Business Mathematics II
Prof. Donald H. Pelletier
2000-2001 Winter Term course
N506 Ross Building
AS/MA2581 3.0 MW
416-736-2100 extension 33339
T/R 11:30-1 in CLH B

May 21: The final grades are posted at this link:  Final Grades  The class average is 5.05 (a C+).

May 7: Reminder that tomorrow's class will be held in the Arts Media Lab, S403 Ross.
The final exam is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16 from 8:30 to 11:30 in Curtis C. It will, with some exceptions, cover part of section 4.4 (where the payments form a geometric progression) plus all of Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9 plus the Chapter 9 notes plus basic facts about EXCEL, including the handout on financial functions. The exceptions: omit sections 6.8, 7.4, and all material from Chapter 8 that is not directly related to mortality. Of course, certain basic facts from the earlier chapters are necessary to do the problems in these later chapters. Our folder on AML now contains a file called SampleFinal.doc in Microsoft Word format. This file contains an assortment of problems from previous years' exams in MA2580. Our last class this coming Thursday will be devoted to these; you are advised to work in advance those that relate to the material from MA2581.

April 20: Class test #2 is next Thursday, April 26; it will cover all of Chapter 6, Sections 7.1 and 7.2, those parts of Chapter 8 that concern mortality (for example, Exercises 8.2 A9 and A11 and 8.4 Example 5 that were done in class) and Sections 9.1 through 9.4. Some of the questions will require knowledge of the approach to Chapter 9 that uses commutation symbols, as explained in class and in the file Chap9notes. Any material covered in next Tuesday's class will not be on the test.

April 16: The notes for Chapter 9 are now available in both the ACADLABS folder and the AML folder. The filename is Chap9notes.doc and it is in Microsoft Word format. This same file in HTML format is at this link:  Chap9notes.html
The related EXCEL spreadsheet is called Mortality.xlw and is also available at both locations.
There is an updated version of the file FinFcns.XLS that contains examples illustrating the use of EXCEL's financial functions IRR and NPV.
The name of the server is ACADLABS.CCS.YORKU.CA and the path to the directory containing these files is  /usr/fac/dhp/ma2581/
The Arts Media Lab server is AML.YORKU.CA and the path to the directory containing the files is /winapps/MA2581/
We will begin treatment of this material tomorrow. Thursday's class will take place in the computer lab, S403 Ross.

April 13: Last week we began by returning class test #1 and presenting the solutions at the board; we then covered Sections 7.1 and 7.2 and began to cover Section 9.1. Our plan is to complete Chapter 9 and the relevant parts of Chapter 8 before returning to cover Sections 7.3 and 7.4; the point is that because it is essentially trivial, Section 7.4 on depreciation will only be covered if time permits and, even then, will not be included on the final exam. We discussed the worked-out examples 1 and 2 from the body of Section 7.1 and amplified example 2 with a spreadsheet-type calculation that emphasizes the meaning of NPV. The details are in the files 7-1Exs1-4.XLW and 7-2Ex4.XLW in our ACADLABS folder.
From Chapter 8 on probablility, we will only deal with problems that relate to mortality; we will not treat questions involving dice, cards, balls in boxes, and so on, such as those in Section 8.1. Our treatment of Chapter 9 will differ from the one in the text; a set of notes will be available for download from our course website and from ACADLABS.

April 9: Last week in class, we covered a lot of material: Sections 6.4, 6.5, 6.6 and 6.7. From Section 6.4, we presented and expanded on Examples 1 and 2 from the body of the text. From 6.5, we presented a corrected version of the graph on page 203 and did Exercises 6.5 A1, A6, B1 and  B2. From 6.6, Exercises A3 and A7. From 6.7, Exercise A1. The class tests will be returned tomorrow, April 10. An updated version of the file FinFcns.XLS is now available on both AML and ACADLABS.

March 26: Computer Services has informed me that the course files should now be accessible in the normal way on ACADLABS. They are also available in S403, the Arts Media Lab. The temporary fix described in the March 25 note below will also remain operative but just for the rest of the week.
Reminder: Tomorrow's class will meet in S403 Ross.

