COMM5005 Quantitative Methods for Business - 2019

COMM5005
Postgraduate
Term 1
6 Units of Credit
On Campus
Economics
This course outline is provided in advance of offering to guide student course selection. Please note that while accurate at time of publication, changes may be required prior to the start of the teaching session. You should always access the current online version of the outline when the Term commences.

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

This course provides an introduction to the basic mathematical and statistical tools needed in a business degree. There is an emphasis on problem solving by both manual and computer methods. The first half of the course focuses on algebra and graphs, financial mathematics and optimisation methods including linear programming and calculus. The second half of the course focuses on probability, descriptive and inferential statistics.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​This course aims to enhance your ability to analyse financial and economic data and thereby to assist in making business decisions. It is one of the three data analysis core courses of the MCom program and is recommended for students in specialisations where quantitative skills are required. It is designed for those who have had little or no quantitative training in their undergraduate degree but who need mathematical and statistical skills for specialisations in the areas of Finance, Economics, Accounting and Business Strategy. Students of these disciplines who already have a good understanding of basic statistics may benefit from taking ECON5248 Business Forecasting as their core course. Note however that it is currently only scheduled to be offered in Term 1. While the skills learned in COMM5005 are also relevant for other MCom specialisations, students from Marketing, Information Systems and Management disciplines will usually find COMM5011 Data Analysis for Business more appropriate as their data analysis core course. That course has a lesser focus on mathematics and a greater focus on analysing textual data.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Administrative Contact    Trish Cann
Other staff contact details will be made available on the course website in Moodle.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​This course aims to enhance your ability to analyse financial and economic data and thereby to assist in making business decisions. It also aims to prepare you for further MCom courses which require the use of numerical skills. Mathematical skills can only be acquired by sustained practice in problem solving. It is often some years since postgraduate students have used basic techniques so renewing “rusty” skills is an important objective. You must learn to organise your independent study and practise a sufficient number of problems to gain a thorough understanding of concepts and how to apply them.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

In this course you are expected to be an active learner rather than just sitting and listening in class. It is difficult to succeed in this course without putting in regular effort and undertaking out-of-class study. In order to promote this, the assessment has a number of small tasks spread through the session. These are designed to give you good feedback to help you learn while attempting them. There are a number of online activities to promote regular learning. While the online quizzes allow you to learn from mistakes by allowing two attempts there are also a number of eLearning tutorials to help you practice techniques and give you immediate feedback for each step.

The assignment in this course will test your ability to analyse data, to use the Microsoft Excel program, and to think critically. Some knowledge of current events in business and research into the relevant local government areas of New South Wales will add to your understanding of the assignment material. You will need to start early to research the topic and prepare materials for the second phase where you will to analyse the data collected and write a report.

You will also need to develop good calculator skills in order to perform well in exams. Familiarity with the use of memories and built-in functions will increase your speed in solving problems. Students who have not practiced maths for some time can be quite slow in doing calculations and this can affect their exam results adversely.

The object of this course is not to memorise information. Therefore the mid-session test and final exam will have an open-book format. The focus of the assessment will be on your understanding of concepts, your ability to apply formulae appropriately, your problem solving and critical thinking.

5. Course Resources

Books

There are two required textbooks for this course:

Haeussler, E.F. Paul, R.S and Wood, R.J. 2013, Introductory Mathematical Analysis for Business, Economics and the Life and Social Sciences 13th ed., Pearson New International edition ISBN 9781292021140    

​Format
​ISBN
​Available to purchase from
​Text Standalone​9781292021140 ​UNSW bookstore or Pearson
​PDF eText ​9781292034386
UNSW bookstore or Pearson

This book is available in two versions with different covers. The New International edition (grey cover) contains the same material as the 13th ed. US version which has an orange and blue cover.


