On-line Math Modules

  • Pushkarskaya, Helen (PI)
  • Molzon, Robert (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Economics now requires a proficiency in very sophisticated mathematical techniques. The gap between undergraduate curriculum and graduate program requirements is increasing. This problem is more severe for Ag Economics programs because ofthe combination of the two factors: (1) Ag Econ admits students without strong training in math if they have important expertise in other Ag related areas (traditionally this has been a comparative advantage of AgEcon programs); (2) Ag Econ programs aim to give their students the same rigorous training in econ theory as econ students have. As a result, the lack of the math skills, not inability to understand the underline economics, stands on the way of successful completion of the first year theory courses for many AgEcon students. To address this problem, departments of economics offer a class "Mathematics for Economists" (usually I semester or 1 quarter). Many of them also offer a "Math Camp" - an intensive course offered before the beginning of the semester. These two classes have to cover all the topics in mathematics required for the first year Ph.D program. It hardly seems to be sufficient, especially if compared with 2-years training in Statistics and Econometrics. We propose to develop an online course for the Economics and especially for Ag. Economics students with the comprehensive set of modules from basic calculus to dynamic optimization and set theory. Each online module will contain a concise overview of the theory, algorithm on how to apply this theory to the problems, examples and extensive problem sets. We will use an online automatic grading system to ensure the immediate feedback. Students will also be able to contact instructors bye-mail. In addition some face-to-face sessions can be scheduled if necessary. First year Ph 0 students will be required to complete a certain number of modules by the end of the first year. They would be able to proceed at their own pace and/or on as-needed basis.
Effective start/end date7/15/087/14/10


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