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Keywords

quantitative reasoning, interdisciplinary courses, common readings, public health issues

Abstract

How can mathematics be integrated into multi-section interdisciplinary courses to enhance thematic understandings and shared common readings? As an example, four forms of quantitative reasoning are used to understand and critique one such common reading: Steven Berlin Johnson’s "The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World" (Riverhead Books, 2006). Geometry, statistics, modeling, and networks are featured in this essay as the means of depicting, understanding, elaborating, and critiquing the public health issues raised in Johnson’s book. Specific pedagogical examples and resources are included to illustrate applications and opportunities for generalization beyond this specific example. Quantitative reasoning provides a robust, yet often neglected, lens for doing literary and historical analyses in interdisciplinary education.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-4660.5.1.7