QBUS 100 Math for Decision Making I Course Guide

Course Description 

 A wide variety of problems from business may be solved using equations. Managers and economists use equations and their graphs to study costs, sales, national consumption, supply and demand, the time value of money, market equilibrium points, and optimum production levels. 

All managers must understand the methods used to determine the interest and the future value (principal plus interest) resulting from savings plans and the methods used in the repayment of debts. These computations are made using formulae for computing compound interest, the future and present value of annuities, amortization of debts, and the amount paid into a sinking fund to discharge a debt. 

Manufacturing firms require several components for the manufacture of items they produce, and there are usually several stages for each item’s assembly and final shipment. A manufacturing firm’s costs and profits depend on the availability of the components (for example, labor and raw materials), the costs of these components, the unit profit for each product, and how many products are required. The manager is able to use equations to model these components and determine optimal levels of production.

Specific, Assessable Learning Outcomes 

The student will be able to: 

  1. Have a firm understanding of time value of money through compound interest, annuity calculations and bond valuations.
  2. Develop cost and revenue functions and understand their role in profit and break-even analysis.
  3. Develop supply and demand functions and understand their role in market equilibrium analysis.
  4. Understand the role of matrix algebra in the solution of a system of linear equations.
  5. Have the ability to optimize an objective function subject to a system of linear constraints via the method of graphical analysis in two dimensions.

Course Outline

  • The development of linear equations and graphs and their use in solving common business problems.
  • The development of quadratic equations and their use in solving common business problems.
  • Storing data in matrices and making business decisions by performing mathematical operations on matrices.
  • Using graphical methods to solve linear programming problems for allocating limited resources from various activities in the best possible way.
  • Measuring the time value of money with compound interest, annuity, amortization calculations and bond valuations.

Recommended Teaching Methodology

This course will be structured in such a way as to facilitate the use of different methods of instruction. Readings, lectures, multimedia presentations, group discussions, and written assignments will be used throughout the course. Work will be done individually and/or in small groups. 

The readings will come from the required text as well as additional material to be provided by the instructor. Lectures and group discussions will enable the instructor and students to expand on the material presented in the readings. For all testing situations, a departmentally designed formula sheet will be the only supplemental material accompanying any exam. 
Students will be exposed to computer algebra systems (CAS), currently a graphics calculator (TI-83 plus), to facilitate his or her knowledge and critical thinking skills to common business situations. In testing situations, each student will be required to reset all memory to manufacturer’s default.  

Recommended Assessment Measures 

The following assessment measures will be used.

  1. Assessment devices (quizzes, homework, exams, etc.) should be given throughout the semester, building up to a comprehensive final exam. The final exam will be used to measure the level of understanding in the areas of time value of money and bond valuation, profit analysis, market equilibrium analysis, break-even analysis, solution to a system of linear equations and optimization of an objective function subject to a system of linear constraints.
  2. Writing and/or oral presentation(s) focusing on major areas of study will be given to students to assess their understanding of mathematics and the ability to communicate quantitative results.

Statement of Expectations 

This course satisfies the quantitative reasoning (CAQ) core requirement for the college and is a pre-business core requirement for the School of Business. As such, any student in the course is required to show a D- level proficiency in the course in order to attain credit for the college core and/or attain credit towards the business major.  It is normally taken during the student’s first semester of full-time studies.

To attain these levels of proficiency it is required that students attend class with the physical materials needed for in-class success (such as the TI-83 and textbook). Students should remain actively engaged in the material covered during class. 

Of course this is not all that is needed, as classroom success is also influenced by student preparation outside the class. It is therefore imperative that students complete out of class assignments and textbook reading in a timely fashion. Students will develop and retain the knowledge and skill set described above by continual practice, thereby slowly building and adding onto their knowledge base. “Cramming” in the days before a test is not an effective way to learn the skills necessary to employ mathematical reasoning in the business environment.

Lastly, it is expected that if you have a question about any course material you will ask those questions so that they may be answered. There are a variety of sources from which answers will come, including (but by no means limited to) the textbook, the QBA Help Lab, a tutor, classmates and MOST IMPORTANTLY the professor, either in-class or during their office hours. Remember that an unasked question is an answer never given. 

Prerequisite Knowledge

Students should have a thorough understanding of general math skills (especially algebra) and at
least three units of high school math or its equivalent.

Institutional Mechanism for Providing Feedback for Continuous Quality Improvement

The Quantitative Business Analysis department will annually review assessment results for this course. Specifically, assessment results in each of the five learning outcome areas will be analyzed to determine the level of success in achieving these learning outcomes. Any deficiencies in achieving learning outcomes will be addressed and appropriate changes designed to improve the success in achieving these learned outcomes.