Introduction to Quantitative Methods EC408

This course refers to the Academic Year 2014/2015

The link to the official page of the course is available here.

The course, given by Dr Thomas Sampson for the Math section and Dr Greg Fischer for the Stat section, is an introduction to basic mathematical and statistical concepts for use in MPA courses in economics and quantitative approaches. The course covers the following topics: Mathematics – Linear functions, quadratic, logarithmic and exponential functions, the derivative of a function and rules of differentiation, unconstrained optimization with one variable, functions of several variables and their differentiation, unconstrained optimization with several variables, constrained optimization; Statistics – Discrete and continuous random variables, jointly distributed random variables, the Normal distribution, sampling and the Central Limit Theorem, properties of estimators, introduction to hypothesis testing.

In the course of these classes we aim to revise key mathematical and statistical concepts used in social sciences and provide you with an essential preparation for EC440, EC455 and many other MPA courses. You will attend ten lectures of two hours each. Five maths lectures, five statistics and sixone hour classes. A one hour exam will be taken at the end of the course – bear in mind that the exam does not count towards your final grade, but will be used in advising you on suitable option choices.

Concerning the Math part: you are encouraged to use the lecture slides as main course reference (including Can Celiktemur’s detailed course notes from 2012 also available on Moodle). For further background reading use the introductory mathematics textbook of your choice or try:

  •  Jacques, Mathematics for Economics and Business (5th edition);
  •  Wisniewski, Introductory Mathematical Methods in Economics (2nd edition);
  •  Simon and Blume, Mathematics for Economists.

Class 1: the first creative element was to get you to introduce yourselves and group up.

Class 2: the second creative element links up this course, where we learn to use Mathematics, a universal language, to another universal language… these pictures come from Steve McCurry’s website.

Class 3: the third creative element aims to show you that we really need Math, not only in Economics but also in… guiding a ship in open seas!

Class 4: it might be useful a quick reference to marginal, joint and conditional probabilities, find here an explanation and a fully worked out example.

Class 5: a very important website for all of those interested in development and, hence, development data.

Class 6: my greetings with a nice picture – “the serenity of the scholar” by Giorgio De Chirico, one of my favourite painters.