ECON 2503 - Intermediate Mathematical Economics II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course concentrates on the mathematical methods that are required to understand current economics and to investigate economic models. Topics may include optimisation with and without constraints; linear models; and advanced matrix algebra.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 2503
    Course Intermediate Mathematical Economics II
    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 ECON 2005
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 1004, ECON 1010 or equivalent
    Assessment Typically, two tests and exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Yaping Shan

    Office hours: Wednesday 2pm-4pm
    Office location: Nexus 10, Level 3, Room 3.25

    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 To develop skills to study linear systems
    2 To develop skills to study more realistic and complex nonlinear systems
    3 To develop skills to solve maximization or minimization of a function of several variables in which the variables are constrained by equalities and inequalities
    4 Learn mathematics for dynamic system
    5 To develop abilities to interpret and to explain mathematical results and formulae in various contexts of economics and finance
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,3,4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4,5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3,5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Simon, Carl P and Lawrence Blume. Mathematics for Economists. Norton, 1994.
    Recommended Resources
    “Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics” by Kevin Wainwright and Alpha C. Chiang, McGraw-Hill, 2004 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 lectures.

    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 (study textbook and notes 4 hours per week, prepare tutorial assignments 5 hours per week), studying this subject outside contact hours.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topics Chapters
    1 Systems of Linear Equations 7.1-7.4
    2 Matrix Algebra 8.1, 8.2, 8.4
    3 Determinants 9.1-9.3
    4 Functions of Several Variables, Total Derivative 14.1-14.4
    5 The Chain Rule, Directional Derivative and Gradients 14.5-14.6
    6 Higher-order Derivatives 14.8
    Mid-Semester Break
    7 Implicit Functions and Their Derivatives 15.1-15.4
    8 Quadratic Forms and Definite Matrices 16.1-16.3
    9 Unconstrained Optimization 17.1-17.5
    10 Constrained Optimization I 18.1-18.7
    11 Constrained Optimization II 19.1-19.2
    12 Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors 23.1-23.3
    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.
  • 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
    The grading scheme for this course, is as follows:

    Mid-Semester Test 20%
    Final Exam 60%
    Tutorial Assignments 20%
    Assessment Detail
    Mid-Semester Test (week 6)
    Date: TBA
    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. 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 80% of theoverall grade.

    Tutorial Assignment
    Tutorial assignment will be available to download from MyUni on a weekly basis, beginning with week 1. The Due date is 4pm Thursday each week. Solutions to each assignment will be discussed during the tutorial session.

    Tutorial assignment should be neat, tidy, preferably stapled. A standard cover sheet should be included for each assignment. The cover sheet can be found at:

    Please use lined paper or graph paper. Pencil or pen, are both acceptable for Tutorial assignments.
    The Tutorial assignments have to be handed in at the Professions Student Support Hub, located at Nexus 10 (corner Pultney Street and North Terrace), and will be returned to you in the following week. Electronic submission is not acceptable. 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.

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