LSP 121 Quantitative Reasoning and Technological Literacy II

Joanna Deszcz

Office: SAC 288
Winter 2019-2020
Class number: 22363
Section number: 204
MW 2:40PM - 4:10PM
LEVAN 00306 Lincoln Park Campus
Course homepage:


Course Description

This course provides more advanced mathematical and computational methods in the analysis and interpretation of quantitative information. Topics include databases, descriptive statistics, measures of association and their interpretation, elementary probability theory, and an introduction to algorithms and computer programming. The course is taught in a hands-on laboratory environment where students are introduced to advanced computer tools for data analysis, including databases and a professional statistical software package.

Course Objectives

This Quantitative Reasoning and Technological Literacy course is designed to help you to become a more confident, critical, and capable user of quantitative information of all kinds. In particular, it will help you to

  • continue to critique quantitative arguments, whether given numerically, graphically, or in written form
  • manipulate data via the creation and use of relational databases
  • become acquainted with basic descriptive statistics and probability
  • understand the basic concepts of algorithm creation
  • continue the manipulation of discrete data via compression, error detection, and encryption


Learning Outcomes for LSP 121 (QRTL):

  1. Statistics: Students will be able to make and interpret frequency distributions; summarize data with measures of center and dispersion; measure and interpret the association between variables; recognize the difference between correlation and causation; solve applied problems involving the normal distribution and z-scores.
  2. Probability and Chance: Students will be able to recognize that seemingly improbably coincidences are not uncommon; evaluate risk from available evidence; and calculate basic, common probabilities.
  3. Algorithms and reasoning: Students will be able to use sequential, logical thinking; develop algorithms to solve problems; use Boolean conditionals and repetition structures to create simple computer programs.
  4. Database tools: Students will be able to enter data into a pre-existing database; import data from a text file or spreadsheet file into a database; filter records based on a single parameter and on multiple parameters; sort records with multiple sort keys; formulate and conduct queries; generate a report from a database; recognize the difference between a flat file and a relational database; create a relational database using two or more tables; construct a query for a relational database using joins; design and implement forms for data entry.
  5. Professional Statistical Package: Students will be able to import data from a spreadsheet or database into a statistics package; use graphical tools in a statistical package to make specialized statistics plots such as box plots and normal probability plots; calculate descriptive summary statistics using a statistical package.
  6. Programming tools: Students will be able to construct the concept of algorithm through experimentation and reflection on everyday activities; articulate an accurate definition of an algorithm; recognize algorithms fitting the definition; construct the notion of a control structure and a repetition structure; acquire the ability to trace simple program listings using control and repetition structures; use control and repetition structures to write simple computer programs to effect a task.


How These Learning Outcomes Will Be Met:

  1. Statistics: Team assignment 101, 102, 103
  2. Probability: Team assignment 104, Individual assignment 2
  3. Algorithms and reasoning: Team assignment 107, Individual assignment 4
  4. Database tools: Team assignment 105, 106, Individual assignment 3
  5. Professional statistical package: Team assignment 102, Individual assignment 1
  6. Programming tools: Team assignment 107, Individual assignment 4


Writing Expectations (these assignments overlap with those given in LSP 120)

Seven computer activities each of which has a final product in the form of a Word document with five to ten short paragraph responses. Six class assignments with approximately 10 short paragraph responses.

How These Writing Expectations Will Be Met

All team and individual assignments require the students to answer questions using appropriate communication techniques, including short paragraph answers.



There is no required textbook for this class.

