Trinity Treasure

Aetna Quantitative Center

math classroom
Photo by Nick Caito

Nestled in room 172 of the Roy Nutt Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science Center (MECC) is Trinity College’s Aetna Quantitative Center—or Q-Center—established in 1987 with a grant from the Aetna Life and Casualty Foundation. Among the primary functions of the Q-Center, directed by Lecturer in Mathematics Kaitlyn Gingras, is to administer Trinity’s Quantitative Literacy Requirement, which includes assessing the quantitative literacy of all first-year students and overseeing their progress in mastering the mathematical skills needed to advance through the curriculum. The Q-Center also offers the semester-long QLIT 101 course, focusing on numerical and algebraic relationships and how college algebra can be applied to life, and provides peer-tutoring services, with about 15 tutors per semester staffing walk-in hours five days a week (one-on-one appointments unfortunately were scuttled temporarily by the pandemic). Gingras says that she “strongly believes” in peer tutoring. “I think students are more likely to pay attention to someone who has been through it before, and I feel that students do a better job breaking down the difficult areas for their peers,” she says, adding, “There are advantages for the tutors as well, as it is shown that you are more likely to solidify your own understanding of the material after explaining it to someone else.”

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