FYS 129: Mathematics and Finances - Fall 2012

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Important Notes

• (08/21 - 9:00am) Please, check this section often. I will put announcements and important info here.

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Instructor Contact and General Information

Instructor: Luís Finotti

Office: Ayres Hall 243

Office Hours: M, W 11am-12pm or by appointment (subject to change!!)

Textbook: Not required. Notes should suffice.

Prerequisite: None.

Class: M 2:30pm-3:20pm at Ayres B004. (Section 063.)

Exams: None.

Grade: Pass/Fail based on HWs (at least 60% average) and class participation. Attendance required!

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Course Information

Content

The main goal of this course is to provide the necessary mathematical tools for you to understand finances, more precisely, investments and loans. As such, we will begin with exponential and logarithms, which play the central roles in this context. We will start those from the beginning, even though most students should be familiar with them. But we will try to do it in the most natural way, and hopefully offer a new perspective on them.

When we have mastered exponentials and logs, we will start with finances. The central topic is, of course, compound interest. We will deal with many very concrete examples of loans and investments. In particular, you will learn how to make a savings plan, and predict future values, giving you the ability to understand and take control of your financial situation/future.

If time allows, we will also deviate into (mathematically) related topics, such as radioactive decay and carbon dating.

Since this course will happen only once a week, it is very important that you take a quick look over the notes before class, so that you don't forget all that was done in the previous week.

Homework

Every once in a while (perhaps every class) I will assign a few problems. They should be quick and simple, with the main goal of making you practice what we've learned in class. An average of 60% is necessary to pass the course. You can work in groups, but each student has to write his own solutions and disclose the name of the other students in the group.

I will likely go over the solutions on the beginning of the class, so I can't accept late HWs, unless we've discussed it beforehand or you have a documented excuse.

Attendance is required! Every students has can miss up to two classes without justification. For more than two you will need a properly documented reason.

Feedback

I have an On-line Feedback Form where you can anonymously send me your comments and suggestions. I will consider your comments and try to do whatever I can to resolve possible problems before it is too late. So, please, feel free to use it whenever you have any constructive comment or suggestion. (In fact, I would greatly appreciate it.) If you don't want you comments to be anonymous, just send me an e-mail or come by my office and we can discuss the problem.

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Legal Issues

Conduct

All students should be familiar and maintain their Academic Integrity: from
Hilltopics 2012/2013, pg. 46:

The university expects that all academic work will provide an honest reflection of the knowledge and abilities of both students and faculty. Cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of data, providing unauthorized help, and other acts of academic dishonesty are abhorrent to the purposes for which the university exists. In support of its commitment to academic integrity, the university has adopted an Honor Statement.

All students should follow the Honor Statement: from Hilltopics 2012/2013, pg. 16:

Honor Statement

``An essential feature of The University of Tennessee is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As a student of the University, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.''

You should also be familiar with the Classroom Behavior Expectations.

Disabilities

Students with disabilities that need special accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services and bring me the appropriate letter/forms.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

For Sexual Harassment and Discrimination information, please visit the Office of Equity and Diversity.

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Important dates:

Wednesday, August 22 - Classes begin.

Friday, August 31 - Last day to add, change grade options, or drop a full semester course without a "W".

Monday, September 03 - Labor Day Holiday. (No class.)

Wednesday, October 10 - No class.

Thursday-Friday, October 11-12 - Fall Break. (No class.)

Tuesday, November 13 - Last day to drop a full term course with a "W".

Wednesday, November 21 - No class.

Thursday-Friday, November 22-23 - Thanksgiving. (No class.)

Tuesday, December 04 - Last Class Day.

More dates.

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