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Mathematical Methods for Economists I: AMS 11A/ECON 11A
Fall 2011
MWF 9:30-10:40AM
Lecture/Exam Dates    Cheating   Useful Info

ECON/AMS 11A - Mathematical Methods for Economists, I - is an introduction to differential calculus in one variable, and its applications to economics. The course begins with a very brief review of some important precalculus topics and an equally brief introduction to mathematical modeling. Differential calculus itself begins with the mathematical concept of a limit. We use limits to define the important concepts of continuity and differentiability, and we learn to compute the derivatives of the functions that we commonly use to model economic variables, i.e., polynomials, power functions, exponential functions, logarithm functions, and combinations of these functions. Other technical topics include implicit differentiation, Taylor polynomials and Taylor approximation. While mastering the technical aspects of differentiation, we also learn how differential calculus is applied to economics. Applications include marginal analysis, elasticity, and optimization in one variable.

This course is followed by ECON/AMS 11B, which covers integral calculus in one variable and differential calculus in several variables.

Textbook: Introductory Mathematical Analysis for Business, Economics and the Life and Social Sciences, 13th edition (required), by Haeussler, Paul and Wood. Available at Bay Tree Bookstore.

Lecture Dates (subject to change) and Exam Dates (not subject to change)

9/23-9/28    Introduction and review (Chapters 3 and 4)
9/30-10/5    Limits and Continuity (Sections 10.1-10.3)
10/7-10/12    Derivative and Rules for Differentiation ( Sections 11.1-11.2)
10/14-10/19  Derivative as a Rate of Change. Product and Quotient Rule (11.3-11.4)
10/20             Review section 1 (Thursday)
10/21             Exam 1
10/24-10/31  Chain Rule; Derivative of Log and Exponential functions (11.5, 12.1-12.2)
11/2-11/7       Elasticity of Demand. Implicit Differentiation (Section 12.3-12.4)
11/9-11/14     Higher order derivatives and Taylor Polynomials
11/15              Review section 2 (Tuesday)
11/16              Exam 2
11/18-11/21   Extreme Values. Critical Points (Sections 13.1-13.2)
11/23-11/28   Concavity. Second-Derivative Test (Sections 13.3-13.4)
11/30-12/2     Applied Maxima and Minima (Section 13.6)
12/1                Review section 3 (on Thursday)
12/7                Final exam (4:00pm-7:00pm)

CHEATING

CHEATING IN ANY FORM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. CHEATING DEVALUES EVERYONE'S GRADES - YOU SHOULDN'T TOLERATE IT EITHER
• STUDENTS WHO HELP OTHERS CHEAT ARE ALSO CHEATERS.
• STUDENTS CAUGHT CHEATING WILL BE DROPPED FROM THE COURSE AND RECEIVE A FAILING GRADE.
• SUCH STUDENTS WILL ALSO BE REPORTED TO THE ECONOMICS AND/OR AMS DEPARTMENTS AND TO THEIR COLLEGE PROVOST.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

11A covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time. To do well in the class, I recommend the following:

1. Attend the lectures.
2. Go to section each week for additional help and review.
3. Read the book and the lecture notes (the Course Material link):
• Read the relevant sections before the material is covered in class. You don't need to understand every word the first time you read it, but you should take note of the new concepts and techniques that are introduced.
• Re-read the material again after the material has been covered in class. Read actively this time: take notes and try to work out the examples on your own, then compare your work to the work in the text.
• Re-read the material once again when you work on the homework.
4. Study in one to two hour blocks, five or six days a week. Don't cram all your studying into one or two days a week. All in all, you should spend between 8 and 12 hours a week studying for this course, outside of class. (This is a 5-unit course, and the university expects the average student to spend about 15 hours a week in total on each such course.)
5. Form a small (3-4 students) study group, and spend several hours a week studying together. This is especially useful for drilling the technical stuff (like computing derivatives, solving equations, etc.)
6. Use all the resources:
• Go to Section for review and to see solutions to previous homework assignments.
• Go to office hours - mine or the TAs' - for additional help.
• Go to MSI - for more one-on-one support.
7. Try to solve as many problems as possible from the textbook (at least 25 per week). 10 homework
problems are not enough. Compare your homework solutions to my solutions posted under the link "Homework" to learn from your mistakes.

There are no miracles - the more you study and the more effectively you study, the better you will do.

Your grade in this class is determined by your scores on the homework, quizzes, two midterm exams and the final exam as described below. There are no extra-credit options, and everyone is graded the same way. As I mentioned above, there are no miracles - you need to study hard all quarter long to do well.

Your overall score in the class in the class is computed as follows:

• The average of your 7 highest homework scores comprises 5% of your overall score in the class.
• The average of your scores in quizzes comprises 15% of your overall score.
• The higher of your two midterm scores comprises 25% of your overall score.
• The lower of your two midterm scores comprises 15% of your overall score.
• Your score on the (comprehensive) final exam comprises the remaining 40% of your overall score.

Please note that your exam scores are not `curved' and I don't assign letter grades to exams. I use the raw scores to compute your overall score in the class (which is also not `curved'), and only then do I assign letter grades. Your letter grade is determined by your overall score according to the following (approximate) ranges:

 A- to A+ 90 - 100 B- to B+ 78 - 89 C to C+ 65 - 77 D 50 - 64 F 0 - 49

There are small variations in these ranges from time to time (up to 1% in either direction), and intangible factors like improvement throughout the quarter can help in borderline cases, especially on the D/C border. Please note that there is no C- grade at UCSC and that if you are taking the course P/NP, then you need to earn the equivalent of a C or better to pass.

Instructor: Dr.-Ing. Dejan Milutinović
Office Hours: Mon & Wed 11:00-12:00pm, Thu 3:00-4:00pm
Email: dejan@soe.ucsc.edu

Teaching Assistant: Claire Walton
Office Hours: TBD
Sections: Wed 5:00-6:10pm, J Baskin Engr 165
Wed 6:30-7:40pm, J Baskin Engr 165
Email: cwalton@soe.ucsc.edu

Teaching Assistant: Julissa Martinez
Office Hours: TBD
Sections: Mon 3:30-4:40pm, Oakes Acad 102
Tue 6:00-7:10pm, J Baskin Engr 165
Tue 7:30 - 8:40pm, J Baskin Engr 165
Email:julissa@soe.ucsc.edu