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Kettering University to Offer Course in ‘Math for Social Justice’

Kettering University to Offer Course in ‘Math for Social Justice’

“aims to teach students how to use statistics and data to address various social justice-related topics”

Imagine the fun you could have with word problems for this class.

The College Fix reports:

University to teach how to address social justice using math modeling

Kettering University announced a new “Math for Social Justice” elective will address climate change, human trafficking, elections and racial justice causes through math modeling.

The course aims to teach students how to use statistics and data to address various social justice-related topics.

The course will “open students’ eyes into the different areas of math that can model social justice issues,” said Leszek Gawarecki, chair of the university’s Math Department and one of the professors slated to teach the class, in a news release.

He cited climate change as one topic for students.

“Thinking about it, I became shocked,”Gawrecki told ABC12. “Why are we shocked? Because we all knew that data is available about climate change. The events were pretty much predictable. We know about social injustice.”

Gawarecki said he believes the course will solve insufficient “emotional discussions” where “whatever I say, anyone can say the opposite.”

In an email to The College Fix, he reiterated that mathematical models built “on real data can provide insights on the existence of systemic problems.”

Gawarecki did say, however, that math models can be built on assumptions and are not perfect.

“Mathematics-based models have their assumptions and limitations. … At the same time, they can be a powerful tool for highlighting information buried in hundreds of variables,” he said via email.

Course prerequisites include a communications course, sophomore seminar, and basic understanding of calculus and statistics.

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Comments

This is how the left corrupts everything it touches. A course in modeling things with math is not a bad idea. But choosing topics that are leftist priorities (and about which non-corrupted data are almost non-existent) makes this into pure propaganda.

Which is the point, of course.

Looking over the news release, IMHO the high level learning objectives look solid – math / model literacy. SJW aspect seems more like a sales gimmick to students and maybe even Deans.

“Math for Social Justice will utilize math modeling, statistics and data.

“We will use math models to inform and then follow the discussion,” said Mathematics Department Chairman and Applied Mathematics Professor Dr. Leszek Gawarecki, one of the professors of the new course. “We will also open students’ eyes into the different areas of math that can model social justice issues.”

For example, graphs can be used to determine the main traffic routes and combined with the data, students can see which highways could be patrolled better or potential entry points regarding human trafficking. For elections, students will study voting systems, gerrymandering, voting rights and recent efforts to revise election laws at the state and national levels.

“Math can prove the way we vote here is unique in the world,” Gawarecki said. “It has advantages because it’s extremely simple, but of course, it has drawbacks too, so we’re going to explore other ways and voting systems, so that if all candidates have the same support, another candidate wins.”

“Just emotional discussions are insufficient because whatever I say, anyone can say the opposite,” Gawarecki said. “Once we have a model and data, things are kind of fixed. I know one can say that the data is fake or it’s a bad model, but this is the point to let students understand that not all models are bad and some are useful. If you have a better model, show me. We can validate our models based on the data and see which is better, then we can agree on things. That’s how science works.”

So this is where they learn X+X=XY and X-Y=XX and XY>XX and XY=XX all at the same time?

>>We can validate our models based on the data and see which is better, then we can agree on things. That’s how science works.”<<

Yes, if you re a conservative. If a liberal, one modifies the data to fit the model.

henrybowman | June 25, 2021 at 6:21 pm

“Gawarecki said he believes the course will solve insufficient “emotional discussions” where “whatever I say, anyone can say the opposite.”

If done honestly, this would improve discourse tremendously. However, if done honestly, SJWs will abandon the course in droves and it will wither. So now we are faced with a clear conflict of interest: run the course dishonestly, or crater it.

I hope this is a thinly veiled actual Math course tailored to fulfill some kind of Social Justice or Diversity requirement. If so, I think this is a great idea to teach some applied math instead instead of grievance studies nonsense.

“Course prerequisites include a communications course, sophomore seminar, and basic understanding of calculus and statistics.”

Note that it does not require successful completion of second or third year statistics and calculus courses. I doubt any Social Justice idiots could qualify if it did.

Jack Klompus | June 27, 2021 at 10:42 am

“…basic understanding of calculus and statistics.”

Which very few if any students will likely bring to the table in this course. Students with actual math aptitude will eschew this fluff course and study actual mathematics.

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