• Class Number 2559
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ruitian Lang
    • Dr Ruitian Lang
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

Modern economic theory is based on mathematical models. Thus, a thorough understanding of the economic content of such models is not possible without a clear understanding of optimisation techniques that underpin the modeling. Course introduces students to a range of optimisation concepts and techniques for economics and financial economics that form the basis of advanced economic theory courses. The introduced concepts and techniques will be derived from basic principles and assumptions as thoroughly as possible, and will be illustrated using standard applications from economics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the mathematical methods that are most widely used in economics, both from a formal, abstract perspective, and an intuitive perspective.
  2. Know how to read, understand, and construct mathematical proofs, and appreciate their role in the derivation of mathematical concepts and structures.
  3. Apply mathematical methods and techniques that are formulated in abstract settings to concrete economic applications.

Research-Led Teaching

Optimization techniques play a central role in modern economic analysis. Using the techniques to solve real-world problems require model building skills. The course emphasizes model building in various contexts: how to convert a real-world problem to a mathematical problem and then solve it.

Examination Material or equipment

One double-sided A4 sheet (hand-written or typed) and a non-programmable calculator.

“Mathematics for Economists”, by Carl Simon and Lawrence Blume (on Chifley 2-hour reserve.)

Staff Feedback

The lecturer will pay close attention to students’ learning. Following interactions with students during lectures, tutorials, and consultations, the lecturer will provide to students, individually or as a group, timely feedback that improve their learning experience.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Your raw marks are computed using the weights on the assessment shown above. Your final mark may reflect some scaling from the raw marks; any scaling would preserve the rank of students.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to probability
2 Vector space and basis
3 Eigenvalues and definite matrices Assignment 1
4 Introduction to optimization, continuity
5 Multivariable calculus: the chain rule Assignment 2
6 Taylor expansion and unconstrained optimization
7 Convex functions on an interval
8 Convex functions on a convex set
9 Optimality conditions with equality constraints Assignment 3
10 Optimality conditions with inequality constraints
11 The Implicit Function Theorem Assignment 4
12 The envelope theorem
13 Examination period Final Exam

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 5 % 11/03/2019 18/03/2019 1,2,3
Assignment 2 5 % 25/03/2019 31/03/2019 1,2,3
Assignment 3 5 % 02/05/2019 09/05/2019 1,2,3
Assignment 4 5 % 16/05/2019 23/05/2019 1,2,3
Written mid-semester examination 30 % 01/04/2019 17/05/2019 1,2,3
Written final examination 50 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation is not assessed, but is essential to do well in this course.


A two-hour formal mid-semester exam (30%) and a three-hour final exam (50%).

Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 11/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 18/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 1

5%. Students solve problems using theory covered in the course, and the problems are designed to develop their analytical skills. Late submissions not permitted without extensions.

Expected word count: 1000.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 25/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 2

5%. Students solve problems using theory covered in the course, and the problems are designed to develop their analytical skills. Late submissions not permitted without extensions.

Expected word count: 1000.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 02/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 09/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 3

5%. Students solve problems using theory covered in the course, and the problems are designed to develop their analytical skills. Late submissions not permitted without extensions.

Expected word count: 1000.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 16/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 4

5%. Students solve problems using theory covered in the course, and the problems are designed to develop their analytical skills. Late submissions not permitted without extensions.

Expected word count: 1000.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 01/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Written mid-semester examination

30%. It will be scheduled in Week 6, 7, or 10. It will be 120 minute long, with a one double-sided A4 sheet (handwritten or typed) and a non-programmable calculator allowed. It covers material from the first five weeks. Detailed timing will be advised later in the semester.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Written final examination

50%. It will be scheduled by the central examination office in the examination period. Details will be available on timetabling later in the semester. It will be 180-minute long with one double-sided A4 sheet (handwritten or typed) and a non-programmable calculator allowed. It covers material from the entire semester, including those that have been covered in the mid-semester exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission


Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.


Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Submissions will be marked using Turnitin. Comments will be added and marks given there.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Ruitian Lang

Research Interests

Contract theory, Game theory

Dr Ruitian Lang

Thursday 14:00 15:30
Thursday 14:00 15:30
Dr Ruitian Lang

Research Interests

Dr Ruitian Lang

Thursday 14:00 15:30
Thursday 14:00 15:30

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions