400 Freshmen Pass Computer Exam

Three-Fourths of Class Takes Test

About three-quarters of the freshman class has visited the Science Center computer room to try passing the computer portion of the Core quantitative reasoning requirement, and nearly 400 have been successful.

Andrew M. Gleason, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy and coordinator of the requirement, said last week, "I feel optimistic about the statistics but also mildy apprehensive" because a large number of freshmen have not yet tried to fulfill the requirement, which calls on students to write and run a simple computer program.

Only about 50 freshmen have signed up for the first of a series of two-week mini-courses which cover the material tested by the computer requirement, Thomas S. Reeve '82, who coordinates computer room operations, said yesterday.

Most freshmen have learned the topics covered on the test by reading a guide available in the Science Center computer room, Reeve added.

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"The computer test is designed more to get you familiar with the computer room than to teach proficiency," one freshman who passed the requirement said yesterday, adding that computer breakdowns during the first week of school forced many students to start their programs over again.

The computer requirement--which freshmen can also fulfill by taking Natural Sciences 110, "Automatic Computing,"--constitutes half of the Core quantitative reasoning requirement, which all freshmen must fulfill by the end of this academic year.

About 400 freshmen last week took a data test to fulfill the other half of the Core requirement, and nearly 300 passed, Gleason said.

Freshmen will have three more opportunities during the semester to take the data test, which covers presentation of data, probability, statistics and relationships between variables, Deborah Hughes Hallett, senior preceptor in Mathematics, said yesterday.


Students can fulfill both halves of the quantitative reasoning requirement by taking Quantitative Reasoning A, a new course similar to the old Mathematics B which covers elementary computer programming and data analysis.

About 90 freshmen are taking Quantitative Reasoning A this semester, Hallett said, adding that she expects a much larger enrollment next semester, when the course will be repeated