ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY
Quantitative Methods in Business and Economics
ECON 2100 D01, CRN 13648 and ECON 2100 W01, CRN 13649
Fall 2013 (4 credits)
Instructor: Bhagyashree Katare
Email: [email protected]
Office hours location: Whitby 318
Class location: Whitby 318
Class time: Mondays 6:00-9:30 pm
Office hours: Mondays 4:30-5:30pm
Or by appointment
In this class we will focus on applied quantitative skills needed in business. Applied business cases will
be used to learn the art of managerial decision-making.
Required Reading: Quantitative Methods for Decision Makers. Fifth Edition. Mik Wisniewski. Prentice
We will be mainly using Microsoft Excel 2010 for data analysis.
Calculator: TI-83 is suggested. Students can bring laptops to the class.
Please see Kateway (https://kateway.stkate.edu) for assignments and topics covered in this course.
On completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Distinguish between various mathematical and statistical techniques and employ them in problem
2. Apply quantitative technique skills in simplifying complex business problems.
3. Use survey methods and data analysis for market research and decision making.
4. Use the above to organize, summarize and analyze the data and present the results.
Final Project: Students are required to complete a final project by the end of this course. The last class of
the course will be dedicated to in-class presentations. Details about the project will be provided and
discussed as the course progresses.
Class Meeting Time: The class time will be mainly dedicated to problem solving. Each class will have a
reading assignment and students are expected to come prepared to the class. As this class meets only once
every week, so it is very important to attend each class. Course notes, homework assignments and
datasets will be uploaded on the class website.
I am always available to answer any questions regarding the material covered in the class, assignments or
the final project. I encourage students to contact me for help whenever they are in need. The best and
fastest way of communicating with me would be through email. I will be happy to meet students outside
of the office hours if required.
Class Schedule and Reading Assignments:
Week 1: 9-Sept-2013: Introduction and warm up
Reading Assignment: Chapter 1 and 2 (pg 20-35)
Learning Objective: Students are able to analyze quantitative information and use quantitative
techniques for problem solving. They are able to apply mathematical operations (eg: fractions,
percentages, proportions) and simple mathematical equations.
Topics: Gap Clothing Store problem (pg 3), The decision making environment and process (pg.
8-9), Cautious of Creating Too Much Complexity (pg. 10), British Telecom (pg. 16). Breakeven
analysis concepts. Discrete, continuous, and attribute variables (pg. 20). Fractions, proportions
and percentages (pg . 21)
Assignment: Construct a decision tree, for example 1 and 2 in the assignment1.pdf
Exercises 1 and 5, pg 44-45 from the textbook.
BasicWorksheet problems 1 -10
Week 2: 16-Sept-2013: Graphing and Data Presentation
Reading Assignment: Chapter 2 (pg 35-43) from the text book. Chapter 3.
Learning Objective: Students are able to use excel commands to perform mathematical
operations. They are able to plot different kinds of graphs and use them to interpret the given
Topics: In class demonstration of using excel commands to plot graphs and perform
mathematical operations. A handout will be provided in the class. Brazil launches new cellular
phone case (pg. 54). Benefits to move from wallets to purses (pg. 55). Nintendo and Sony
showdown (pg. 56). Piracy blamed for poor music sales (pg. 57). McDonnell abandons plans for
new jetliner (p. 65). Time Series Graphs (pg. 72). Scatter plots (pg. 81)
Assignment: BasicWorksheet problems 11-20
Exercise 1 -4 and 7-10, chapter 3
Week 3: 23-Sept-2013: Statistics
Reading Assignment: Chapter 2 (pg 35-43) from the text book. Chapter 4.
Reading Assignment 1.
Learning Objective: Students are able to use excel commands to calculate basic statistics. They
are able to understand the principles and be able to interpret the information in the statistics
Topics: Review the reading assignment and discuss the mean, median, mode, standard deviation
range, quartiles and IQR, and skewness. Populations and samples; coefficient of variation;
Analyze “Bank Study putting underlying inflation at 1.2%” (pg. 127), Discuss “Price of a Big
Mac shows the Miami-Nairobi Gulf” (pg. 131).
