00679 - Foundations of Mathematics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will have a basic knowledge of the mathematical concepts and techniques that are of central importance for economics, finance, statistics and econometrics. The student will be able, in particular, to apply fruitfully tools and concepts from linear algebra, differential calculus and integral calculus to a wide range of topics and models in economics, finance and management.

Course contents

· Linear functions and linear models

· Systems of linear equations

· Matrix algebra and applications

· Sequences, infinite series, and applications

· Nonlinear functions and models

· Introduction to derivatives and differentiation techniques

· Application of derivatives

· Introduction to integral calculus and integration techniques

· Applications of integral calculus

· Multivariable functions

· Introduction to optimization


Knut Sydsaeter, Peter Hammond, Arne Strøm, Andrés Carvajal, “Metodi matematici per l'economia” (a cura di D. La Torre), Pearson, 2021.

(or: Knut Sydsaeter, Peter Hammond, Arne Strøm, “Metodi matematici per l'analisi economica e finanziaria” (a cura di D. La Torre e C. Pellizzari), Pearson, 2015).

Other useful textbooks:

· Stefan Waner, Steven R. Costenoble, ”Strumenti quantitativi per la gestione aziendale” (a cura di Marzia De Donno, Paola Modesti, Simona Sanfelici), 2018 (Seconda Edizione), Apogeo Education, Maggioli Editore.

· Peccati, Salsa, Squellati, “Matematica per l’economia e l’azienda”, 2018 (Quarta Edizione), Egea.

Teaching methods

Class lectures. During the class lectures (as well as in the additional exercise classes) each topic will be illustrated by examples, worked-out exercises and applications to Economics and Finance.

Assessment methods

Written examination.

The written exam aims at testing the student's ability to understand and effectively apply the basic and advanced concepts and techniques learned in the course to specific problems in calculus, linear algebra and their economic applications.

The written exam is based on exercises and problems on the various topics of the course. Sample exams will be made available on the VIRTUALE platform.

In case online exams will be envisaged by the University of Bologna, the exam will be run through Zoom and Exams Online - EOL (but the structure of the exam will remain the same). Detailed instructions on how to manage and hand in the online exam will be available on the course page on the VIRTUALE platform.

The maximum possible score is 30 cum laude, in case all anwers are correct, complete and formally rigorous.

The grade is graduated as follows:

<18 failed
18-23 sufficient
24-27 good
28-30 very good
30 e lode excellent


Grade rejection

Students can reject the grade obtained at the exam once. To this end, students must email a request to the instructor within the date set for registration. The instructor will confirm reception of the request within the same date.

Teaching tools

Slides and graphics tablet. Class slides will be made available on the VIRTUALE platform. Although class slides may be useful, they cannot replace textbooks.

Prior to the beginning of the course, a Crash Course in Mathematics will cover a number of introductory topics (so-called precalculus).

Office hours

See the website of Roberto Dieci