EXC 2910 Mathematics


EXC 2910 Mathematics

Responsible for the course
Svein Lund

Department of Economics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

This is a basic mathematics course that spans two semesters. It aims to prepare the student for quantitative courses in economics and finance. The first semester (autumn) covers basic mathematical skills in algebra, equations, inequalities, functions and their graphs, and differentiation. The second semester (spring) focuses on more advanced calculus and some financial mathematics.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
Students will get to know a wide area of mathematical topics relevant to subjects in business administration such as statistics, finance and economics.

Acquired skills

  • Master fundamental skills in algebra, and be able to solve equations and inequalities
  • Firmly understand the notion of a function and its graph
  • Master derivatives and understand the relation between the derivative and the slope on a graph
  • Use differentiation to solve optimization problems and calculate elasticities
  • Master simple integration and understand its relation to the area between graphs
  • Be familiar with exponential and logarithmic functions. Understand the use of the exponential function in calculating compound interest
  • Be familiar with the use of price, profit and cost functions in economics
  • Be able two solve constrained optimization problems in two dimensions by using partial differentiation and Lagrange multipliers
  • Be able to evaluate determinants and use Cramer's rule to solve linear equations


Compulsory reading
Sydsæter, Knut and Peter Hammond. 2016. Essential mathematics for economic analysis. 5th ed. Pearson Education

Recommended reading

Course outline
  • Basic algebra
  • Solving equations and inequalities. Systems of equations
  • Functions and graphs
  • Differentiation and its use in economics
  • Basic financial mathematics
  • Basic integration
  • Functions of two variables. Partial differentiation and Langrange's method
  • Determinants and Cramer's rule

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
The course spans two semesters and consists of an introduction and an advanced part, total 84 lecture hours.

Introduction part
First semester (autumn - EXC 2911) 36 hours - covers basic mathematical skills in algebra, equations, inequalities, functions and their graphs, and differentiation.

Advanced part
Second semester (spring - EXC 2912) 48 hours - focuses on more advanced calculus and financial mathematics.

The lecture hours will both cover the theory and train the students in practical problem solving. Training / use of Excel will be integrated into teaching. Every week the students are assigned exercises that will be discussed in the following lecture. The students are expected to work on these weekly exercises, and they will form a basis for the examinations.

During each semester a mid-term mandatory assignment will be given. This will have to be approved to have the course approved.

Lectures (participation in class) - Introduction
Preparation for lectures/reading literature
Working with the weekly exercises
Multiple-choice examination
Lectures (participation in class) - advanced
Preparation for lectures/reading literature
Work on the weekly exercises
Written examination
Total recommended use of hours

    The final grade in the course will be based on following elements:
    - Assignment 1 will be given half way trough the first semester. Pass/Fail.
    - A three- hour individual multiple-choice examination will be given at the end of the first semester. Counts for 20 % of the final grade.
    - Assignment 2 will be given half way trough second semester. Pass/Fail.
    - A four- hour individual written exam will be given at the end of second semester. Counts for 80 % of the final grade.

    All elements must be passed to obtain the final grade. It will be possible to sit for a re-examination separately.

    Examination code(s)
    EXC 29101 - Assignment 1- Pass/fail
    EXC 29102 - Multiple- choice. Counts 20% towards the final grade.
    EXC 29103 - Assignment 2- Pass/fail
    EXC 29104 – Written examination. Counts 80% towards the final grade.

    Examination support materials
    Multiple choice - No support materials allowed except a bilingual dictionary.
    Written examination - BI approved exam calculator.

    Examination support materials at written examinations are explained under examination information in the student portal @bi. Please note use of calculator and dictionary in the section on support materials (https://at.bi.no/EN/Pages/Exa_Hjelpemidler-til-eksamen.aspx).

    Re-sit examination
    A re-sit examination is held in every term.

    Additional information