The perspectives of scientists and mathematicians on quantitative skills

Leanne Jill Rylands, Vilma Simbag, Kelly Matthews, Carmel Coady, Shaun Belward, Peter Adams

Abstract


Mathematics is important in science, and becoming increasingly so. Not surprisingly, the scientific community is calling for graduates with higher standards of quantitative skills (QS), that is, the ability to apply mathematical and statistical thinking and reasoning in the context of science.

How are academics addressing this QS challenge? Some see this as an interdisciplinary endeavour, with science and mathematics academics working together to develop the QS of students in undergraduate science programs. We present evidence which suggests that scientists and mathematicians have different attitudes to what is happening in universities currently.

This work is a part of the ALTC funded QS in Science project in which 48 interviews were conducted with academics in both teaching and leadership roles from 11 universities in Australia and two in the USA.

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