Quantitative Reasoning and Problem Solving

Math 141 (LEC 2)

When: TR 1:00p-2:15p
Where: 19 Ingraham
Lecturer:Professor Joel Robbin
Office:313 Van Vleck Hall
Telephone: 3-4698
Email: robbin@math.wisc.edu
Office hours: TR 11:00-12:00 a.m.  W 10:00-12:00 a.m.
Grader:Isha Jha
Email: ijha@wisc.edu
Text: COMAP: For All Pratical Purposes, seventh edition, W.H. Freeman, 2006.

Final Exam
Here is the take home final exam. The final exam will due in my office at 12:25 P.M. Friday Dec 22 but you may hand it in earlier.

First Exam Redux
You can view/upload the first exam here.

Grading policy
First Midterm Exam  100 points
First Exam Redo (Due Tuesday Oct 24)  100 points
Second Midterm Exam in class Thursday Dec 14  100 points
Final exam (Take Home: 12:25 P.M. Friday Dec 22)  100 points
Weekly Homework (see below)  100 points
Problems (see below)  300 points
The lectures will follow the text, and the exams will be be based on this material.

Syllabus and Homework
We will start with the Part VII of the text: Chapters 21-23. Then go through the text from the beginning and cover as much as seems feasible. The following table gives the date when a chapter from the text is covered, the homework assignment(s) from that chapter, and the date when each assignment is due. There will be about 7 assignments worth 20 points each. The homework is intended to help you learn the material. The grader will try to find your conceptual errors. Show respect for the grader. Do not hand in messy or incoherent work. The grader will not grade it.

ChapterStart DateAssignmentDue Date
21 Savings Models T Sep 5 pp 825-831: 2-7,11,15,17,21,28 R Sep 21
22 Savings Models T Sep 12 pp 829-832: 29-36, 43-45T Sep 26
22 Borrowing Models T Sep 12 pp 852-853:1,2,4,5,7,9,15-26T Oct 3
1 Urban Services T Oct 24 pp 25-30:1,2,18,22,25,26,27,28,31,39T Oct 31
2 Business Efficiency T Oct 31 pp 64-65:1-11T Nov 2
2 Business Efficiency T Oct 31 pp 66-75:14,15,16,17,23,33,34,35,41,42,44,48,51,53,68 T Nov 16
15 Game Theory T Nov 9 pp 584-588:1-10, 17 T Nov 28
15 Apportionment T Nov 28 pp 534-536: 8,9,10,15,16, 19-22 R Dec 7


Click this link to view/download a collection of problems. These problems require no specific knowledge beyond arithmetic and high school algebra, but they are not easy. The lectures and homework correspond to the textbook, but the problems do not. My hope is that you will struggle with them and that the struggle will benefit you. Each problem has a point value as indicated. The total point count is about 1000 points. You may earn up to 300 points. The following policy applies.

  1. You may collaborate on these problems, but if you do, you must disclose who you worked with. If you worked alone, so indicate. If you received help from someone, so indicate. If you used some written source in solving a problem, so indicate. In any case, the final writeup of a problem must be your own. Your grade will not depend on whether or not you worked alone or received help or used a written source.
    The first page of any problem set that you hand in must disclose
    • who (if anyone) you worked with,
    • who (if anyone) helped you,
    • what (if any) other sources you use, or else
    • a declration that you worked alone.
    The reason for requiring disclosure is to reinforce academic honesty as a value. (Mathematicians frequently discuss their research with each other, but always acknowledge these discussions in the final product.)
  2. For all these problems, it is not enough to simply state an answer; you must show your work in such a way that someone unfamiliar with this course (but reasonably skilled at arithmetic and high school algebra) can follow your reasoning. Your grade will be based in part on the clarity of the exposition.
  3. You may ask me for help either by email, in class, or during office hours.
  4. Show respect for the grader. Messy work will be marked down.
  5. You may resubmit any problem. The problem will be graded as if it were the first submission, and the final grade on the problem will be the grade on the final submission.
  6. In order to insure that you do not put off doing any problems until late in the semester the following deadlines are imposed. To earn the full 300 points you must If you fail to meet these deadlines, your score will be reduced. For example, if you only earn 140 points on work handed in before Monday October 2 you will lose 10 points. However, if a problem is handed in before a deadline, and that same problem is later redone, the redone problem is treated as if it was handed in before the deadline.