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Mathématiques I

  • Teacher(s):   C.Darbellay   F.Dufresne   D.Nilles  
  • English title: Mathematics I
  • Course given in: French
  • ECTS Credits: 6 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2019-2020, 3.0h. course + 1.0h exercices (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences



Students enrolling in the Ecole des HEC are often surprised to find a whole range of mathematics courses in their program. This is because the first year of studies has to provide them with "tools," and mathematics is one of these. The mathematics courses of the Faculté des HEC do not aim to teach theories for their own sake, but to introduce students to a certain number of notions -and their properties- which they will subsequently need to use. Of the three classical features of mathematics -abstraction, logic and utility- the course stresses utility and the training of logical reflection.


Mathematical analysis studies the properties of functions of real variables. The course deals first of all with functions of a single variable. The basic operation is derivation, with its reciprocal operation of integration. Taylor's development gives good local approximation and is the most important tool enabling one to find particularly useful values, e.g. extreme values. Basic techniques for finding the solution of differential equations are also presented. The student learns how to "mathematize" a certain number of notions encountered in the parallel course in Economics.

In addition, one third of the course consists in an introduction to financial mathematics. We discuss the concepts of discounting and accumulation (present and future values), equivalence of payments, the evolution of a debt, the evaluation of a bond, and different notions regarding interest rates.


Recommended book:
Sydsaeter K. & Hammond P. (2014), Mathématiques pour l’économie,
Pearson, Paris, ISBN-13 978-2-3260-0032-2

Allen R.G.D., Mathematical Analysis for Economists, Macmillan, ISBN 333-07831-4.

Black J. & Bradley J.-F., Essential Mathematics for Economists, John Wiley & Sons, C. 1973, ISBN 0-471-07713-5.

Deschamps P., Cours de mathématiques pour économistes (manuel de 1er cycle), Ed. Dunod C. Bordas, Paris, 1988, ISBN 2-04-018659-X.

Rommelfanger H., Mathematik für Wirtschaftswissenschaftler, B.I. - Hochschultaschenbücher, Band 680, ISBN 3-411-00680-3.

Simon C.P. et Blume L., Mathématiques pour économistes, De Boeck Université, Bruxelles, 1998.




First attempt

Written 3 hours
Not allowed
Allowed with restrictions

There will be a facultative mid-term test if enough lecture halls are available. If no mid-term test is held, the final grade will be the grade at the final exam.

Final Grade = 0.7*E + 0.3*max(E,ME) where E final exam's grade and ME is the mid-term exam's grade.

No documentation allowed.

Pocket calculators allowed: TI-30XIIB, TI-30XIIS, TI-30 ECO RS, HP 10S, or HP 10S+.


Written 3 hours
Not allowed
Allowed with restrictions

Same conditions as for the first attempt.

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