Syllabus query

Academic Year/course: 2017/18

27302 - Mathematics I

Syllabus Information

Academic Year:
27302 - Mathematics I
Faculty / School:
109 - Facultad de Economía y Empresa
228 - Facultad de Empresa y Gestión Pública
301 - Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas
448 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
454 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
458 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
First semester
Subject Type:
Basic Education

1.1. Introduction

Mathematics I is a basic-training subject with a value of 6 ECTS credits and it is taught during the first semester of the first year. It is complemented by Mathematics II, a subject in the second semester of the first year. The teaching of Mathematics I is assigned to the Department of Economic Analysis of the University of Zaragoza, which is also responsible for the teaching of other subjects closely related to Mathematics, such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Econometrics.

The goal of Mathematics I is to increase the students’ existing mathematical knowledge of matrix algebra and univariate functions and to present the calculus of multivariate functions, thereby training the students to assimilate the mathematical tools most widely used for Economic Analysis, especially in the fields of Economic Theory and Econometrics. This subject helps students progress from their predominantly arithmetic knowledge, typical of Mathematics in Secondary Education, towards the precision and abstraction typical of the Mathematical Sciences. This will allow the students to handle other subjects of the Degree which use mathematical techniques and prospective challenges in their careers.

On completing Mathematics I, the students will have gained a more precise command of mathematical language, which will allow them to understand some economic concepts and to interpret some results with a certain rigour. They will also master a number of mathematical tools and methods for the resolution of simple economic problems.

1.2. Recommendations to take this course

Students should have the level of skills required by the subject “Mathematics Applied to Social Sciences II” (Spanish Secondary Education) in arithmetic operations, matrix theory, and calculus of real-valued functions of one real-valued variable. A good command of the following topics will significantly facilitate the comprehension of this subject:

  • Basic operations with fractions, powers, roots, logarithms, etc
  • Calculation of the roots of a polynomial with real coefficients.
  • Solving a system of non-linear equations with two unknowns.
  • Matrix operations.
  • Working out the rank of a matrix and the solution of a system of linear equations by way of elementary matrix operations.
  • Operations with functions. The student should clearly understand the difference between function composition and the product of functions, and between concepts like “to be defined for” and “to be continuous in” for a real-valued function of one real-valued variable.
  • Derivatives and graphs of a wide variety of functions.
  • Calculation of some basic primitive functions.

1.3. Context and importance of this course in the degree

For prospective graduates in Business Administration and Management, Mathematics is a working tool that aids the learning of other subjects such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics. Special attention will be paid to bringing Mathematics closer to problems in a Management scenario, and a basis for the successful learning of other subjects in the Degree will be established.

This subject of the first semester deals with the fundamental parts of a model: variables, constants, parameters, equations, identities, domains, types of functions, solving systems of linear equations by means of linear-algebra techniques, etc. In the second part of the subject, Comparative Statics Analysis will be introduced with the study of calculus, both with one and several variables. This topic will be applied later on (in Mathematics II and Microeconomics) to solve optimisation problems.

1.4. Activities and key dates


Presentation of the subject in the first session of the semester, in accordance with the timetable established by the Faculty.

Continual attendance at, and productive use of, theoretical and practical classes.

Attendance at practical classes P6.

Midterm exams, scheduled in accordance with the academic calendar.

Final exam, on the day established by the Faculty.


The activities and key dates of the subject will be announced in the classroom and/or the virtual teaching platform

2.1. Learning goals

The student, in order to pass the course, will have to show her/his competence in the following skills:

  1. To have gained a certain ability in using mathematical language, both in comprehension and writing.
  2. To be able to use matrix notation and matrix calculus to represent and solve a problem of an economic nature with linear relations between variables.
  3. To be able to identify a diagonalisable square matrix.
  4. To know how to diagonalise a square matrix when this is possible.
  5. To be able to identify a quadratic form and determine its sign by the most suitable method.
  6. To understand the concepts of continuous and differentiable function applied to an economic context.
  7. To be skilled in calculating partial derivatives and in their interpretation in Economics.
  8. To be able to distinguish whether a function is written in explicit or implicit form and to know how to obtain the partial derivatives in both cases.
  9. To know which mathematical tool allows the recovery of a total magnitude from the corresponding marginal magnitude.
  10. To understand the concepts of primitive function and indefinite integral.
  11. To understand the geometrical interpretation of the Riemann definite integral.
  12. To be able to able to apply the second fundamental theorem of calculus to obtain the value of a definite integral.
  13. To be able to distinguish whether the relations between variables in a problem are linear or non-linear, and to be able to represent the different cases by means of a suitable mathematical tool.
  14. To know how to solve a consistent system of linear equations by the most suitable method and be able to interpret the solutions in accordance with the underlying context.
  15. To be able to apply matrix diagonalisation to an economic context, such as the study of a dynamical process in the long run.
  16. To be able to distinguish the endogenous and exogenous variables of an economic system and to know how to use functions to represent the relations between these variables.
  17. To be able to identify the chained dependency between different variables and to know how to calculate the variation in the final variables with respect to any of the initial ones.
  18.  To be able to identify a homogeneous function and its implications, in particular, in the scenario of production functions.
  19. To identify whether the indefinite integral of a function can be obtained by basic integration and to be able to work it out by using the table of basic integrals. Identify the most adequate method for computing the indefinite integral of a function.

