Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

MATH 108 Quantitative Literacy

Spring 2012


The course is an introduction to mathematical literacy addressing basic

quantitative skills, and may be viewed as either preparation for more

advanced mathematics (and finance) courses, or as the necessary exposure to

mathematics required in a traditional liberal-arts education curriculum. The

focus in on the setting up, and on the conceptual understanding, of

elementary mathematical models, and on how they can be applied to a variety

of real world problems.


The course will discuss: linear functions and models, selected nonlinear

functions, matrices, optimization techniques, financial mathematics, random

variables and statistics.


Students will understand the usefulness of mathematical modeling in a

variety of disciplines within the life sciences, the social sciences, and

business. Students will learn how to represent and interpret quantitative

information symbolically, graphically, numerically, verbally, and in written

form; how to find the optimal product mix for a company given a fixed

availability of resources; how to compute interests; how to characterize a

collection of data; how to perform statistical studies; how to examine the

linear relation between two variables; how to frame decision-making with

mathematical models.


Finite Mathematics, 5th International Edition, Waner and Costenoble, Brooks Cole 

                   Publisher, ISBN 978-0-538-73451-6 or 0-538-73451-5








There will be 4 tests - each of them represents 15% of the final grade. The

final examination (comprehensive) is worth 30%, and 10% is represented by

assignments and class participation:

4 Tests...................................................60%

Final Exam ...........................................30%

Assignments and Class Participation ....10%


The grade scale is as follows:

A: 90%-100% (The student demonstrates complete, accurate, and critical knowledge of all the topics, is able to make

appropriate connections among different parts of the subject matter, uses the appropriate language and terminology

correctly and rigorously and is autonomous in his study)

B: 80%-89% (The student has a somewhat accurate knowledge of the subject matter and uses clear logic in his/her


C: 70%-79% (The student has the essential knowledge of the subject matter, understands the topics, and can express

it in a simple language)

D: 60%-69% (The student has a superficial, mnemonic knowledge of the subject matter, is uncertain and makes errors

in the presentations)

F: below 60% (At best, the students has a superficial knowledge of some of the topics discussed in the course. He

makes serious errors in the presentations).

Numerically, the final grade is computed as follows: G=0.15 T1 + 0.15 T2 + 0.15 T3 + 0.15 T4 + 0.3 F + 0.1 H,

where G is the final grade, T1 the score in the first test, T2 the score in the second test, T3 the score in the third

test, T4 the score in the fourth test, F the score in the final, H the average score in the homework and class

participation. The conversion between numerical grade and letter grade is described by the following table:

A 100 - 94

A- 93 - 90

B+ 89 - 87

B  86 - 83

B- 82 - 80

C+ 79 - 77

C  76 - 73

C- 72 - 70

D+ 69 - 67

D  66 - 63

D- 62 - 60

F  59 - 0


Cheating is not tolerated (please see the University Catalogue for the policy regarding

academic dishonesty).

Coming late to class or leaving early will be possible only with permission of the instructor.


No make-up exams will be given.


Attendance will contribute to the final grade. Full credit for attendance will be given to people

with two or fewer unexcused absences. Three or more absences will result with a proportional

reduction of the grade.


               Week 1: ALGEBRA REVIEW: 0.1 Real numbers. 0.2 Exponents and radicals.

                Week 2: 0.3 Multiplying and factoring algebraic expressions. 0.5 Solving

                             polynomial equations. TEST 1.

                Week 3: 0.7 The coordinate plane. FUNCTIONS AND MODELS. 1.1 Functions

                             from the numerical, algebraic, and graphical viewpoints. 1.2 Functions

                             and models.

                Week 4: 1.3 Linear functions and models. 1.4 Linear regression. TEST 2.

                Week 5: Nonlinear functions: exponential and logarithm function. SYSTEMS OF

                             LINEAR EQUATIONS AND MATRICES. 2.1. System of two equations in

                             two unknowns.

                Week 6: 2.2 Using matrices to solve systems of equations. 2.3 Applications of

                             systems of linear equations.

                Week 7: MATRIX ALGEBRA AND APPLICATIONS. 3.1 Matrix addition and scalar

                             multiplication. 3.2 Matrix multiplication.

                Week 8. 3.3 Matrix inversion. 3.4 Game theory.

                Week 9: TEST 3. 3.5 Input-output models. LINEAR PROGRAMMING. 4.1 Graphing

                              linear inequalities.

                Week 10: 4.2 Solving linear programming problems graphically. THE

                               MATHEMATICS OF FINANCE. 5.1 Simple interest.

                Week 11: 5.2 Compound interest. TEST 4. RANDOM VARIABLES AND

                               STATISTICS. 8.1 Random variables and distributions.

                Week 12: 8.3 Measures of central tendency. 8.4 Measures of dispersion.

                Week 13: 8.5 Normal distribution. Rudiments of inferential statistics.