• Class Number 7852
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Sander Heinsalu
    • Dr Sander Heinsalu
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
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

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 the optimisation techniques that underpin the modelling. Optimisation is central in modern economic analysis. It is used in all fields of economics to analyse all markets (monopoly, perfect competition, oligopoly). This 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 and rigorously as possible, and will be illustrated using standard applications from economics. The course emphasizes model building in various contexts: how to convert a real-world problem to a mathematical problem, solve it and convert the solution back to real-world actionable recommendations.

Required Resources

You may need access to a calculator to complete the exercises required for this course.

"Mathematics for Economics and Finance" by Michael Harrison and Patrick Waldron 2011 (eBook free via ANU Library)

"How to prove it" 2006 by Daniel J. Velleman (eBook free via ANU Library)

"Mathematics for Economists" 1994 by Carl Simon and Lawrence Blume (Chifley library 2-hour reserve)

"Mathematics for economic analysis" 1995 by Knut Sydsaeter and Peter J. Hammond, later editions split into "Essential mathematics for economic analysis" and "Further mathematics for economic analysis" (many editions of both in Chifley library, either 2-hour reserve or regular borrowing)

Staff Feedback

The lecturer will provide feedback to students individually and as a group, based on the assessment items, the interactions in consultation hours, Wattle forums and other contacts.

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

Raw grades are computed using the assessment weights described above. The final grades may be scaled from the raw marks. Any scaling will preserve the ranking of students.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to probability, logic and proofs
2 Vector space and basis quiz
3 Eigenvalues and definite matrices quiz
4 Introduction to optimization quiz
5 Multivariable calculus, the chain rule quiz
6 Taylor expansion and unconstrained optimization quiz
7 Convex functions and sets
8 Convex functions and sets quiz
9 Constrained optimization quiz
10 Optimality conditions with inequality constraints quiz
11 The Implicit Function Theorem quiz
12 The Envelope Theorem quiz

Tutorial Registration

Tutorials will be delivered remotely for this semester. Sign up for tutorials will be available on the Wattle course site where more details can be found in O-week.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Online quizzes 100 % 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Due to travel restrictions this course will be delivered through online platforms. Aspects of the delivery may be asynchronous or synchronous. Details on the delivery of this course and expectations of student participation are outlined in further detail on the Wattle course site in O-week.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 100 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Online quizzes

Ten (10) times during the semester there will be an online quiz testing knowledge covered in all preceding weeks (with emphasis on latest week's knowledge). Each quiz will be worth 10 points and count for 10% to your final grade. The quizzes will be available with at least 2 days notice and be open for a period of 4 days. However, you will only have approximately 1 hour to complete the quiz and you can only attempt the quiz once. There will be instructions at the beginning of each quiz. Make sure you read them thoroughly before commencing. Further information on the quizzes will be provided on Wattle in week 1.

If you miss a quiz for a legitimate reason, documentation satisfying the relevant ANU regulations must be sent to sander.heinsalu@anu.edu.au, and your completed quizzes will be re-weighted. Quiz answers will be provided upon closure of the quiz and further detailed answers provided on Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You may 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 (for example, a pdf print of the webpage, a screenshot or a saved webpage). Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education), submission must be through the appropriate online platform, e.g. Turnitin. Further information will be provided on Wattle.

Hardcopy Submission


Late Submission

Late submission not permitted. Submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

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.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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 Sander Heinsalu

Research Interests

Microeconomic theory, Game theory

Dr Sander Heinsalu

Tuesday 17:00 18:00
Tuesday 17:00 18:00
Thursday 18:00 19:00
Dr Sander Heinsalu
+61 2 6125 5111

Research Interests

Dr Sander Heinsalu

Tuesday 17:00 18:00
Tuesday 17:00 18:00
Thursday 18:00 19:00

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