Mathematical models for business and economics (2015/2016)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Letizia Pellegrini
Letizia Pellegrini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
primo semestre dal Sep 28, 2015 al Jan 8, 2016.

Lesson timetable

primo semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 4:30 PM - 6:10 PM lesson Lecture Hall C  
Thursday 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM lesson Lecture Hall E  

Learning outcomes

The main purpose is to provide a range of mathematical tools in order to handle the economic phenomena. First of all, some basic notions on functions of several variables are recalled. Then the course aims to give, in the 1st module, some essential knowledge on unconstrained and equality/inequality constrained optimization and, in the 2nd module, an introduction to differential equations and systems of differential equations.


Functions of several variables
Level sets
Differential calculus for functions of several variables
Quadratic forms and definite matrices
Convex functions and generalized convexity
Unconstrained optimization
Constrained optimization with equality constraints
Lagrangian function and optimality conditions
Constrained optimization with inequality constraints
Kuhn-Tucker theorem
Constraints qualification

Ordinary differential equations. Some general aspects
Linear 1st order differential equations
Separable differential equations

A detailed program and the references to the textbooks are on the e-learning page.

Teaching supply
The course consists of 36 hour lectures (equivalent to 6 credits).
In addition to the theoretical notions, lectures provide also some adequate set of techniques for solving exercises.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
R.K. SUNDARAM A first course in Optimization Theory Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press 1996 978-0-521-49770-1
C.P. SIMON, L.E. BLUME Mathematics for Economists New York, London: Norton & Company Press, Cambridge 1994 0-393-95733-0

Assessment methods and criteria

Written and oral exam.
In the written test, candidates are expected to apply the fundamental notions of the course in order to solve exercises on functions of several variables, optimization problems and differential equations.
The oral examination consists at first in discussing the possible mistakes of the written test, then in investigating the theoretical competence of the candidate; hence, the knowledge of definitions and simple proofs is required.
A minimum mark is needed at the written test for the admittance to the oral discussion.

Student opinions - 2015/2016

Statistics about transparency requirements (Attuazione Art. 2 del D.M. 31/10/2007, n. 544)

Outcomes Exams Outcomes Percentages Average Standard Deviation
Positive 61.70% 26 2
Rejected 17.02%
Absent 2.12%
Ritirati 19.14%
Canceled --
Distribuzione degli esiti positivi
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 30 e Lode
3.4% 0.0% 0.0% 6.8% 0.0% 6.8% 13.7% 10.3% 17.2% 10.3% 17.2% 6.8% 6.8% 0.0%

Data from AA 2015/2016 based on 47 students. I valori in percentuale sono arrotondati al numero intero più vicino.