*** Discuss sample exam problems. Provide a practice test.
Assignment: StatWorksheet problems 1-20
Exercise 7-10, chapter 4
Week 4: 30-Sept-2013: First Midterm and Probability
Reading Assignment: Chapter 5
Learning Objective: Students are able to understand the basic rules and principals of probability.
They are able to apply the principles to business problems.
***Discuss problems or questions about the exam.
First Midterm Exam: 6:30-7:30 pm
Topics: Some Ruminations on Risk (pg. 146). Basic concepts of probability: Mutually
exclusive/Independent/dependent events. Multiplication Rule (pg. 152) Addition Rule (pg. 153)
National lottery example (pg. 155), Business Application (pg 137).
Assignment: ProbabilityWorksheet problems 1-15
Exercise 1-6, chapter 5
Week 5: 07-Oct-2013: Probability Distribution and Decision making under uncertainity.
Reading Assignment: Chapter 6
Learning Objective: Students are able to use the binomial and the normal distribution to calculate
probabilities with respect to the business problems. They are able to apply concept of expected
value to make decisions.
***Discuss Final Project.
Topics: Binomial Distribution, Permutation and Combination, Normal Distribution (Z table)
Discuss Probability and Distributions (pg. 186), When it’s Time to Ask for Whom the Bell
Curve Tolls (pg. 182), ICI pharmaceuticals (pg. 189)
Discuss Simpson’s paradox handout. Explain and work out the probability of balls in urn
problem. Game theory helps insurer to judge the risks of terror (pg. 196). Discuss the expected
value concepts. Using expected values to solve decision tree problems (Decision Tree handout).
Value of perfect information (pg. 206)
Assignment: EVWorksheet problems
Exercise 3-6, chapter 6
Week 6: 14-Oct-2013: MinMax Problem and Market Research
Reading Assignment: Chapter 7
Learning Objective: Students are able to determine which statistical tests are appropriate to use
in different of situations. They are able to use hypothesis testing.
Topics: MaxiMax/ Maximin/ Minimax criterion decision tools p. 198. Discuss Gulf Oil (pg.
211). Pollsters predict a shake-out (pg. 218), Populations and Samples (pg. 219), Every Statistic
Tells a Story (pg. 221), Sampling Distributions (pg. 222), Central Limit Theorem (pg. 224),
Confidence Intervals (pg. 226), Confidence Intervals for Proportions (pg. 231), Hypothesis Tests
( pg. 232), Type I and Type 2 errors( pg. 234), Chi-Square Tests (pg. 250), Discuss “Taking
Samples” by Ann van Ackere (pg. 259).
Assignment: Worksheet problems
Exercise 3-7, 9, 10, 16 chapters 7
Week 7: 21-Oct-2013: Quality Control and Quality Management
Reading Assignment: Chapter 8
Learning Objective: Students are able to use basic six sigma tools.
Topics: Discuss “Bad Service Costing Companies Millions” article (pg. 276), Examine Type I
and Type 2 errors in context of production (pg. 278), Control Charts/Pareto Charts (pg. 287),
Ishikawa Diagrams (pg. 288), Adventures in Six Sigma: How Problem Solving Helped Xerox (
***Discussion about the Final Project and Survey Methods.
***Discussion about the second midterm exam. Hand out a sample exam.
Assignment: Exercise 1-2, chapter 8.
Week 8: 28-Oct-2013: Second Midterm Exam and Survey Methods and Techniques
Reading Assignment: Will distribute in the class.
Learning Objective: Students are able to write survey questions and conduct small sample
***Discuss problems or questions about the exam.
Second Midterm Exam: 6:30-7:30 pm
Topics: Discuss basics of survey methods and formulate survey questionnaire. Discuss survey
examples. Discuss analyzing the survey data. Discuss using a survey tool, creating surveys,
collecting data through surveys, downloading the data, analyzing the data.