2.2. Importance of learning goals

The techniques of linear algebra allow the study of both simple models of economic equilibrium and more elaborate theories related to the inter-sector analysis of an economy (input-output models). Differential Calculus, with one and several variables, permits the introduction of the marginalist approach in Economics. In that context, concepts such as function and functional relationship (exogenous and endogenous variable(s)), elasticity, marginal product, marginal rate of substitution, returns to scale, etc. –which will be part of the students’ daily jargon– are founded on Calculus (especially  on Differential Calculus). Integral Calculus allows the definition of welfare measures (such as consumer surplus) and it is useful for financial model analysis.

In summary, the subject Mathematics I contributes to the comprehension of some theoretical concepts and models which are dealt with in other related subjects in the Degree.

3.1. Aims of the course

The general objectives of the mathematical subjects in this Degree are included in the following two main goals: (1) Mathematical education, (2) Training to apply Mathematics to the challenges that the students will encounter in their careers.

In the subject Mathematics I, students are introduced to the rigour, the precision, the capacity for abstraction and the scientific method that characterise most of the subjects in the Degree. Regarding the second goal –to train the students to solve specific problems–, in this subject, the students are taught to model and solve simple problems by using techniques of linear algebra and differential and integral calculus.

3.2. Competences

After completing the course, the student will be competent in the following skills:

Problem solving.

Analysis and synthesis


Applying knowledge to practice

4.1. Assessment tasks (description of tasks, marking system and assessment criteria)

The evaluation will be GLOBAL in both the first and second sittings. It will consist of a final exam to be taken on the dates determined by the Faculty. The global exam will be written and will assess the proposed learning outcomes through questions that are theoretical, practical, or of a mixed theoretic-practical character and that will be based on the topics taught. It will be worth 10 points.


In addition, in the first sitting, and if the teacher considers it adequate, it will be possible to take a voluntary intermediate test worth 5 points. This test will assess the student's knowledge of the Preliminaries and Chapters 1 and 2 of the subject, and it will take place on the date indicated by the teacher that will be announced in advance in the classroom and/or the virtual teaching platform.


The students who obtain a mark of at least 50% of the maximum value in this test  (2.5 points out of 5) will be able to eliminate the corresponding topics from the global exam at the first sitting, and to take the exam of only the rest of the contents (worth 5 points out of 10). In this case, the mark corresponding to the eliminated topics will be added to the mark of the global exam.


It has to be taken into account that the evaluation process closes at the end of the academic year, so it is not possible to claim academic merits from one academic year in a later one.


Students taking their exams at their fifth or sixth opportunity will be marked following the rules established under the Governing Council Agreement on 22 December 2010, which sets out the assessment regulations in the University of Zaragoza.


Evaluation Criteria


Students will be assessed on whether they have acquired the learning outcomes mentioned above. In particular, they will be assessed on the following aspects:

  1. Correct mathematical writing.
  2. Logical reasoning in the posing and solving of the problems.
  3. Reference to the theoretical results used, when relevant.
  4. The choice of the most appropriate method for the solving of problems .
  5. Clarity in the application of mathematical concepts and procedure s.
  6. Computations carried out with care.
  7. The correct expression of the results obtained when solving problems.


5.1. Methodological overview

The objective of this subject is that the students should develop the analytical skills, rigour and intuition needed for using mathematical concepts and results and that they should be able to apply these abilities to the analysis of problems of an economic nature. Therefore, the teaching should aim to provide students with a solid mathematical knowledge and to train them in a way of reasoning that will allow them thereafter to successfully solve a wide variety of questions in an economic scenario

5.2. Learning tasks

Theoretical lessons which will be based on lectures to present the concepts and results corresponding to the contents. At the same time, some exercises will be solved with the participation of the students to help them comprehend the theoretical concepts presented. These classes are face-to-face and will be given to the full group. Time allotted: 1.2 ECTS credits (30 hours).

