Info
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Course 2018-2019 a.y.

30319 - QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR SOCIAL SCIENCES (MODULE I - MATHEMATICS)

BIG
Department of Decision Sciences

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 23

BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-S/01)
Course Director:
LORENZO PECCATI

Classes: 23 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 23: LORENZO PECCATI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

During the last decades an important evolution has been registered in the study of Social Sciences, like, for instance, Sociology and Political Science. These disciplines were cultivated in the past using almost always qualitative techniques and statistical analysis. At present the literature uses rather massively also some non-trivial mathematical models in the analysis of socio-political questions. Some examples are Arab Springs, Grexit, political consensus dynamics and connection between tools and objectives in political choices. The well-known UK program “Q-Step”, supporting the introduction of quantitative courses in programs oriented to Social Sciences, constitutes another relevant signal of the aforementioned evolution. The mission of this course is to introduce some mathematical tools useful in Social Science and to see how they can be used for the construction of models and how these models can help the understanding of socio-political issues.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The structure course contains three pillars:

  • The first one is a quick introduction to Linear Algebra and to its application in Politics. Several models are presented, together with their implementation with a scientific software.
  • The second pillar is a crash-introduction to Differential and Integral Calculus, with various applications in Economics, NGO management. Basic applications to Statistics are presented too.
  • The last pillar of the course consists in seeing how the quantitative and the qualitative  approaches to the study of Dynamic Systems do constitute a powerful tool for the analysis of socio-political questions.

The approach privileges intuition and not formal mathematical rigor. Special attention is put on model construction.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand, at least intuitively, Linear Algebra, Calculus and Dynamic Systems and  their applied potential in Social Sciences.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Construct simple models of interest for these Sciences and to manipulate analytically simple examples.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
DETAILS

Together with frontal lectures the students are regularly offered R&E sessions (R = Review; E = Exercises) in which students choose topics they would like to be re-explained or on which they would like to see exercises. This opportunity is offered also in extra-sessions for small groups. In the R&E sessions the topics to be covered are freely chosen by students.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Oral individual exam
  •     x
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The written exam includes a "modeling" part. Students are required to analyze an assigned concrete situation and to model it mathematically. They are asked also to use some mathematics to draw decisions about that situation.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • L. PECCATI, M. D'AMICO, M.CIGOLA, Mathematics for Social Sciences, Springer, New York, 2018. 
    • Mathcad files, available on Bboard.
    Last change 20/06/2018 12:20