Students will need the following electronic resources:

  • A place to store your work (Flash drive, cloud account). If you bring a flash drive to class, please make sure that it is labeled with your name and email address, inside and outside.
  • Access to the software (personal or from DePaul Lab) we will be using at the desktop
    • MS-Access (2016 or higher),
    • MS-Word (2016 or higher),
    • MS-Excel (2016 or higher),
    • SPSS (available at DePaul labs and via remote access),
    • file-compression software (e.g. WinZip)
    • pdf reader software (e.g. Adobe Reader)



Date Weight
Exams Feb 3, Feb 26, Mar 16 55%
Individual Homework Assignments Due dates assigned throughout the quarter 20%
Team Assignments Due Weekly 15%
Attendance/Participation Be here, be an active participant 10%
- Letter Grade Scale +
90-92 A 93-97 98-100
80-82 B 83-87 88-89
70-72 C 73-77 78-79
N/A D 60-67 68-69
N/A F <60 N/A

An expanded description of each follows:

  • Exams (55%) There will be three exams. The first two will be given during class time. The third will be given during the final exam time scheduled for this class by DePaul University, specifically Wednesday, March 14th from 8:30 am to 11:45 am. You must complete the third exam during that time.
    • Each of the three exams will cover a different class segment Statistics/Probability, Databases, or Algorithms/Computer Programming.
    • There are no makeup exams in this course. If you cannot take an exam due to illness or family emergency, you must inform me before the exam by email.
    • Students must complete all three exams. Exams are not cumulative.
  • Individual Homework Assignments (20%) During many weeks there will be an assignment to be completed by each student outside of class. The purpose of these assignments is to give individual outside-of-class practice on the skills we are learning and to explore some ideas more thoughtfully and deeply. These assignments also provide the opportunity to complete work similar to exam problems. The assignments will be available on D2L.
    • Assignment due dates are stated on D2L as part of the information about the Dropbox. Any student who submits an assignment after the due date will be assessed a penalty. Late submissions of individual assignments will be accepted for two days after the due date and will lose 20% of the points for that assignment per day (or any portion of a day).
    • NOTE: Homework Assignments must all be submitted via the D2L. I do not accept hard copies of homework assignments. Upon submitting your file, you will receive a confirmation email indicating the file has been uploaded properly. If you do not receive this email, your assignment has not been submitted. Please verify that you do receive an email after each submission as not to incur late submission penalties.
    • Each student submits his/her homework individually. Students who submit work not completed by themselves alone will be subject to plagiarism penalties.
    • Assignment grades along with detailed comments will be posted to D2L.
  • Team Assignments (15%) Each student in this class will be a member of a team assigned on the first day of class. Team assignments will be part of the work completed by all students. These team assignments will be available on D2L in the Dropbox section.
    • Each team assignment submission must include a list of the names of the team members who contributed to the assignment. All team members who contribute to the submitted team assignment, as reported on the contributor list submitted as part of the assignment, will receive the same number of points for that team assignment. Team members not included in the contributor list will receive 0 points for the assignment.
    • All class members will be expected to contribute to team assignments. At the end of the quarter, team members will be asked to evaluate the contributions of their teammates as a part of the grading process.
    • It is up to the team to agree upon how to complete team assignments and it is each persons responsibility to complete work as agreed upon by the team.
    • It may be tempting to divide the work of the team assignment so that each team member completes only a portion of the assignment and the resulting portions are assembled for submission. That is not a good strategy. Each team member should complete the entire team assignment. There are several options for working together on team assignments. Team members may wish to work jointly on a single submission during class "team time". They may also decide that each person will complete the entire assignment independently and collaborate/review each others work to determine the answers that should be submitted for evaluation.
  • Attendance/Participation (10%) Class attendance and participation are important. Your participation grade consists of three elements: your attendance, your contribution to the class discussion and dynamic, and your group work. Participation is an essential element to successful completion of this class.


  • Passing grade in LSP 120 or (MAT 147 or above), or
  • Successful completion of the LSP 120 Proficiency Exam

If you feel that you already know the material presented in this course: There is a placement exam you can take to exempt yourself from this class. You must take this exam within the first week of classes to waive the course this quarter. If you pass this exam, you will be waived from taking this course. Consult the Quantitative Reasoning Center website for more details.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296