Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
ET4010 (AF:359097 AR:188518)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
This is a compulsory course providing notions and skills about programming and the use of software packages for numerical problems, data-analysis and visualization. High-level computational competencies are needed to understand and quantitatively analyze economic and managerial problems and issues.

The course present economic problems of practical relevance that require numerical solutions or quantitative treatment. The powerful and widely adopted software R will be needed along the course (download is free at or ). The course uses a specifically trained version of ChatGPT and fosters the development of skills with group works.
a) Knowledge and understanding:
- formal definition of the mathematical problems to be used;
- introduction to generative AI and ChatGPT;
- know which R function/package to use to solve a given problem.

b) Applying knowledge and understanding:
- ability to write some (simple working) code to solve a problem and graphically visualize, whenever possible, the situation or the dataset under examination;
- ability to use and provide suitable inputs to R functions to solve a given problem
- ability to deal with syntax and logical errors and to check the overall soundness of the numerical solution.

c) Making judgements:
- ability to understand (some) relevant issues of an economic problem, use a software package to get a computational solution and discuss the meaning and reliability of the results.
This course emphasizes applications over theory. The successful completion of the first-year course in Mathematics is required. Some computer literacy is helpful and examples/problems will be drawn from quantitative and economic courses previously attended.
We will cover the following topics:

1) R basics (installation, console, defaults, input/output)
2) Graphics, root-finding (to find, say, rates of returns or market shares and equalize marginal cost with marginal revenue)
3) Maximizers/minimizers, optimization, constrained optimization (to determine, say, optimal production, price or quantity under budget constraints)
4) State preference model and linear algebra (to spot, say, arbitrages in a simple and simplified financial market)
5) Simulation (to be used to assess a stochastic output and its variability).

The use of ChatGPT is envisaged to stimulate learning and discuss solutions and approaches proposed by Artificial Intelligence tools.

Active participation is required and intense computer practice is needed to master the material and appreciate the potential of computational approaches for decision making and problem solving.
Lecture notes; commented R sessions provided by the instructor.

Suggested reading: "The R Guide" by Jason Owen, (other documentation, in Englis and Italian, can be found at )
Written exam in a lab environment. More information will be provided at the beginning of the course and mock exams published on Moodle: expect about 13 questions (2-3 also in open form) and the evaluation of 3 assignments or group works.
Lectures, flipped classes, practice sessions (bring your laptop with you since the first class!), and personalized exercises to be solved at home.
If you need something, say something ( More explicitly, if you are, say, color-blind, hearing impaired, diabetic T1, disabled or differently equal in any dimension, please let me know and we will find ways to improve feasibility, interaction and fun.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 13/03/2024