Mathematics for Public Policy



Credits / Language / Semester

1Credits / English / Winter


This course introduces fundamental mathematical tools that are useful in analyzing various public policies in a scientific way. By taking this course, you will be able to systematically and intuitively apply mathematical methods to economic and management issues and utilize them for your research on public policy issues. The focus of this course is on (i) fundamental elements and (ii) applications to real world issues. The fundamental elements include functions, sequence and series, differentiation, unconstrained and constrained optimization, integration, and matrix algebra. We also cover simple versions of differential and difference equations to understand the basic concept of dynamic systems. It is important for you to realize in advance that this course is a building block for any further study of public policy.


functions, sequence and series, differentiation, optimization, integration, matrix algebra, dynamics


Course outline is as follows:
1. Functions
2. Sequence and series
3. Differentiation and applications
4. Unconstrained optimization
5. Constrained optimization
6. Integration
7. Probability and statistics
8. Differential equation
9. Difference equation
10. Matrix algebra

Teaching Methods

Lecture, Practice Session


Grading Policy: Problem Sets 30%, Prelim 35%, Final Exam 35%
Problem Sets: Problem sets will be assigned, collected, and graded. Aside from the credit, there are good reasons to take them seriously. Importantly, if you understand the problem sets, you will likely do well on the exams since the problem sets are representative of the midterm and the final. You are permitted to collaborate with other students. In fact, it is encouraged. But, you must write your own solutions in your own words, and you should keep in mind that it is in your best interest to not rely too heavily on your study partners/groups. Be sure that you understand and can present the solutions to the problems on your own.
Exams: All exams are closed-book.

Required Textbooks

No specific required textbooks

Reference Books

Bradley, T., Essential Mathematics for Economics and Business, 4th Ed., John Wiley and Sons, 2013.
Simon, C. P., Blume, L., Mathematics for Economists, W. W. Norton, 1994.
Baldani, J., Bradfield, J., Turner R.W., Mathematical Economics, 2nd Ed., Thomson, 2005.

Notes on Taking the Course

Students who take this course will be decided by the screening test.

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