Assignment: Survey methods worksheet.
Week 9: 04-Nov-2013: Analysis of complex problems
Reading Assignment: Will distribute in the class.
Learning Objective: Students are able to analyze complex problems.
Topics: Discuss Acme Light Bulb Manufacturing, IQ tests and related examples with complexity
with regards to probability and normal distribution. Using z-test, t-test and chi-squared text with
the data. Using MS Excel to conduct these tests. Type 1 and Type 2 error examples.
Last 30 min of class dedicated to Final project discussion.
Assignment: Complex problem worksheet
Week 10: 11-Nov-2013: Simple Linear Regression
Reading Assignment: Chapter 10
Learning Objective: Students are able to use Simple Regression Methods and forecasting in
Topics: Principles of Simple Linear Regression & Scatterplots (pg. 347), Correlation Coefficient
(pg. 351), Line of Best Fit (pg. 355), A Better Burger Thanks to Data Crunching (pg. 359),
Coefficient of Variation (pg. 362), Non-Linear Regression (pg. 372), Forecasting Process (pg.
388), Strategy by Computer” Victoria Griffith article (pg. 390). Using Excel commands to do
Assignment: Exercise 1-7 in Chapter 10
Week 11: 18-Nov-2013: Simple and Compound Interest
Reading Assignment: Will distribute in class
Learning Objective: Students are able to apply financial concepts such as simple and compound interest,
APR, loans, annuities and time for financial planning.
Topics: Discuss compounding versus simple interest problems, Work out examples, such as buy a house
using Loan equation, buy a Car. Discuss financing options; finance College, setting up a 401K plan.
Understand APR calculations, Discuss use of logarithms in finance.
Class time dedicated to work and discuss about the final project.
Assignment: Finance worksheet.
Week 12: 25-Nov-2013: Linear Programming
Reading Assignment: Chapter 11
Learning Objective: Students are able to use optimization techniques, formulate linear
programming problems and solve linear programming problems.
Topics: Business Problem (pg. 410), Private users: How shops use the information (pg. 411),
formulating problem (pg. 413), Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (pg. 430), solving linear
programming problems using excel (pg 433)
***Discuss about the Final Exam.
Provide a sample exam.
Assignment: Exercise 1-4 in chapter 11.
Week 13: 02-Dec-2013: Inventory Control, Operation Research
Learning Objective: Students are able to use the basic concepts of operation research and
Topics: Discuss the basic concepts of inventory management. Examples of small and large
business inventory management. Provide excel template for inventory control. Solve inventory
****Last chance to discuss about the final project.
Week 14: 09-Dec-2013: Final Project Presentations
Submit a copy of your final project and your presentation before 6:00 pm of the day of
Week 15: Final Exam: It will be held during the exam week (Dec 16- Dec 19). I will update this
section as soon as I get further information.
Homework assignments will initially focus on making the students comfortable with the handling of the
datasets and creating the required variables from master data file. Later the assignments will evolve to
introduce basic econometric models, and later will be based on estimation of the econometric models
using real time data.
The final project will comprise of conducting a short survey using an online survey tool, data analysis of
the survey data leading to a solution of a market research problem. The purpose of this project is to apply
the concepts learnt in this class to a real time project. The project details will be provided to the students
containing guidelines for conducting the survey and analysis.
Class Meeting Time:
The class time will be dedicated to solving problems and understanding the concepts from the topics
discussed in the class. For better understanding of the material covered in the class students are expected
to come prepared to the class. The preparation for the class can be done in two steps. First, each class has
an assigned require reading. It will help the students in better understanding of the concepts and applying
them towards problem solving. Second, each class builds on the previous class; hence it is important to
complete the assignments before coming to the class.
Class attendance is required and students are responsible for the material taught in the class as well as the
assignments, readings, and the final project. Any student, who misses more than one class, has to make a
class presentation to save his/ her class attendance grade. An explanation letter as well supporting
documents are to be submitted in case of excused absences.
Students may use any calculator they wish for this class (with the exception of the cell phone).
