As most master programs in economics, we at the University of Mannheim welcome students with a great variety of backgrounds every year. To help students from other fields and universities adjust to the strong quantitative focus of our program, and to provide an opportunity to review and refresh knowledge of central concepts, we offer this module called “E600 Mathematics” to prospective students.
The module consists of two parts: a series of block seminar sessions during the two weeks preceeding the lecture period (see below), and the online course you can find on this webpage. The resources are highly complementary and cover roughly the same content. While the classroom sessions expose students to all topics in a fairly short amount of time and thereby provide the opportunity to build some broad familiarity with all key mathematical concepts of the economics MSc program, the online course allows to dig deeper according to your own pace, schedule, and prior knowledge, and supports the seminar by collecting all relevant material.
The good news first: you don’t need to do anything. There is no exam, nor can you “fail” this class in any way – it is purely meant to offer training in mathematics according to your individual needs. That being said, if mathematical notation and formalities and the logic of mathematical proof are anywhere from slightly awkward to entirely inaccessible to you, you will make your life during the MSc much easier by anything you take away from E600. Even if your mathematical background is fairly solid, the course may help you better understand which mathematical concepts are important for economists, why this is the case, and how they relate to/build on each other.
First and most importantly, we expect that you are, to some degree, already able to deal with basic mathematical expressions and fundamental concepts (e.g. functions, sets) in a formal way. Therefore, you should read the online course’s introductory chapter, Chapter 0: Fundamentals of Mathematics, before coming to the first classroom session.
Second, please take the time to read the “contents and take-aways” for every chapter of the online course (accessible here). This will help you assess your level of knowledge, and how much effort you should invest in certain topics relative to others. You can also go back to these lists after studying to test your learning success.
What you explicitly do not need to do is worry about how much material there is, and how much of it may be new to you. You are not supposed to master all the course’s contents by the time the regular MSc courses start. It is already great if the course helps you recognize which methods can/should be used to solve certain mathematical problems, and you have a rough idea how to apply them. Everything beyond that is supposed to – and will – come naturally via learning-by-doing during the course of your master’s studies.
We usually offer a series of block seminar sessions during the two weeks preceeding the lecture period for this course. During this time, we will hold 5 block meetings from approx. 9:00 am – 4:30 pm every other day; days in between are left free for review and exercise, and some mental regeneration. Further information will be distributed by the program management (Sebastian Herdtweck) and posted on this webpage in due time.
2022 course format: For a summary, see the schedule available here. We will have daily E-classes on Zoom during the first week (Aug 22 – Aug 28) starting Wednesday, Aug 24 (the linked document includes the zoom links for these dates), and in-person lectures and exercise sessions every weekday in the second week (Aug 29 – Sep 4).