Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
ET2103 (AF:282587 AR:158922)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Surnames A-Di
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
4th Term
Course year
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The course, together with the other mathematics courses of the Business Administration and Management degree program, allows students to gain knowledge and understanding of the key mathematical concepts used in management disciplines and their application in real-world management decision problems.
The course aims at providing students with a general understanding of financial mathematics and data management as well as with skills in using spreadsheets and databases as tools for solving basic operational problems that arise in the economic and business fields such as: the evaluation of investments/mortgages/loans, the analysis of data on sales/inventories/human resources/production, the support to operational decisions. In particular, spreadsheets and databases will be used as information tools that enable structuring, processing and analyzing data and communicating information.
At the end of the course students should have acquired basic knowledge of financial mathematics and should know how to use spreadsheets and databases, eg, to evaluate basic investments/mortgages/loans (in the following referred as basic investments and financial instruments), to analyze and process data on sales/inventories/human resources/production, to support operational decisions. Specifically, students should:
1. Knowledge and understanding
- know the terminology and basic concepts of financial mathematics.
- understand the strengths and limitations of mathematical models and of software tools in supporting management decisions.
- know the basic principles of data management and, in particular, of relational database theory and their queries.
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- understand the main aspects of the contracts governing the basic investments and financial instruments.
- know how to determine the values of the different characteristics (eg, installments, interests, returns) of basic investments and financial instruments.
- know how to extract data of interest from a relational database.
3. Making judgements
- be able to critically assess under which circumstances basic investments and financial instruments may have a good performance.
- be able to assess which data in a database are most valuable to support simple business decisions.
4. Communication
- know how to present, discuss and prove the mathematical correctness and the economic viability of basic investments and financial instruments.
- know how to interact with database designers and managers.
- know how to argue simple business decisions from the quantitative perspective by making use of spreadsheets or of the results of database queries.
5. (Lifelong) learning skills
- be able to critically consult reference books and online material in the fields of financial mathematics and of data management for decision support.
OFA making up.
Having reached the learning objectives of the MATHEMATICS - 1 and MATHEMATICS - 2 courses.
Specifically, students are assumed to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding about the concepts and methods concerning systems of linear equalities and inequalities; matrix algebra, interest rates, minima and maxima of functions.
Having a basic knowledge of set theory.
1. The decision-making process:
- steps of a decision-making process and the data-driven decision making
- defining objectives, identifying constraints, determining and validating solutions
- potential and limitations of mathematical models and of use of software tools in support management decisions
2. Making management decisions with spreadsheets:
- importing of data, basic mathematical functions and logical functions
- Excel’s main financial functions and their mathematical structure
- evaluation of investments/mortgages/loans
- data analysis with filters and pivot tables
3. Making management decisions with databases:
- concepts of data, information and knowledge
- reasons to collect and manage data and associated costs
- introduction to databases
- relational databases
- normal forms
- Microsoft Access
- interrogation of a Microsoft Access database
- query by example
- advanced queries
4. Case studies.
Notes, slides, exercises, videos and other material necessary to follow lectures and to attain the intended learning outcomes are downloadable from the e-learning platform

Additional readings
- A. Basso, P. Pianca, Introduzione alla matematica finanziaria, Cedam, 2012 (students interested in financial mathematics)
- F. Borazzo, R. Candiotto, Applicazioni aziendali con Excel, Apogeo, 2013 (students interested in business and management applications of Excel)
- any Excel and Access manual (students interested in deepening their knowledge of Excel and Access)
The assessment of the students' learning occurs in two phases: during the course and at the end of the course.
During the course, students are encouraged to self-assess their learning by answering to the exercises and tests proposed on the e-learning platform.
At the end of the course students will have to take the final exam.
The exam consists of an oral/practical test that lasts about 45 minutes and aims at verifying that the students have acquired the concepts and are familiar with the software presented during classes.
In the final exam students are required to solve two financial or management problems (max 15 points for each problem) similar to the one introduced during classes by using spreadsheets and a database on a computer and to explain the methods that they have used for solving the problems.
For example, students may be asked:
- to explain the financial mathematics and data management concepts behind the solution methods they have used
- to argue the hypotheses that they assume to hold true
- to prove the correctness of the results obtained
- to discuss the economic-effectiveness of the analyzed operations

Problems similar to ones proposed during the final exam can be found in the university e-learning platform.
Face-to-face classes and studying material on the university e-learning platform This material includes case studies that students are invited to solve. This material also includes the solutions (possibly presented through videos) of the case studies to allow students to compare their solutions with the ones proposed by the instructor or used in the real word.

During the course, the instructor also introduces and solves some case studies with the help of software packages.
In doing so he encourages thought and discussion about the considered cases. In particular, he
- stresses the systemic approach that he uses to tackle considered problems and the mathematical concepts that lie behind the possible solution methods
- discusses the inherent difficulties of modeling a real-world problem, such as data collection,
- shows how to use the results provided by the mathematical model, eg, to negotiate a loan in the light of the typical characteristic of a contract
- presents situations in which software tools may fail to return a correct answer and explains how to react to these difficulties
1) Students should register in the related course (Strumenti Computazionali per il Management/Computational Tools for Management) web page of the university e-learning platform

2) Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion
Accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments

Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:
written and oral
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 23/04/2018