Fall 2009 Course Description

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis

Instructor(s): Jay Zarnikau
Course: P A 397 - Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
(previously Applied Quantitative Analysis I)
Unique Number: 63290
Day & Time: Thursdays, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.316
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

Description: This course introduces approaches to problem solving and quantitative analysis used in public policy analysis and the social sciences.  It emphasizes the art and skill of converting problem descriptions into quantitative models, and the analysis and interpretation of such models. 
Basic concepts in probability theory and applied statistics will be covered. Following a discussion of data sources and sampling methods, sample data will be used to make inferences about the parameters of larger populations. Relationships among variables will be analyzed.  
We will also look at how quantitative methods can be applied to support decision-making through decision matrices and decision trees.  The sensitivity of a decision to changes in the problem conditions will be studied. 

Mathematical optimization (primarily, linear programming) will be introduced as a technique for identifying the optimal solution to a problem. 

The course focuses on concepts and applications course, as opposed to formal proofs and derivations. Students will be required to make extensive use of Microsoft Excel computer spreadsheets for homework assignments. Little attention will be devoted to formal proofs and derivations.   

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