What is QR?

Quantitative reasoning is perhaps best understood by considering its relation to mathematics, a field with which it is closely intertwined, but distinct from. Mathematics is an academic discipline that includes a huge range of subfields ranging a gamut of abstraction and complexity, from arithmetic to real analysis and category theory. Quantitative reasoning is, as the name suggests, an activity. It is something anyone can do to solve real-world problems using techniques and tools from mathematics, including, but by no means limited to statistical analysis, logic, algebra, and geometry. However, the phrase “quantitative reasoning” is also sometimes used to refer to the skill or competency that underlies the activity of reasoning quantitatively. Either way one wants to use the term, quantitative reasoning is as important in everyday life as it is in academic or professional contexts. For instance, to decide how to balance a budget or invest money one could use the tools mentioned above to create financial models, calculate interest rates, or work out how to pay off a debt most efficiently. Quantitative reasoning is also necessary to gauge the significance of and interpret statistics in any context. Moreover, quantitative reasoning, particularly in the form of logic, can help one evaluate political, legal, scientific or philosophical arguments. Indeed, given the wide range of phenomena that require some form of quantitative reasoning, it would be difficult to function without it, as a student, professional, or a citizen.

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