Spring 2008 Syllabus

Spring 2008 Syllabus - SYLLABUS, ECO 2023 SPRING, 2008...

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Unformatted text preview: SYLLABUS, ECO 2023 SPRING, 2008 PROFESSOR: M. RUSH OFFICE: 320 MAT OFFICE HOURS: Thursday, 9:45 to 11:45 AM Office Hours My office is in MAT 320. I have scheduled office hours on Thursday, from 9:45 to 11:45. Required Texts (and material not required!) The required text is the Microeconomics, 8th edition, by Michael Parkin. This book is a "soft cover" book. Recommended is the Study Guide I wrote to accompany the text book. The Study Guide has a cover similar to that of the book. It has a chapter summary, and then a plethora of questions for each chapter. I have copies of both the text book and the study guide on reserve at the library. So, if you are temporarily unable to buy the book, or want to look at the Study Guide there rather than buy it (which is surely a reasonable course of action) go to the library and use the copy there! If you want to buy a copy of the Study Guide alone, it is available in the bookstores for about $20. The book's MyEconLab web site also is not required. I think there is some useful information it but it definitely is not required. I am unsure, but I think that many more students do not use the MyEconLab web site that use it. I believe that the publisher has created a package of the book, the study guide, and access to the book's website at a price that is a touch more than the book alone. But, 1) you do NOT need the Study Guide or the book's website, and 2) DEFINITELY plan on buying AND reading the book. In past semesters there has been a "Study Card" available from the publisher for the class. I have never seen one of these, so it definitely is not required. I presume it has some useful information on it, but I do not know this for sure. There are several notetaking services for this class. There apparently also are tutoring services available. Some students find these notes and/or tutoring services exceptionally helpful; for others, they are an expensive indulgence. My view is that if these notes and/or tutors help you, then use them. However, I want to be clear that I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THEM. I provide copies of old exams and answer keys on the class web site so you do not need to buy these notes to acquire old, practice exams. 1 Some of the chapters cover very easy material and so I do not plan on talking much, if at all, about them in class. Examples of these include Chapter 1, Chapter 9, and Chapter 16. Budget your time as necessary to be sure that you read the book because I do expect you will read all the assigned chapters. We will skip Chapters 7 and 20. Class Web Page Plan on becoming acquainted with the class web page. On it I post almost everything you need to know about the course. If you are in one of the online sections, it is also the path through which you watch the class lectures on the Internet. To get to the class web page, start from http://lss.at.ufl.edu/ and click on the "ELearning System." BOOKMARK THIS PAGE! Use your Gator link user name and password. Then, if everything works out right, you will be taken to a list of all your classes that use Vista. Our course is your ECO 2023 class. There may be several ECO 2023 classes listed. If there is more than one ECO 2023 class listed, some will have "Exam feedback" as part of the title. These pages are used for the various exams--you can go there after the exams are graded and posted to see your score and your answers for the multiple choice questions. If these pages are not listed; do NOT worry--they will show up after the exams. Class Web Page Problems Will everything work out correctly so that you get to the class web page with no problems? Perhaps. Perhaps also I shall exercise and lose 15 pounds this semester, as well as eat a plethora of leafy green vegetables. Now, you can't do anything about my exercising or dining habits. But if you encounter an error in trying to access either the class web page or the lectures, here is a valuable link for you: http://notes.cba.ufl.edu/cbahelp.nsf/request_udg?openform What is this link? It is a link to the "Problem Report Form." I cannot help with any of the technical issues. But the computer technicians can help--and the feedback I get from the students is that they are a lot of help! So, if you have a problem, DO NOT email me. Every semester I have students email me about a problem. All they are doing is to 1) admit that they haven't bothered to read this syllabus, which surely does not endear them to me, and 2) delay resolution of their problem because I can do nothing. So, rather than email me, use the link I've given you to ask the people who know what to do for help. Indeed, I've bookmarked the link--I suggest you do likewise! In other words: SAVE THIS LINK. IT IS USEFUL!! Please keep in mind that this class web page is not the same as the book's web page, the MyEconLab web site. Do not confuse the two web sites. I use the class web site a lot and I do not use (that is, I do not post anything) on the book's web site. 2 Quizzes I have created some practice quizzes on the class website. If all goes well, these quizzes should help you prepare for the exams. (You see, the Vista system and