Activities such as texting, talking on the phone, using Facebook, twitter (any social networking sites), or
watching YouTube videos, are not permitted in this class.
Students with Disabilities: Saint Catherine University is committed to equal access for all and recognizes
that disability is an aspect of diversity. The University’s goal is to create learning environments that are
usable, equitable, inclusive and welcoming. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course
that result in barriers to the learning environment, accurate assessment of your achievement, please
contact the Resources for Disabilities office as soon as possible. Access Consultants can be reached in the
O’Neill Center at 651-690-6563 to discuss academic adjustments or accommodations.
Your semester grade comprises the following:
The final grades will have the following distribution in terms of marks obtained by the students
Percentage of points
92% -- 100%
90% -- 91.9%
88% -- 89.9%
82% -- 87.9%
80% -- 81.9%
78% -- 79.9%
71% -- 77.9%
69% -- 70.9%
67% -- 68.9%
57% -- 66.9%
0% -- 56.9%
Make-up exams: Students are expected to make all reasonable adjustments to their schedules to attend the
exams at the regularly scheduled times (see the course calendar for dates). If for any reason you need to
take an exam after the regularly scheduled time, there will be a 5 point deduction from your exam score.
No points will be deducted if you need to take an exam earlier than the regularly scheduled time. All
make-ups for the midterm exams must be completed before the start of the next class. All make-ups for
the final exam must be completed before 4:00 PM on Friday December 21, 2012.
Incomplete Grade: A grade of incomplete is given only when unusual circumstances deem it appropriate.
Ordinarily, such circumstances would involve matters that are not wholly within your control, such as
illness. If you wish to receive an incomplete grade you must complete a Petition for Incomplete Grade
form (available online) no later than the last day of the term in which course requirements are due. You
must be making satisfactory progress in the course and you must have completed 75% of the course at the
time the petition is filed. Incompletes are awarded at the instructor’s discretion. If granted, the normal
deadline for completion of the work is no more than eight weeks after the last day of classes in the session
or sub-session in which the course is offered. The instructor may establish a due date after the normal
deadline if you request it and special circumstances warrant it. The instructor will submit an alternate
grade that will automatically be recorded if you do not complete the requirements for the course by the
deadline. If you complete the course requirements in the time allotted, the instructor must submit the
final grade by the deadline. Extensions to the due date originally agreed to by you and your instructor
must be approved by the appropriate academic dean.
Student Attendance Expectation:
St. Catherine University defines attendance as participating in the faculty and student interaction required
by the course. For scheduled class meeting times, attendance means that (1) students are expected to
arrive at class on time and stay for the duration of the class; and (2) students, whether present or not, are
responsible for in-class content. Coming to class late or leaving early will count as one quarter of an
absence. If you must miss a class for any reason, it is your responsibility to get the notes from another
student and be caught up by the next class meeting. You may have up to two absences without penalty to
your class participation grade.
Students who do not attend the first day of class will be withdrawn from the course by the Registrar’s
Office. I will request course withdrawal for students who do not attend the class for 14 consecutive
calendar days. Under all other circumstances, the student must initiate withdrawal from a course. Even if
a student does not attend class meetings, the student remains financially responsible for paying tuition for
the course, up to the date of formal withdrawal. The academic calendars on the University's website
contains the add, drop and withdrawal deadlines.
Academic Integrity: Please refer to the “Academic Integrity Policy” in the Undergraduate Academic
***If you struggling with any aspect of this course or need information about the exams and grading
techniques, please feel free to ask me questions.
NOTE: For this class, students are encouraged to work together on assignments. But that said, each
student has to write up his/her own answers. Copying the code is not going to help the student in learning
programming or learning material in the class.
Liberal Arts Goal: ECON 2100 advances the attainment the University’s “Goals of a Liberal Arts
Education”, specifically as this course prepares students to explore the nature of critical thinking in
business and economics. Specific liberal arts goals addressed in this course include Critical and Creative
Inquiry, Discipline-Based Competence and Effective Communication.