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Jordan Hall
Core Curriculum

Analytic Reasoning

Course Structure

A menu of three-hour courses to be taken in the first or second year.

Learning Objectives

  • To demonstrate capacities for quantitative and analytic reasoning.
  • To apply these capacities in a variety of practical contexts to the natural and social sciences.​

Learning Outcomes Used for Assessment

  • Students will demonstrate quantitative and analytical reasoning skills.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to apply quantitative and analytical reasoning skills to issues in natural or social sciences. 
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to explain how quantitative and analytical reasoning applies to situations in their personal or public life.

Corresponding University Outcomes

  • Students will explore various ways of knowing in the humanities, social and natural sciences, quantitative and analytic reasoning, and creative arts (Cognitive—“know”).
  • Students will articulate and apply required content knowledge within their area(s) of study (Cognitive—“know”).
  • Students will know how to find, understand, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and use information, employing technology as appropriate (Cognitive—“know”).

In Dr. Panos Linos's Robot Programming course, students learn how to write computer programs using a small personal robot called "Scribbler," who can be programmed to detect light, avoid obstacles, play songs, take photos, and even make movies. "Most students understand the importance of computing," Linos notes, "and realize that it is ubiquitous." The hands-on and interactive nature of the course allows students to "learn by watching their programs in action performed by their personal robots." 

In Dr. Karen Holmes's Win, Lose, or Draw, students play games-literally.  Building their understanding and skills of critical analysis and reasoning, Holmes helps students see the real-life ramifications of behaviors, based on their work in the mathematics of probability.  It is a course, Holmes notes, that "has lasting effects on students," since they "get better at logically thinking problems through by working logic puzzles, including problems on graduate entrance exams for law or graduate school."  Plus, Holmes notes, once they complete the course, "students can do sudokus for the rest of their lives."

This commitment to active student engagement is also evident in Lacey Echol's Statistically Speaking, a course designed to help students see "how prevalent statistics is in their world" and in their major field of study.  "Students work with real data from Indiana Youth Institute (IYI)," a non-profit organization that studies and works with young people in Indiana, Echols explains, "Butler students perform statistical analysis with the variables of interest from the organization and we hope that our analyses will help them see issues and trends in our state."