Topics in Rhetoric and Public Culture

R209 — Fall 2021

Kurt Zemlicka
Days and Times
1:10p - 2:25p TR (3 CR)
Course Description

Topic: The Rhetoric and Power of Numbers

This course will examine the way mathematics and statistics are talked about in shaping public policy and opinion. Specifically, we will look at the use of polling in national elections, statistics as justification for public policy related to environmental, social, and scientific policy, and public perceptions of STEM vs the humanities. Students will critically examine how numbers are used to justify certain actions and influence public culture by looking at the philosophy of mathematics and nature of knowledge, the philosophy of algorithms and artificial intelligence, and the communication of probability and risk. The course is recommended for students who wish to improve their communication skills that rely on data, as well as those who plan to pursue a career in science, public policy or advocacy that relies on mathematics and data aggregation to shape its findings.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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