Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics - Seattle University

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Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics - Seattle University

     ECON 310-02

    Spring 2006

    Page 1 of 5

    Economics 310: Quantitative Methods and Applications

    Spring 2006

    Section 2, MW 3:45 5:50 pm, Pigott 201

    This syllabus is the contract between you and me. Please read it carefully. “I did not read the syllabus” is not an acceptable excuse for missing an exam, overlooking a reading, skipping a problem set, and so on. -Prof. Jones

Course Description

    A continuation of ECON 260 with particular emphasis on the following topics: regression analysis, analysis of variance, reliability and validity, queuing theory, and linear programming. Major emphasis will be placed on computer applications of the quantitative methods applicable to business functional areas and on the enhancement of the student’s communication, analytical, and computer skills.

Course Objectives

    1. Learn to use analysis of variance to test for differences between groups.

    2. Develop a solid understanding of the linear regression model and its use in business and economics.

    3. Understand the structure and dynamic behavior of a simple waiting line system.

    4. Become familiar with basic linear programming concepts and methods.

    5. Use appropriate computer programs to analyze data and build decision models.

    6. Present the results of quantitative analysis accurately, concisely, and professionally.

Professor’s Office Hours

    Stacey Jones, Ph.D., Pigott 507, (206) 296-5716,

    Drop in: Tuesdays, 10am noon. Other times by appointment.

Textbook and Other Materials

    1. Evans, James R. Statistics, Data Analysis, and Decision Modeling, 3rd. ed. (required; available at the SU


    2. Lecture outlines, problem set solutions, case study data and other course materials will be distributed in

    class and/or made available on the website:

ResponsibilitiesMine and Yours--and Course Requirements

    My responsibilities are to come to class prepared, respond to and encourage questions and class discussion insofar as time permits, grade problem sets, case studies, quizzes and exams promptly and fairly, be available during office hours and for scheduled appointments, and stimulate an enthusiasm for quantitative methods and for learning.

    Your responsibilities are to be adequately prepared to take the course (required prerequisites are an introductory course in statistics, ECON 260 or the equivalent), attend and participate in class, read the assigned material in a

    timely manner, work the problem sets, take four quizzes, complete two case studies on time, and take a midterm and a final exam.

    Course attendance is important. We go over the material thoroughly and work numerous examples. Your active participation in class will greatly enhance your understanding of the course material. If you miss a class it is your responsibility to know what assignments were made and what was covered in class. Working problems on your

    own is also important. Students who do homework problems on a regular basis generally do very well in the class.

    Your course grade will be based on your performance on problem sets, case studies, quizzes, a midterm exam, and a final exam. Exams include material covered in lectures, assigned readings, problem sets, and case studies. The weights that will be used to compute your total point score (from which a letter grade will be determined) and the exam dates are below.

    Stacey Jones, Ph.D.

    Department of Economics

    Seattle University

     ECON 310-02

    Spring 2006

    Page 2 of 5

    Coursework, Dates, and Share of Total Points

    Assignment Date Percent

    Five of Six Problem Sets See course outline 20%

    Four Quizzes See course outline 20%

    Two Case Studies May 15, June 5 20%

    Midterm Exam April 24 20%

    Final Exam Thursday June 8, 4 5:50 pm 20%

Problem Sets

    Working problems is essential to mastering the material in this class. For this reason, problem sets will be collected and selected problems will be graded. Solutions will be distributed on the due date; therefore no late assignments will be accepted. To receive credit, a hard copy of the assignment must be turned in (not e-mailed) by the beginning of class on the day the assignment is due. The lowest problem set score will be dropped in calculating your final grade. You may work with other students on these problems if it is helpful to you.


    During the quarter, here will be four short (30 minute) quizzes. No make-up quizzes are given (an exception to the no make-up policy is made for absences due to documented university responsibilities such as sports travel). The purpose of these quizzes is to help both you and I know whether or not you are learning the material as we progress through the topics. Much of the material covered in this class is cumulative; it is best to have a good grasp of each topic before moving on to the next.

Case Studies

    Case studies provide an opportunity for using quantitative methods to address a real-world business problem. In our two case studies, we will analyze data and write about the results of our analysis. Case studies help build the ability to present statistical results accurately and succinctly to a non-technical audience. This is done through the creative and careful use of words, tables, and graphs. Case studies will be graded on the quality of the technical analysis and interpretation of results as well as the quality of writing and presentation. To receive credit, a hard copy of the case study must be submitted at (or before) the beginning of class on the due date.


    Exams and quizzes may include multiple choice, short essay, and/or problem-solving questions. Answers are graded solely upon their content and not upon their intent. This means that I don’t grade what you “meant” but

    what you actually write (even if you “knew the answer but just wrote it wrong”). This also means that answers that are ambiguous, illegible, rambling, or poorly organized answers will not receive high marks. We all make mistakes; in a problem-solving course it is prudent to double-check your work on exams and quizzes.

    The first midterm exam will be held Monday, April 24. It will cover assigned readings, problem sets, and material covered in class up to and including Wednesday, April 19. The final exam will cover readings and course material covered since the midterm and up to and including Monday, June 5. The final exam will be held in our classroom on Thursday, June 8 from 4 to 5:50 pm.

Any alternative arrangements for exams must be made at least 48 hours in advance with the instructor. Students

    who miss the midterm or final exam without making arrangements at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled exam will receive a zero for the exam. If you cannot take the final exam at the scheduled time, do not take this course!

    Stacey Jones, Ph.D.