March 25: I have found a temporary fix for the problem.

I have uploaded the four most relevant files to York's anonymous FTP server so that you can download them to your local machine.
If you do not already have an FTP client on your local machine, it's a good thing to have and you can obtain one at no cost by downloading it from
For a PC, you should use WS-FTP
For a Mac, you should use FETCH

Here are the instructions for using WS-FTP or FETCH.  Enter the following at the obvious locations in your FTP client window:

User ID: anonymous
Directory: incoming

You will now see a window displaying the contents of the 'incoming' directory; it will appear to be empty.  This is because York has set up anonymous ftp so that the user must know the exact names of the files they wish to retrieve. You should now ask your FTP client to 'GET' the files you would like (one at a time).  Just type the appropriate filename into the 'GET' window.

The EXCEL file names are

The filenames are case sensitive and must be input exactly as shown above.

There is also a MSWord file which you only need if you did not receive the handout that I distributed in class.

March 23: There appears to be some problem in accessing the ACADLAB files. I have discussed this on the phone with CNS Client Services and we will try to iron things out tomorrow, Saturday.The ACADLABS setup seems to have changed since I last used it three years ago; I should not have taken this for granted.

March 15 update: We have covered the first three sections of Chapter 6. On March 20, our class will meet in the Arts Media Lab, S403 Ross, and we will begin presenting EXCEL. Ideally, before March 20, you should get your personal account for this lab (known as AML) by going to and following the instructions. If you are officially registered in MA2581, MAYA should recognize your right to an account on AML.

Although it is "possible" to learn enough EXCEL to succeed in the course without any hands-on experience, it is advisable to get some.
The web is crawling with EXCEL tutorials; I have not yet found a source that I consider ideal but hereare some suggestions:
I welcome your feedback in this area; if you find something you really like, please let me know about it. [this needs to be downloaded and used on your local machine]

Announcement: The dates for the two class tests have been set. Class test #1 on March 29 Class test #2 on April 26

March 10 update on material covered in class during the first two weeks:

Sections 2.8, 2.9, 3.6, 4.3, 4.4 (we only treated the case where the payments form a geometric progression; we will omit the case where they form an arithmetic progression) and the beginning of Chapter 6.

Material above this line has been posted since the beginning of classes.


Due to the strike, the Winter term has been delayed so that our first class will meet on February 27, 2001 and our last class will be on May 10, 2001. The final exam will fall during the exam period which extends from May 12 through May 26.

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 has just appeared. It is not substantially different from the 4th edition that we have been using in MA1581. Since most students in 2581 will be coming from the Fall term 1581 course, I will continue to teach from the 4th edition. Students who do not already have the text may confidently buy the 5th edition since the changes mostly involve additions to the problem sets. 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 late-March and in mid-April. There will be a 3-hour final exam during the May 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: May 12 through May 26, 2001.

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
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. 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.

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.

Dates and deadlines: The revised schedule for the Winter term is copied below.
2001 Winter Term
Monday February 26  First day of Winter Term (W and Y) classes. 
Friday March 9 Last day to add a Winter Term (W) course without the permission of the instructor. 
Friday March 23  Last day to add a Winter Term (W) course with the permission of the instructor. 
Friday March 30 Last day to drop a Fall/Winter Session (Y) course without receiving a grade. 
Sunday and Monday April 8 and
April 9
Passover. Classes will be held. (No exams may be held the evening prior to, nor the day of, these holy days.)
Thursday April 12  Last day to drop a Winter Term (W) course without receiving a grade. 
Friday April 13  Good Friday. No classes will be held. 
Saturday and Sunday  April 14 and
April 15
Passover. (No exams may be held the evening prior to, nor the day of, these holy days.)
Sunday April 15 Easter Sunday.
Friday May 11 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.
Saturday to Saturday May 12 to
May 26
Examinations. (Exams will not be held on Monday, May 21 - Victoria Day.) 


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.

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.