# FYS 129: Mathematics and Finances - Spring 2015

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## Instructor and General Information

 Instructor: Luís Finotti Office: Ayres Hall 251 Phone: 974-1321 (don't leave messages! -- e-mail (finotti at math dot utk dot edu) me if I don't answer!) e-mail: finotti at math dot utk dot edu Office Hours: MW 9-10 or by appointment.

 Textbook: Not required. Class notes should suffice. Prerequisite: None. Class: M 12:20-1:10 at Ayres Hall 114. (Section 5.) Exams: No exams! Grade: Pass/Fail based on HWs (at least 60% average) and class participation. Attendance required!

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## Course Information

### Course 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 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 can miss up to two classes without justification. For more than two you will need a properly documented reason.

### Feedback

In Blackboard you will be able to ask questions, answer surveys and send me feedback.

There is a forum where you can post questions about math or the course structure. There is also a link for (general) Feedback. Please, post all comments and suggestions there as often as you want. (I really appreciate your input.) These can be posted anonymously (or not). Just make sure to check the option before posting! Others students and myself will be able to respond and comment. If you prefer to keep the conversation private (between us), you can send me an , but then, of course, it won't be anonymous.

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### Conduct

All students should be familiar and maintain their Academic Integrity: from Hilltopics, 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, 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.

We are in a honor system in this course!

### 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.