Business Mathematics II
Prof. Donald H. Pelletier
2001-2002 Winter Term course
N506 Ross Building
AS/MA2581 3.0 MW
416-736-2100 extension 33339
T/R 11:30-1 in S172 Ross

Unofficial final grades are posted   here.


I keep getting emails asking about the coverage of the final exam; here are more details.

The exam IS open book.

Chapter 5  everything except the sum-of-the-digits method
Chapter 6  everything except 6.8 (but NO interpolation questions to find an unknown interest rate)
Chapter 7  omit the section on Depreciation
Chapter 8  All of 8.4 plus those probability questions from 8.2 and 8.3 that relate to mortality
Chapter 9  everything (including the extra material we did concerning the Life Table of l-sub-x values)
(Questions on Chapter 9 will be doable by hand --- either the time frame will be short so the definitions themselves
can be used or the relevant values from the Mortality and Life tables will be given; there is no need to bring a printout of the tables.)

EXCEL You need to know the difference between relative and absolute cell
references in formulas and you need to know how to use the financial
functions on our list. There will not be a question concerning Goal Seek.

Among the spreadsheets in our ACADLABS folder, the most important ones are


especially the ones in BOLD


To access the course material related to spreadsheets, you need to get an account on ACADLABS. For more details concerning access to the files (updated 2pm Tuesday, Feb. 26 --- I've been informed that the previous problems have been fixed), read  this.


The second class test will take place on March 19. It will treat the material from Chapter 6 forward to what we will have covered by March 14, including the material on spreadsheets.


The first class test will take place on February 7.


Detailed syllabus: Follow this  link.

Prerequisite: AS/MATH 1581 3.0; SC/AS/COSC 1520 3.0 or permission of the course director.

Degree-credit exclusions: AS/SC/MATH 2280 3.0, AS/AK/MATH 2580 6.0.

Textbook and supplies: Mathematics of Finance, by P. Zima and R.L. Brown. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, publisher. A new 5th edition of this text was published last year. It is not substantially different from the 4th edition; the changes mostly involve additions to the problem sets.   Students who do not already have the text should buy the 5th edition but students who already own the 4th edition will be able to use it provided they make an occasional extra effort to reconcile the differences.  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 exact dates for these have not yet been decided but you should expect them in early February and in early to mid-March. There will be a 3-hour final exam during the April examination period worth 40%.  All the class tests 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: April 8 through April 25, 2002.

Grades: The official grades at York University are LETTER grades. Qualitative descriptions of these grades can be found in the York Calendar.
Read the paragraph labeled "Definitions of Grading Descriptions" at this link. 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, the 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 that 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, several copies of a complete solutions manual are available at the reserve desk in Steacie library and these can also be purchased at the York bookstore. The tests will also contain questions that require an understanding of EXCEL.

Excel: A component of the course is devoted to an introduction to the use of spreadsheets for financial calculations. We will be using Microsoftís EXCEL which functions on both the PC and Macintosh platforms. Some class sessions will be devoted to demonstrations of this software but students will be expected to work on their own in the microcomputer laboratories that are scattered throughout the Steacie Science building; these are open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The software manuals for EXCEL are on 2-hour reserve at the desk in Steacie library; but you should rarely need these because the program itself has substantial on-line help files. If you do not already have personal access to EXCEL (or to some compatible spreadsheet), then to access this program, you will require a personal "ACADLABS" account because this is the name of the server on which EXCEL resides. To obtain such an account, follow the instructions concerning MAYA available at the Computing Help Services desk in Steacie. Note that this account is different from your e-mail account.

Policy on missed tests or exams: No make-ups will be given for the class tests; the missed marks will be "forwarded" to the final exam.  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.

Syllabus: The pair of half-courses 1581-2581 is equivalent to the full course 2580. Both will cover the entire textbook plus the material on spreadsheets. 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.

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 but an email message is likely to reach me more quickly.

Email etiquette: Please use plain text only. NO attachments and NO HTML formatted messages. If you are using an anonymous account (joeblow@ for example) that's fine, but in this case, you should identify yourself in the body of the message by signing it with your name, student number and course section.

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.

Dates and deadlines: The schedule for the Winter term is copied below.
2002 Winter Term
Thursday January 3  First day of Winter Term (W and Y) classes. 
Friday January 11 Last day to add a Winter Term (W) course without the permission of the instructor. 
Friday January 25  Last day to add a Winter Term (W) course with the permission of the instructor. 
Friday February 8 Last day to drop a Fall/Winter Session (Y) course without receiving a grade. 
Friday March 1 Last day to drop a Winter Term (W) course without receiving a grade. 
Thursday and Friday March 28
and 29
Passover. Classes will be held. (No exams may be held the evening prior to, nor the day of, these holy days.)
Friday March 29  Good Friday. No classes will be held. 
Sunday March 31 Easter Sunday.
Wednesday and Thursday  April 3 and
April 4
Passover. Classes will be held. (No exams may be held the evening prior to, nor the day of, these holy days.)
Friday April 5 Last day of Winter Term (W) and Fall/Winter Session (Y) classes.

Last day to submit Winter Term (W) and Fall/Winter Session (Y) written work.
Monday --- Thursday April 8 to
April 25