During my degree course in the early 1980s, there was one module that struck fear into most geography undergraduates. It had the added sting of being compulsory – and it appeared on the timetable with the (deliberately?) understated title ‘QM’. This, we soon found out, stood for Quantitative Methods.
Few of us had been expecting a hefty dose of mathematics to feature in our degree – but we were catching the tail end of the ‘quantitative revolution’ that had swept through many subjects in the preceding decade. Many of us were left baffled – even though in later years I found myself teaching some of the very same material that had by then filtered down to ‘A’ Level.
One thing that did stick in the mind, however, was Confidence Levels. It made sense to me that thresholds for sampled correlations could be higher in the field of Physical Geography (99%)…
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