Business Mathematics I  
Prof. Donald H. Pelletier
2000-01 Fall term  
N506 Ross
AS/MA1581 3.0  
416-736-2100 ext.33339

February 28: The regulations concerning the Pass/Fail option for the current term were changed just last week and have received very little publicity. Some of you may be interested in this possibility and you have only until to Friday March 2 to decide. Go to the York homepage and follow the links for detailed information.

February 24: The posting has been corrected. Again, I apologize for the incorrect earlier posting. (The source of the problem remains a mystery!).

February 23: The final grades will be posted at this link when I figure out how to do it; an earlier posting yesterday was in error. The problem appears to be either with EXCEL's Save as HTML command or with the conversion of text files between Macintosh and UNIX. Sorry for the mistaken posting. :  1581 Final Grades

February 16: I will post the final grades outside my office door (N506Ross)
and will announce this fact here on the website when I eventually do it.

February 13: The final exam tomorrow in Curtis D at 8:30 covers
through and including Section 6.3 (except for the sections we skipped).
Depreciation is NOT on the exam. Last Thursday, we did Section 6.3
in class, including problems 6.2 A1 and A8 and 6.3 A1 and A2.

The class average on Test #2 was 23; there were 11 students with grades
of 30 or above, among which there were 3 perfect scores of 35.

The numerical answers to the questions from Class Test #2 are

Q1. $120,251.71
Q2. $21,220.21
Q3. $2,041.44
Q4. $25,430.26
Q5. Option A costs $215,606.34 and Option B costs $209,922.99
Q6. The final deposit is the 118-th and is equal to $121.04
Q7. $63.93 (rounded up)

The numerical answers to the questions from Class Test #1 are
Q1. 11.15%
Q2. 13.59%
Q3. 10.91%
Q4. 36 years 4 months and 11 days (plus or minus a day is OK)
Q5. $1,156.49
Q6. $1,135.09
Q7. $4,760.31
Q8. $4,760.79
Q9. $6,168.22
Q10. nearest year is 2023
Q11. 2 years 0 months and 16 days (plus or minus a day is OK)

January 23: The class test, covering Sections 3.1 to 3.5 plus Sections 4.1 and 4.2, will last the full hour and twenty minutes from 11:30 to 12:50. Students whose surnames begin with A through H should go to room 203 Founders College. All others should come to our regular classroom, S137 Ross.

January 16 and 18: the two classes this week were review for the class test to be held on Jan 23. From the Exercises in Section 3.7, we covered # 4, 10, 12, 14, 29 and from Section 4.5 we did # 1, 14, 18, 28.

January 17: to assist with the remediation process, there will be problem sessions for this course on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 in N501 Ross beginning tomorrow, January 18.

January 10 update: "York University Senate Announces Date for Resumption of Term

The York University Senate Executive Committee has announced that the additional instruction period for students will begin Friday, Jan.12 and continue to Monday, Feb.12, provided that the tentative offer between the university and CUPE 3903 teaching and graduate assistants is ratified.

The second Fall examination period will be held Feb.13 to Feb.23.

Winter Term will begin and Fall/Winter Term (full-year) classes resume Feb. 26 and end May 11."

Our classes in MA1581 will therefore resume on Tuesday Jan 16. Our first class test was originally scheduled for Nov. 7, shortly after the strike began. I am hereby rescheduling it for Tuesday Jan. 23. It will last for the full class period and will cover the same material that was initially programmed: Chapter 3 with the exception of Section 3.6 plus Chapter 4, Sections 1 and 2. The first two class periods on Jan. 16 and 18 will be devoted to reviewing material for the test and from Sections 5.1 and 5.2 that I covered in classes held during the beginning of the strike.

There will then remain five additional classes in the remedation period during which we will complete most of Chapter 5 (omitting Section 5.4) and the first three sections of Chapter 6. Our final exam will cover the entire course and will take place during the second Fall examination Period. The exact date should be known soon.

November 29 update: The Administration has posted guidelines for the eventual balance of the academic sessions at

In view of these guidelines, I have decided that MA1581 will NOT have an exam on December 7 as originally scheduled. Our lectures will resume whenever the 22 'Instructional Days Following the Disruption" occur. Our second class test will take place during the second week of this resumption and the final exam will be during the 'Second Examination Schedule'.

November 16 announcement: Lectures in this course are now suspended until the end of the strike. The University Senate has mandated the scheduling of make-up classes for courses that have continued to meet but with low attendance. Please visit the Administration's main website for detailed information. If our first class following resumption falls on Tuesday, the postponed second class test will take place the following Tuesday; if we resume on a Thursday, the test will occur on the Tuesday that follows. It will cover what was originally planned (Chapter 3 with the exception of Section 3.6 plus Chapter 4, Sections 1 and 2) despite the fact that new material has continued to be treated in classes.

November 16: We continued with applications of the general formulas for the entries in the k-th row of an amortization table, as obtained in 5.1 B1. We spent a lot of time on 5.1 B13. We also reviewed 5.1 B4 again.

November 14: We derived the formulas in 5.1 B1 an d used them, together with formulas (13) and (14) from Section 5.2, to do 5.1 B2, B5 and B6.

November 9: We covered parts of Section 7.4 on depreciation, the straight-line method, the constant-percentage method, and depletion. Exercises 7.4 A3 (a) and (b) and exercise 7.4 A10 were done in class.

We then began Chapter 5. Sections 5.1 and 5.2 are being treated together as a unit. Exercise 5.1 A6 was chosen as an illustration because it contains all the features that might arise. Next class, we will do the general case, with abstract notation, that includes the results from Exercise 5.1 B1 in particular.