Practical lessons, in which the students will apply the theoretical results in order to solve, with the teacher’s help, more complete exercises, and problems of an economic nature. Problem sheets will be available for the students and the teacher will announce in advance the problems that will be solved in each practical lesson so that the students can prepare them beforehand. These classes are face-to-face and will be given separately to each subgroup. Time allotted: 1.2 ECTS credits (30 hours each subgroup).

Seminars (practical classes P6), which may consist of a number of different activities designed to support the learning process, including: follow-up of some simple projects that had been assigned to small teams of students and the presentation of these projects; answering questions that students may have regarding some of the contents taught; solving problems of an economic nature by using some of the mathematical tools taught during the classes, etc. These seminars may also be devoted to the teaching of more advanced topics, intended for the students interested in learning some further mathematical tools that would allow them to deal with more general problems. In this way, the students are shown that both Mathematics and Economics are vibrant sciences with many facets to be studied.

Time allotted: Subject to an agreement of the Consejo de Departamento.

Out of class work: 3.6 ECTS credits.

5.3. Syllabus

Preliminaries: Determinants.Applications: calculation of the rank of a matrix, calculation of the inverse matrix and Cramer’s Rule

Chapter 1.  Diagonalization of square matrices

1.1. Rn: Spanning sets. Basis.

1.2. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a square matrix: definition and calculation.

1.3. Diagonalization of a square matrix.

1.4. Application to the calculation of matrix powers.

Chapter 2. Real quadratic forms

2.1. Quadratic forms: definition. Matrix expression and polynomial expression.

2.2. Diagonal expression of a quadratic form.

2.3. Classification of a quadratic form according to its sign.

2.4. Constrained quadratic forms.

Chapter 3. Functions from Rn to Rm

3.1. Preliminaries: topological concepts.

3.2. Functions: domain, range and graph. Level sets of scalar functions.

3.3. Continuity of a function.

3.4. Differentiation of a function. Partial derivatives. Gradient vector. Jacobian matrix.

3.5. Differentiability. Directional derivative of differentiable functions.

3.6. Differentiation of composed functions: Chain’s Rule. Tree diagrams.

3.7. Higher order derivatives. Schwarz’s Theorem. Hessian matrix. Taylor’s Theorem.

3.8. Implicit function Theorem. Differentiation of implicit functions.

3.9. Homogeneous functions. Euler’s Theorem.

3.10. Basic integration methods  of function of one variable. Barrow’s Rule.

5.5. Bibliography and recommended resources

[BB: Bibliografía básica / BC: Bibliografía complementaria]