Berenson, M., Levine, D., Szabat, K., O’Brien, M., Jayne, N. and Watson, J., 2016, Basic Business Statistics: Concepts and Applications, 4th ed., Pearson Australia, Melbourne, Vic


​ISBN
​Available to purchase from
​Text Standalone
​9781486018956 ​UNSW bookstore
Text + MyMath Lab and eText
​9781488608834
​UNSW bookstore
                           
​eText + MyMath Lab9781488614187UNSW bookstore or Pearson
​Downloadable eText9781486019410
UNSW bookstore or Pearson


Reference texts that should be available in the library are:

  • Swift, L. and Piff, S. 2014 Quantitative Methods for Business, Management and Finance, 4th ed Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Tannous, K., Brown, R.L., Kopp, S., and Zima, P. 2013 Mathematics of Finance , McGraw-Hill Education (Australia), North Ryde.

Websites

The course website can be accessed at Moodle.

PASS

For many years we have offered PASS, the Peer Assisted Support Scheme, for undergraduate students. PASS puts concepts into practice through workshops where pairs of leaders are available to help you review course materials and attempt problems. The emphasis is on active participation by students. Now the Business School is supporting PASS for postgraduates and we are able to offer weekly PASS classes for COMM5005 students, which you can attend on a voluntary basis.

See Moodle for the times and locations of PASS which begin around Week 3.


Calculator

A basic scientific calculator is required for this course and it must be approved for use in exams. It must be able to perform logarithmic and exponential calculations such as ln x, and ex . The calculator must not be a programmable one (i.e. should not have an alpha-numeric keypad) or have a graphic display. It should not be capable of storing or solving equations, differentiation or factoring.

You should take the calculator to the Business School Student Centre to have the approval sticker attached. If you need to purchase a new calculator, keep in mind that it will be desirable to have a two variable statistical mode to perform linear regression (LR) calculations.

Computer and Software

For lectures you will need to bring a laptop, preferably, or a tablet or phone which has an internet connection in order to fully participate. For homework and your assignment you will need to use a computer with the Microsoft Excel program installed. On a Windows machine make sure that you have the version that enables Analysis Toolpak Add-ins to be used. On a Mac, check that the version of Excel program has the statistical capability you require. Earlier versions and may need to be supplemented by another program such as StatPlus or PhStat or Wizard.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

 

7. Course Schedule

Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Topic 1: Introduction, describing the problem, solving equations

Introduction, describing the problem, solving equations

Topic 2: More equation and inequality solving. Valuing alternatives: interest, compounding, present and future values, ordinary annuities

More equation and inequality solving. Valuing alternatives: interest, compounding, present and future values, ordinary annuities

Topic 3: Calculating for loans and savings: more annuities, amortization of loans, changes in interest. Differentiation

Calculating for loans and savings: more annuities, amortization of loans, changes in interest. Differentiation

Topic 4: Differentiation with applications, partial derivatives. The best solution: maxima and minima, linear programming

Differentiation with applications, partial derivatives. The best solution: maxima and minima, linear programming

Topic 5: Describing the data: tables and charts, measuring central tendency and dispersion. Introduction to probability.

Describing the data: tables and charts, measuring central tendency and dispersion. Introduction to probability.

Topic 6: Probability and expectation. Evaluating parameters: the uniform and normal distributions, sampling distributions

Probability and expectation. Evaluating parameters: the uniform and normal distributions, sampling distributions

Topic 7: Confidence interval estimation, testing hypotheses and introduction to regression

Confidence interval estimation, testing hypotheses and introduction to regression

Topic 8: Estimating regression parameters, multiple regression and forecasting the future

Estimating regression parameters, multiple regression and forecasting the future

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

 

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.




Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.

Plagiarism

UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism-quiz

Cheating

The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at: https://student.unsw.edu.au/aim.

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: http://subjectguides.library.unsw.edu.au/elise. For information on student conduct see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/conduct.

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: https://student.unsw.edu.au/referencing. If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.


Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.

Workload

It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload

Attendance

Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.



Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School Education Quality and support Unit (EQS)
The EQS offers academic writing, study skills and maths support specifically for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, and individual consultations.
Level 1, Room 1033, Quadrangle Building.
bschoolconsults@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 7577 or 02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
learningcentre@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
advisors@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
externalteltsupport@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT
UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
itservicecentre@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
disabilities@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
counselling@unsw.edu.au
02 9385 5418


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