Quantitative Research Methods I

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

This course is the first in the line of our academic core, teaching you
mathematical thinking and working (Academic Skills). During this course
you will get acquainted with a number of important mathematical topics
and some basic quantitative tools for business and economics. These
tools are not only relevant in an academic research setting, but also
help to solve business and economics problems (Bridging Theory and
Practice – Knowledge). You will not only learn the techniques as such,
but you will also learn the art of abstraction from a real-world problem
to a formal problem, and back from a formal answer to a real-world
answer (Bridging Theory and Practice – Application).

After successfully completing this course you are able to:
• properly use mathematical notation (both passively and actively);
• use the summation operator and product operator;
• calculate and interpret descriptive statistics (mean, variance,
covariance, correlation);
• work with the elementary principles of probability theory (random
variables, probability, distribution function, expectation, variance);
• differentiate functions of one or more variables;
• visualize implicit functions through level curves and differentiate
such functions;
• integrate simple functions;
• determine when you need derivatives and integrals;
• use vectors and matrices;
• calculate from a function the elasticity;
• find extreme values of functions of one or two variables;
• find extreme values of functions of one or two variables under a
constraint, using the Lagrange method;
• apply operations (transpose, inner product) on vectors and matrices;
• use and calculate the inverse of a matrix;
• solve systems of linear equations;
• formulate a linear programming problem;
• type formulas in Microsoft Word;
• use Microsoft Excel, including the Solver add-in, for modelling
mathematical problems.

Inhoud vak

Mathematics is a challenging, but highly relevant topic for any student
in economics. The process of market and price equilibrium is a good
example. In the business and economics literature we see many
mathematical models, for instance for assessing risks and optimizing
option portfolios. Using such models requires a basic understanding of
mathematical principles related to multi-variable calculus,
optimization, and expectation. Further, today’s simple calculations
require basic skills in setting up and handling spreadsheets and
typesetting formulas. This course therefore also addresses such general
Moreover, mathematics is more than just calculations and numbers, it is
language. A language that is essential to understand if you want to
develop and acquire an analytical way of thinking that is not only at
the core of any academic, but also the successful economics or business
professional. It is a first step on the path of understanding the power
of quantitative and mathematical approaches to problems you will face as
a business and economics student.


Computer tutorials


Entry exam
Digital exams
Written exam
Surprise questions

Vereiste voorkennis



Sydsæter, Knut, Peter Hammond, and Arne Strøm (2016), Essential
Mathematics for Economic Analysis, fifth Edition, Pearson Education
Additional documents via Canvas.

Overige informatie

Mandatory for Binding Study Advice on Continuation of Studies (‘BSA’) in
year 1.
You will work with the software packages Word (including the equation
editor) and Excel (including the Solver add-in). These programs are
available on computers at the VU campus. You may wish to purchases a
cheap license for home use at http://www.surfspot.nl/. At the
intermediate tests we use the English language versions for Windows.

Aanbevolen voorkennis

Active command of mathematics at high school level. It can be helpful to
refresh your skills in advance. The Vrije Universiteit offers an online
summer school for this (see http://sbe.prep-campus.nl/).

Algemene informatie

Vakcode E_EBE1_QRM1
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P1
Vakniveau 100
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit School of Business and Economics
Vakcoördinator dr. R. Heijungs
Examinator dr. R. Heijungs

Praktische informatie

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