BB [ADE-i] - Anton, Howard. Elementary linear algebra : with supplemental applications / Howard Anton, Chris Rorres . 10th ed. New York [etc.] : John Wiley and Sons, cop. 2011
BB [ADE-i] - Larson, Ron. Calculus / Ron Larson, Bruce Edwards . 10th ed., International ed. Australia [etc.] : Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, cop. 2014
BB [ADE-i] - Lay, David C.. Linear algebra and its applications / David Lay . 4th ed., Pearson New International ed. Harlow : Pearson Education, cop. 2014
BB [ADE-i] - Marsden, Jerrold E.. Vector calculus / Jerrold E. Marsden, Anthony J. Tromba . 6th ed., International ed. New York : W.H. Freeman, cop. 2012
BB Balbás de la Corte, Alejandro. Análisis matemático para la economía. I, Cálculo diferencial / Alejandro Balbás de la Corte, José Antonio Gil Fana, Sinesio Gutiérrez Valdeón . [reimp.] Madrid : AC, D.L. 1991
BB Balbás de la Corte, Alejandro. Análisis matemático para la economía. II, Cálculo integral y sistemas dinámicos / Alejandro Balbás de la Corte, José Antonio Gil Fana, Sinesio Gutierrez Valdeón Madrid : AC, 1990
BB Ejercicios resueltos de matemáticas empresariales / P. Alegre... [et al.] . - 1ª ed., 3ª reimp. Madrid : AC, 2005
BB Gutierrez Valdeón, Sinesio. Algebra lineal para la economía / Sinesio Gutierrez Valdeón . 2ª ed., 1ª reimp. Madrid : AC, 2002
BB Jarne Jarne, Gloria. Matemáticas para la economía : álgebra lineal y cálculo diferencial / Gloria Jarne Jarne, Isabel Pérez-Grasa, Esperanza Minguillón Constante . Madrid [etc] : McGraw-Hill, D.L. 2010 [También recomendado para ADE-i]
BB Pérez Grasa, Isabel. Matemáticas para la economía : programación matemática y sistemas dinámicos / Isabel Pérez-Grasa, Esperanza Minguillón Constante, Gloria Jarne Jarne . Madrid [etc] : McGraw-Hill, cop. 2001 [También recomendado para ADE-i]
BC [ADE-i] - Apostol, Tom M.. Calculus [by] Tom M. Apostol.. 2d ed. Waltham, Mass., Blaisdell Pub. Co. [1967-69] [dos volúmenes]
BC [ADE-i] - Apostol, Tom M.. Mathematical analysis / Tom M. Apostol . 2nd ed. Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley, cop. 1974
BC [ADE-i] - Berck, Peter. Economist's mathematical manual / Peter Berck ; Knut Sydsàeter . 2nd ed. Berlin : Springer-Verlag, cop. 1993
BC [ADE-i] - Chiang, Alpha C.. Fundamental methods of mathematical economics / Alpha C. Chiang, Kevin Wainwright . 4th ed. Boston [etc.] : McGraw-Hill, 2005
BC [ADE-i] - Miller, Ronald E.. Optimization : foundations and applications / Ronald E. Miller . New York [etc.] : John Wiley & Sons, cop. 2000
BC [ADE-i] - Protter, Murray H.. A first course in real analysis / M.H. Protter, C.B. Morrey . New York, [etc] : Springer-Verlag, cop. 1977
BC [ADE-i] - Rudin, Walter. Principles of mathematical analysis / Walter Rudin . 3rd ed. Auckland [etc.] : McGraw-Hill, 1976
BC [ADE-i] - Stewart, James. Calculus / James Stewart . 2nd ed. Pacific Grove, California : Brooks Cole, cop. 1991
BC Chiang, Alpha C.. Métodos fundamentales de economía matemática / Alpha C. Chiang, Kevin Wainwright ; traducción, Francisco Sánchez Fragoso, Raúl Arrioja Juárez ; revisión técnica, Andrés González Nucamendi, Filadelfo León Cázares . - 4ª ed. México [etc.] : McGraw-Hill, cop. 2006
BC García Castro, Fernando. Cálculo infinitesimal-I / Fernando García Castro, Andrés Gutiérrez Gómez . [5a. ed.] Madrid : Pirámide, D.L. 1992
BC García Castro, Fernando. Cálculo infinitesimal-II / Fernando García Castro, Andrés Gutiérrez Gómez . 4a ed Madrid : Pirámide, 1992
BC Heras Martínez, Antonio. Problemas de álgebra lineal para la economía / Antonio Heras Martínez, José Luis Vilar Zanón . Madrid : AC, 1988
BC Larson, Ron : Cálculo 1 de una variable / Ron Larson, Bruce H. Edwards ; revisión técnica, Marlene Aguilar Abalo ... [et al.] ; [traducción: Joel Ibarra Escutia ... (et al.)] . - 9ª ed. México [etc.] : McGraw Hill, cop. 2010
BC Larson, Ron : Cálculo 2 de varias variables / Ron Larson, Bruce H. Edwards ; revisión técnica, Marlene Aguilar Abalo ... [et al.] ; [traducción: Joel Ibarra Escutia ... (et al.)] . - 9ª ed. México [etc.] : McGraw Hill, cop. 2010
BC Manual de álgebra lineal / Francisco Muñoz...[] . 1a ed., 1a reimp. Barcelona : Ariel, 1990
BC Matemáticas universitarias introductorias con nivelador Mymathlab tutor interactivo online / Franklin D. Demana ... [et al.] ; traductor, Víctor Hugo Ibarra Mercado, Javier Enríquez Brito ; revisión técnica, Ernesto Filio López, Luis Ángel Filio Rivera, Javier Alfaro Pastor . México [etc.] : Pearson Educación, 2009
BC Minguillón Constante, Esperanza : Matemáticas para la economía : álgebra lineal y cálculo diferencial. Libro de ejercicios / Esperanza Minguillón Constante, Gloria Jarne Jarne, Isabel Pérez-Grasa Madrid [etc] : McGraw-Hill, D.L. 2010
BC Sydsaeter, Knut. Matemáticas para el análisis económico / Knut Sydsaeter, Peter Hammond ; traducción, Manuel Jesús Soto Prieto, José Luis Vicente Córdoba ; revisión técnica, Emilio Cerdá Tena , Xavier Martínez Guiralt . Última reimp. Madrid [etc.] : Prentice Hall, 2008
  Jarne, Gloria ; Minguillón, Esperanza ; Zabal, Trinidad : Curso básico de MATEMÁTICAS PARA ESTUDIANTES DE ECONómicas y empresariales