College of Science and Health > About > Centers & Institutes > Quantitative Reasoning Center > About


The purpose of the Quantitative Reasoning Center at DePaul University is to help DePaul students to become confident and critical users of quantitative information of all kinds. It directly supports the course LSP 120 Quantitative Reasoning and supports the development of quantitative skills across the curriculum. 

It consists of

  • 25 networked computers
  • student tutors
  • technical coordinator
  • program coordinator

The program addresses the growing need for quantitative and computer literacy in response to the enormous expansion in the use of quantitative methods and information in the social and physical sciences as well as civic life. The use and misuse of quantitative information in public policy and scientific issues are particularly emphasized; students are taught to recognize the limitations of the quantitative methods as well as the insights they provide.

The characteristics of the course are

  • Emphasis is on reasoning
  • Context is interdisciplinary
  • Technology is an integral part of course
  • Active learning is emphasized
  • Faculty share across disciplines

Students learn by working with data sets from many different disciplines, such as psychology, environmental science, economics, finance, sociology, history. Students write critiques of quantitative arguments, gather data and present arguments of their own.

Students are introduced to spreadsheets (Excel), word processors (Word), presentation software (PowerPoint), email, and the internet in all sections. Specific quantitative skills that are addressed include:

  • Estimation
  • Percentage Change
  • Proportional Reasoning
  • Scaling
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Simple Mathematical Models (linear, exponential)

The course is taught by instructors from many disciplines; psychology, communication, geography, history as well as mathematics and computer science faculty have recently taught or are planning to teach a section. The course is a prerequisite to the Science Inquiry Domain courses in the Liberal Studies Program. It provides a solid foundation upon which subsequent courses in the disciplines and the Liberal Studies Program can and must necessarily build.

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