    Department of Economics

    Seattle University

     ECON 310-02

    Spring 2006

    Page 3 of 5

    Computers and Software

    We will be using Excel, PHStat, and SimQuick for the computational work in this course. Excel is part of Microsoft Office, a program that is installed in the Seattle University computer labs. PHStat and Simquick are Excel-based applications that are included with the Evans textbook. You will need to have Excel installed on your computer in order to install PHStat and SimQuick. Many of you may already have Excel on your own computers; if not, it is available at the Help Desk (Enginerring 306A) for a student price of $20. Computer lab hours and locations are found at


    Significant campus resources are available to help you succeed, including:

    1. Loyola Learning Center: Provides learning style assessment, free tutoring, study skills information, and

    individual academic strategy sessions. Loyola Hall 100,, 296-5740.

    2. Writing Center: Assists with idea generation, organization and development of writing. Engineering

    307,, 296-6239. Helpful for writing case study reports.

    3. Computer labs: During open lab hours, there is generally a computer lab assistant available to help you

    with software or computer question. Computer labs hours are found at

Additional Reading

    You may find the following books of interest as you learn statistics:

    1. Best, Joel. Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists.

    University of California Press, 2001.

    2. Best, Joel. More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues. University of

    California Press, 2004.

    3. Miller, Jane. The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers. University of Chicago Press, 2004.

    4. Tufte, Edward. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press, 2001.

Academic Honesty Policy

    Seattle University is committed to the principle that academic honesty and integrity are important values in the educational process. Academic dishonesty in any form is a serious offense against the academic community. Acts of academic dishonesty will be addressed according to the Academic Honesty Policy, found at Academic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to) using unauthorized written or electronic materials on a test or exam, copying another student’s quiz/exam or allowing

    another student to copy yours, copying another student’s problem set or allowing another student to copy yours, and

    passing off someone else’s writing or ideas as your own in writing assignments.

Special Accommodations

    If you have, or think you may have, a disability (including an ‘invisible disability’ such as a learning disability, a chronic health problem, or a mental health condition) that interferes with your performance as a student in this class, you are encouraged to arrange support services and/or accommodations through Disabilities Services staff in the Learning Center, Loyola 100, (206) 296-5740. Disability-based adjustments to course expectations can be arranged only through this process

University Mission

    Seattle University is dedicated to educating the whole person, to professional formation, to empowering leaders for a just and humane world.

    Stacey Jones, Ph.D.

    Department of Economics

    Seattle University

     ECON 310-02

    Spring 2006

    Page 4 of 5 Course Outline and Assignments

    All dates are subject to change. Students are responsible for changes announced in class.

Date Topic and Assignment


    3/27 Monday Review of Statistics Concepts

    Read: Ch 3, pp. 89-94 (probability dist), 101-106 (normal dist), 120-

    124 (sampling distributions); Ch 4, pp. 138-156 (confidence intervals);

    Ch 5, pp. 160-180 (hypothesis testing).

    Problem Set 1: Ch 3: 28, 42; Ch 4: 2, 13, 21; Ch 5: 2, 4, 6, 13, 17

    (due 4/3).

    3/29 Wednesday Continue review of statistics concepts.


    4/3 Monday Analysis of Variance

    Read: Ch 5: pp. 180-192.

    Problem Set 2: Ch 5: 18, 20, 21, 23, 24 (due 4/10).

    PS 1 due.

    4/5 Wednesday Continue analysis of variance.

    Quiz 1 on PS 1.


    4/10 Monday Simple Linear Regression

    Read: Ch 6: pp. 199-215.

    Problem Set 3: Handout and Ch 6: 1, 3, 4, 7, 9 (due 4/19).

    PS 2 due.

    4/12 Wednesday Continue simple linear regression.

    Quiz 2 on PS 2.


    4/17 Monday Continue simple linear regression.

    4/19 Wednesday Continue simple linear regression.

    PS 3 due.


    4/24 Monday Midterm Exam: Review of Statistics, Analysis of Variance, Simple Linear


    4/26 Wednesday Multiple Linear Regression

    Read: Ch 6: pp. 216-233.

    Problem Set 4: Handout and Ch 6: 2, 10, 11, 14, 17 (due 5/10).

    Discuss Case Study 1


    5/1 Monday Continue multiple linear regression.

    5/3 Wednesday Continue multiple linear regression.

    Case 1 questions due.


    5/8 Monday Continue multiple linear regression.

    5/10 Wednesday Queues and Process Simulation Modeling

    Read: Ch 12: pp. 417-432

    Problem Set 5: Handout and Ch 12: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 (due 5/17).

    PS 4 due.

    Stacey Jones, Ph.D.

    Department of Economics

    Seattle University

     ECON 310-02

    Spring 2006

    Page 5 of 5


    5/15 Monday Continue queues and process simulation.

    Quiz 3 on PS 4

    Case 1 report due.

    5/17 Wednesday Introduction to Linear Optimization Models

    Read: Ch 13: pp. 457-474

    Problem Set 6: Handout and Ch 13: 1, 3, 5, 7 (due 6/5)

    PS 5 due.


    5/22 Monday Continue linear optimization models.

    Discuss Case Study 2.

    Quiz 4 on PS 5

    5/24 Wednesday Continue linear optimization models.

     WEEK 10

    5/29 Monday Memorial Day, no classes

    5/31 Wednesday Continue linear optimization models.

    PS 6 due.


    6/5 Monday Review for final.

    Case 2 report due.

    6/8 Final Exam: Multiple Regression, Queuing, Linear Optimization. Thursday

    45:50 pm

    Stacey Jones, Ph.D.

    Department of Economics

    Seattle University

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