Publication Date



How many instructors does it take for amazing course design? Or perhaps we should begin with “A mathematician, humanist, communication expert and statistician walk into a bar.” This unlikely team has co-developed a pair of courses, Learning to Reason I: Art and Quotient and Learning to Reason II: Commerce and Flux, that deeply investigate quantitative reasoning from multiple perspectives. Blending elements of rhetoric, logic, and history with mathematical computation, representation, and application breaks through the perceived barriers between the unyielding, obstinate world of mathematics and the ambiguous, equivocal world of the humanities. Developing the courses as an interdisciplinary team of mathematicians and humanists has brought together multiple ways of reasoning and habits of mind that present students with experiences in critical thinking involving both numbers and words. These innovative courses investigate such diverse topics as the history of mathematics, ethics and statistics, mathematical art, logical fallacies, fun with spreadsheets, personal economics, communicating quantitatively, and even origami. These courses also provide an alternative mathematics pathway for students in our programs for which calculus is not required. This paper will examine this unique interdisciplinary course development experience that uses an asynchronous online modality to deliver content to students around the world.