November 7: We finished Section 4.2. Exercises A9, A11, and B5 from Section 4.2 were presented. As an added feature of Exercise 4.2 B5, we discussed the notion of accelerated payments as explained in Exercise B4 of Section 5.1.

In view of the lack of attendance, I have decided to devote next Thursday's class to Section 7.4 on depreciation because this material is simple and you can easily cover this section on your own. We will only treat the straight-line method, the constant percentage method, and depletion allowances. We will then begin Chapter 5.

I recommend visiting the websites of various banks to become familiar with the vocabulary relating to mortgages.

The following specific pages are useful; to get there in one step, you have to enter the full address, otherwise you have to hunt it down on their website.

Since the website is completely controlled by the adminis tration, I also recommend visiting if you wish to balance your sources of information.

November 2: This morning we finished covering Section 4.1. In all, from this section, the following problems have been presented in class: Part A, # 6, 11, 15, 23, 24 and Part B, #8. The problems that relate systematically to the equivalent payment method (Part B, # 2, 3, 6, 7) are to be omitted. Also, since we skipped Section 3.6, the problems from Section 4.1 in which the interest rate is the unknown should be omitted. Next week, we will complete the very brief introduction to mortgages in Section 4.2 and continue with the detailed discussion of mortgages in Chapter 5.

October 31: This morning, I returned Class Test 1 and went over the solutions in considerable detail at the board. No new material was covered.

The second class test scheduled for Nov. 9 is now definitely postponed.


Note that this course is a degree credit exclusion with AS/AK MATH 2580 6.0

Prerequisite: Grade 12 Mathematics. The three appendices in the textbook provide a review of the topics that are most relevant for the course: exponents, logarithms, arithmetic and geometric progressions.

Textbook and supplies: Mathematics of Finance, 4th edition, by P. Zima and R. L. Brown. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, publisher. This is a hardback and is available in the York bookstore. Caution: McGraw-Hill Ryerson also publishes in its Schaumís Outline series another book by the same authors with the same title; this is NOT our textbook.

Another essential item is a basic scientific calculator with the ability to compute logarithms, exponentials, reciprocals, and powers.

Tests and exams: There will be two in-class tests --- each worth 30% of the course grade. The dates for these are October 10 and November 7. There will be a 3-hour final exam during the December examination period worth 40%. All these will be "open-book" and open notes. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no control over the precise scheduling of the final exam; you must be prepared for it to fall on any date within the official exam period: December 6 to December 21, 2000.

Grades: The official grades at York University are LETTER grades. Qualitative descriptions of these grades can be found in the York Calendar. Your test marks will be on a numerical scale because these have to be weighted and averaged in various ways, but THERE IS NO AUTOMATIC PREDETERMINED CORRELATION BETWEEN NUMERICAL GRADES AND LETTER GRADES in this course. In particular, the "numerical" grades you receive are NOT to be interpreted as percentages. The median letter grade will likely fall between C and C+.

Homework: Throughout the term, your everyday homework 'assignment' is to do as many of the problems from the textbook as you find necessary to develop your understanding of the course material. These are not to be submitted nor graded; they should be viewed as practice for the tests which will contain, for the most part but not exclusively, questions very similar to those from the text. I will occasionally make specific suggestions concerning problems to do or to avoid. The back of the textbook contains the answers to all the numerical problems so it is quite practical to work on your own or together in small groups. Also, copies of a complete solutions manual are available at the reserve desk in Steacie library or can be purchased at the York bookstore.

Policy on missed tests or exams: No make-ups will be given for the class tests. Absence from any ONE of the two class tests, however, will be tolerated with no documentation required; the missed marks will be "forwarded" to the final exam. (This route is dangerous, however, and is not recommended.) Students who are absent from the final exam without a properly documented medical reason receive a grade of F. Note that travel plans should not be made prior to the announcement of the final exam schedule: having a plane ticket for Hawaii on December 15 is NOT a legitimate excuse for absence from a final exam on December 19.

Dates and deadlines: Last day to enrol without approval of the course director --- Sat. Sept. 23; last day to enrol with the written approval of the course director --- Friday Oct 6; last day to DROP the course without receiving a grade --- Friday November 10.

Office hours: Feel free to drop in at my office any time; I have no objection to unscheduled meetings; but if you wish to be certain to find me, however, it is best to set up an appointment by speaking with me before or after class or by sending me an email message. Written messages can also be left for me in the office of the mathematics department, N520 Ross.

Syllabus: The pair of half-courses 1581-2581 is equivalent to the full course 2580. Either MATH 1581 3.0 or MATH 2580 6.0 will serve to satisfy part of the Core requirements of the Business and Society Programme. Roughly speaking, 1581 contains all of the easy material from 2580 while 2581 deals with the 'complications'. Students who intend to take 6 rather than 3 credits in this area will find a more balanced distribution of workload by taking 2580. In particular, the material on spreadsheets is distributed over the full year in MA2580 but is covered only in the second term of the 1581-2581 sequence.

Chapter Sections

  1. 1 - 5
  2. 1 - 7
  3. 1 - 5
  4. 1 - 2
  5. 1 - 3, 5 - 7
  6. 1 - 3
  7. first half of section 4
Generalities: Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with York University Policy and Regulations. These can be found in the Undergraduate Programmes Calendar. Take special notice of the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty. Cheating and/or impersonation are subject to serious academic penalties. Photo identification will be required at all tests and examinations. Also, some test papers (randomly selected) will be photocopied before they are returned so that subsequent alterations can be detected.