ECON 1005 - Introduction to Mathematical Economics I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

The course is intended for students without sufficient SACE Stage 2 Maths who wish to obtain knowledge of mathematical techniques suitable for economic analysis. It assumes very little prerequisite knowledge. The approach is informal and aims to show students how to do and apply the mathematics they require for a successful study of economics. Economic applications are considered although this course aims to teach the mathematics not the economics. Topics covered include basic algebra, simple finance, calculus and matrix algebra.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 1005
    Course Introduction to Mathematical Economics I
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible MATHS 1009, MATHS 1010, MATHS 1013, MATHS 1011 and MATHS 1012. Not available to students with a satisfactory level of achievement in SACE Stage 2 Math Methods, Math Studies, Specialist Math or equivalent. Not permitted after ECON 1010.
    Restrictions Not suitable for BCompSc, BCompGraphics or BEng(Software Engineering) students
    Assessment Typically assignments, mid-Semester test & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Yaping Shan

    Dr Yaping Shan
    Location: Room 3.36, Level 3 Nexus 10 (10 Pulteney St)
    Telephone: 8313 2068
    Office hours: Friday 11:15am - 12:30pm

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Develop analytical skills.
    2. Develop organizational skills.
    3. Develop both independent learning and group work skills.
    4. Develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
    5. Successfully use mathematics in economics and business applications.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Ian Jacques, Mathematics for Economics and Business (9th edition) Prentice Hall

    Students will also need a calculator with the following functions:
    (i) logarithmic function
    (ii) exponential function
    (iii) nth roots
    (iv) nth powers
    Recommended Resources

    “Mathematics for Economists”, by Carl P. Simon and Lawrence Blume (Norton), 2nd Edition

    "Schaum's Outline of Introduction to Mathematical Economics", by Dowling Edward T., 3ed Edition.
    Online Learning

    The course makes extensive use of MyUni for purposes including the posting of lecture notes, lecture recordings, tutorial exercises, assignments, and important announcements. The discussion board there is considered an important method of communication. 

    Lecture recordings will be made available online. Students should be aware that there may be occasional instances where lecture recording fails due to technical issues.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course is divided into a lecture component and a tutorial component. The lecture covers the key concepts of a particular topic to complement the text. Tutorials will consolidate your understanding of course material by working through problems similar to those in the lecture.

    Lectures will be recorded and copies of the lecture recordings will be placed on MyUni, within 24 hours of completion of the lecture, when possible. Please note, sometimes, through technical difficulties, the lecture may not be recorded. This is beyond the control of the lecturer. Should this occur, an announcement will be placed on MyUni.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one tutorial class each week.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The workload for a 3 unit course is 12 hours per week. Given that there are 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorials each week, students are expected to spend 9 hours per week, studying this subject outside contact hours.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Teaching & Learning Activities Related Learning Outcomes
    Lectures 1-5
    Tutorials 1,3,5

    Lecture Schedule
    Week Topics Chapters
    1 Linear equations 1.3 to 1.5
    2 Quadratic functions 2.1, 2.2
    3 Indices (powers, exponents) and logarithms, the exponential and natural logarithm functions 2.3, 2.4
    4 Mathematics of Finance I 3.1 to 3.2
    5 Mathematics of Finance II 3.3
    6 Differentiation, Mid-Semester Test 4.1
    Mid-Semester Break
    7 Rules of Differentiation 4.2, 4.3
    8 Further Rules of Differentiation 4.4 to 4.5
    9 Optimisation of economic functions 4.6 to 4.8
    10 Partial Differentiation 5.1 to 5.3
    11 Optimisation 5.4, 5.6
    12 Matrices  7.1 to 7.3
    Note: Every effort shall be made by the lecturer to adhere to this timetable. However, in the event that students require different times on topics, the lecturer will amend this timetable at his discretion.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will be put into groups of about 4-5 to complete a group project. The aim of the activity is to help students understand the role of mathematics in everyday economic life
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task  Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Mid-term Exam

    Week 6

    20% 1,5
    Final Exam Week TBA 50% 1,5
    Tutorial Assignments (the best 8 of 10 grades) (individual work) Weekly 25% 1,2,5
    SGDE project Week 10 5% 1,3,4,5
    Total 100%

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.
    Weekly tutorial assignments - 50%
    Final Exam - Take Home - 50%
    Assessment Detail

    Mid-Semester Test (week 6):
    This will be of 50 minutes duration taken under exam conditions. Topics to be covered in the Mid-Semester Test will be discussed by the lecturer during lecture time in the week’s preceding the test. The midterm test is redeemable, which means that if the grade you
    obtained for the final examination is higher than the one you obtained  for the midterm, the final examination grade will account for 70% of  your overall grade. Failure to sit the midterm examination will result in receiving zero points, whether a medical certificate is provided or not. The grade of the final examination will then account for 70% of the overall grade.

    Tutorial Assignment:
    Tutorial assignment will be available to download from MyUni on a weekly basis, beginning with week 1. Solutions to each assignment will be discussed during the tutorial session. The best 8 of 10 assignments will be counted for the final grade. Please use lined paper or graph paper. Pencil or pen, are both acceptable for Tutorial assignments.


    The Tutorial assignments have to be submitted online. Late papers will not be accepted, as it is unfair to students who submit their work on time. Failure to hand in an assignment on time will lead to a zero mark.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Additional Assessment

    If a student receives 45-49 for their final mark for the course they will automatically be granted an additional assessment. This will most likely be in the form of a new exam (Additional Assessment) and will have
    the same weight as the original exam unless an alternative requirement (for example a hurdle requirement) is stated in this semester’s Course Outline. If, after replacing the original exam mark with the new exam
    mark, it is calculated that the student has passed the course, they will receive 50 Pass as their final result for the course (no higher) but if the calculation totals less than 50, their grade will be Fail and
    the higher of the original mark or the mark following the Additional Assessment will be recorded as the final result.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.