. The writing is very user-friendly, inviting readers to think of and write down possible answers to the posed questions, before getting into the actual mathematics. I very much appreciate the way in which perhaps nervous students will be made to feel that they can think through the questions at hand, and come to well-reasoned answers without getting bogged down in unnecessary complexities. Students using this book will improve both their quantitative reasoning skills and their self-confidence in their ability to solve real-life questions involving numerical data.' Graeme Bird, Harvard University 'A number of our students enter university without the quantitative skills needed to succeed in further STEM studies, and Zaslow's pre-college summer course - and text - in quantitative reasoning was so effective in addressing this common obstacle at Northwestern that we made the course a permanent part of the curriculum open to all students.' Mary Finn, Northwestern University 'Any late high school/early college math text that begins with the question of whether college is worth the cost should be required reading. What a powerful and enduring illustration for every instructor. And the rest of the text follows in kind. Ostensibly, Zaslow has written a text for mathematics students. In reality, he's provided a research-based, easily applicable framework for analyzing any rich problem. It's the best form of professional development and growth I've seen in years. Instructors, read it, teach it, understand it, and then apply the principles to your own favorite problems and those of your students.' Dave Meyers, Co-founder and CEO of Teachers Connect


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