Syllabus for LSP-121

Joseph (Yosef) Mendelsohn


Summary of the course

In this course, students will continue the study of issues in the sciences, social sciences, and management in which quantitative data plays a significant role.  This second course in QRTL, however, will emphasize more the role of computer technology.  Extensive use will be made of computer tools such as Access, PASW/SPSS, programming environments, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the Internet.


Required materials

Please bring a flash disk (thumb drive) to every class.  Please label with your name and e-mail address in case it becomes misplaced.


Textbooks and printed resources

All materials for this course will come from in-class notes and lectures.





LSP 121 is a Liberal Studies requirement for freshman and transfer students that entered DePaul University on or after the Autumn quarter 2006.  When taking LSP 121, you may “reduce by one the number of courses they must take to meet their Learning Domain Area requirements. This course reduction can come from any one of the six Learning Domains, as long as the student still takes at least one course from each Domain and as long as the student still completes the laboratory and quantitative requirements in the Scientific Inquiry area.” 


If you feel you already know the materials presented in this course, there is a placement exam you may take.  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 website (look under ‘LSP-121’) for more details.




1.     Course web page:  Everything comes from here.

2.     Course Online (COL) – see link at top of course web page

3.     Office Hours (see below for times & locations)

4.     Tutoring – see link at top of course web page

5.     Discussion Group – access this group via COL – not in all quarters

6.     Software resources and useful websites:  See ‘Resources’ from the course web page


1.  The course web page:

Your one-stop-shop for this course. 

See link above.



        Course documents

        Lecture notes (PowerPoint slides)

        Assignments are submitted via COL (Course Online)


Lecture notes:  Notes and files for each lecture will be posted at least one day before lecture.  However, please note that I reserve the right to make updates at any time. I would recommend that you print out the lecture slides (if you choose to) no earlier than the day before lecture.  They will typically be in Powerpoint format. If you don’t have PowerPoint, you can download a free viewer here.



Eco-Friendly Statistics:

I definitely recommend printing slides so that you can take notes during lecture as needed. However, you can save paper by printing 6 slides on a page, as follows:

        Select File→Print.

        Under “Print what”, select Handouts.

        Select 6 slides.

        I strongly recommend that you print out the presentations ahead of time and bring them to class with you. This will enable you to scribble quick notes or “star” important concepts, etc. 



2.  What is Course Online (COL)?

COL is the method by which Distance Learning (DL) students take the course. However, it is also an important resource for in-class students as this is where you will be sumitting your assignments.


COL is used to:

1.     View the lectures for DL students (sometimes available to in-class students as well) 

2.     Submit assignments

3.     Receive grades and grader feedback

4.     Engage in discussion groups


Login with your CampusConnect ID and password.



3. Office Hours:

·       See this page.



4. Tutoring:  Free – make use of it!  See link to the tutoring page at the top of the course web page. QRC offers its own tutors. The only exception is in the summer when it is possible that specific QRC tutors may not be available.



5. Class Discussion Group:  Some people have found such groups very helpful in the past. I would encourage my DL students in particular to try it out.  From COL click on the Collaboration Tools menu and then go to Collaboration Sites -> View My Collaboration Sites. Discussion groups will typically only be made available when courses are being recorded for distance learning. I will discuss this in class.



6. Required software and other resources:  You will need to make use of several of the resources listed at the top of the class web page.




Please remember that anything you do in the classroom directly affects people around you.  Doing any of the following is distracting and disrespectful to your classmates and your instructor.  This includes:

·       Walking in to class late / Leaving class early (unless discussed with the instructor ahead of time)

·       Exiting the class during lecture (try to go to the bathroom, etc before class!)

·       Checking cell phones / blackberrys / pdas for texts, incoming calls, e-mails, etc

·       Surfing the web


Contacting me:


I will be much more willing to go over code, assignments, etc during office hours than via e-mail. 


When e-mailing me, it is very important that you include your name and section number (not course number) in the subject. I have a pretty stringent spam-filter on my e-mail, so if you don’t do this, your e-mail may well end up missed in my spam folder.

Eg:  Subject: Jon Stewart, 702, question on assignment #2




All assignments are submitted via Course Online (see above).

All assignments are due 10 minutes before class time.

Late assignments and activities will NOT be accepted.

I have to be strict on this rule in order to be fair to all students. However, you do get to drop one activity and one assignment. If all are submitted, then your lowest score for each will be dropped.


Due Dates/Times:

Assignments and activities will be posted almost every lecture with the following submission requirements:

-        Activities:  Due the same day as the lecture, at 11:59 on COL. Please note that COL will not accept submissions after 11:59. It is up to you to make sure that you submit no later than that time.

-        Assignments:  Due the day of the next lecture at 11:59 on COL. 


Grading Breakdown:

·       In-class activities (lowest is dropped): 25%

·       Assignments: 25%

·       Midterm Exam: 20%

·       Final Exam: 30%



Grading Scale:





93 or above


73 - 76


90 - 92

A -

70 - 72

C -

87 - 89

B +

67 - 69

D +

83 - 86


60 - 66


80 - 82

B -

less than 60


77 - 79

C +






Attendance for tests is mandatory and makeups will not be offered. A score of 0 will be recorded if a test is missed without prior consultation. The only exceptions considered will be medical absences, and these must be documented by a physician's note.


A combined average of pass (60%) must be achieved on the midterm and final exams in order to pass the course.


In-Class Activities:

Class attendance and participation are important. Most of the class time will be spent working on exploratory activities that embody a "learn by doing" approach.  If you don’t complete an activity for a given session, you have until the end of the next class period from which the activity was handed out to submit the activity for credit. 


University/CDM Policies:

Online Instructor Evaluation

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 two weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online at



Email is the primary means of communication between faculty and students enrolled in this course outside of class time. Students should be sure their email listed under "demographic information" at is correct.


Academic Integrity Policy

Violations of academic integrity, particularly plagiarism, are not tolerated. Plagiarism is defined by the university as:

“..a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following: 

a. The direct copying of any source, such as written and verbal material, computer files, audio disks, video programs or musical scores, whether published or unpublished, in whole or part, without proper acknowledgement that it is someone else's.

b. Copying of any source in whole or part with only minor changes in wording or syntax, even with acknowledgement. This includes materials from another student – even if the student’s permission was given.

c. Submitting as one's own work a report, examination paper, computer file, lab report or other assignment that has been prepared by someone else. This includes research papers purchased from any other person or agency.

d. The paraphrasing of another's work or ideas without proper acknowledgement.

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion. Actions taken by the instructor do not preclude the college or the university from taking further punitive action including dismissal from the university” (DePaul Student Handbook).

University policies on academic integrity will be strictly adhered to. Consult the DePaul University Student website for further details.



An incomplete grade is given only for an exceptional reason such as a death in the family, a serious illness, etc. Any such reason must be documented. Any incomplete request must be made at least two weeks before the final, and approved by the Dean of the College of Computing and Digital Media. Any consequences resulting from a poor grade for the course will not be considered as valid reasons for such a request.