I do NOT get along with each other.) They will be tied to different chapters. The quizzes have no credit associated with them; think of them as homework that will help you prepare for the tests. Email I do not plan on using the email that is within the WebCT Vista itself. If I do change this decision, however, I will announce it in class. But until then, there are two email addresses for this class. Each email address is used for a different purpose. [email protected] Use this email after exams when you think your test was graded incorrectly. This email address is the grader's email. He has all your bubble sheets and so he is the only person who can check to be sure that your test was graded correctly. PLEASE do not email me about test scores. I can't help you and so all emailing me does is delay your answer and clutter my email. [email protected] This email is my email. Do NOT use this email if you have a problem accessing the web site--that's when you need to use the link in the Class Web Page Problems section of this syllabus. Use this email after exams if you have a question about a question (NOT a question about your score!). Or use this email before an exam if you have a question about a topic. I like answering students' questions, but I really like answering them after the student has thought about the issue a bit. Plus, I actually dislike answering questions about class policies that I have discussed in class. Please watch the classes before you email me. This class has about 1,750 students in it. Suppose everyone emails me twice--clearly some will not ever email me but other students easily raise the average to twice. That means I get about 3,500 emails a semester. Suppose it takes me 4 minutes to read and respond to each email. That means I spend about 14,000 minutes or 233 hours per semester on emails. Tests The class has three exams. Each exam is multiple choice and will likely have 35 questions. When you take an exam, you MUST bring a picture ID with you. If you are more than 10 minutes late for an exam, you will not be able to take that exam. So, show up on time! 3 When you take an exam, you may also bring a calculator and one 3 inch x 5 inch index card with notes on it. You may write notes on both sides of the card. Your 3 inch x 5 inch index card must be one that you created--I do not allow index cards that have been created as part of a tutoring service or notetaking service or any other 3rd party endeavor. You can either hand write your card or type it and then shrink it to fit on a computer. But YOU must have created the card yourself. So, do NOT bring a card that was created by a notetaking service--bring a card you created. Also only ONE index card is allowed. DO NOT bring more than one to the test. Violations of either policy-- bringing a card you did not personally create and/or bringing more than one card--will result in a zero on the exam, a possible F in the class, and a referral to the Dean of Student's office. Each exam will have you bubble on a scantron (which we provide--don't worry about them) your test code. If you bubble this test code incorrectly, your score will be approximately 30%. I will NOT change a test code from what you bubbled. I have seen too many scams attempting to be pulled that involve the test code. So please (PLEASE!) get it right! The tests will cover the assigned readings and the material that has been covered in class up to the date of the exam. The final exam will be cumulative. (Cumulative means it will cover everything in the class.) I am planning for the second midterm to contain only the new material we have covered since the first midterm, but there might also be some slight cumulative aspects to it, too. All the tests can ask questions about the entire book but most of the questions will be from the lectures. On each exam, however, there will be at least a couple of questions from the book that I have not talked about in class, which gives you a reason to buy and to read the textbook! I sometimes, but not always, include one or two questions from the Study Guide to reward those who are taking this class seriously by thoroughly studying the material. The class has two midterm exams and one final exam. I have one make up exam scheduled for all three tests--the make up is scheduled for Thursday, April 17. So, if you miss either Midterm 1 or Midterm 2, this is your ONLY chance for a make up. (Even if you miss both midterm exams, then you will be able to take only this one make up test; but, as I detail below, your grade might be based on only one midterm exam, so this make up will give you the one midterm exam score you need.) If you have a conflict for the final exam, this test is your ONLY chance for a make up for the final exam. In order for you to take this test, you must receive permission. Permission will be granted only for students who are ill, with a doctor's note; are on a U.F.sponsored event; have a documented, dire family emergency; have a religious conflict; or have another class/test conflict at the same time as our exam. To receive permission, you must email me either before missing an exam or within one day after the exam and carefully state why you missed the exam. Now, let me give you UF's policy on class 4 conflicts is as follows: Assembly exams--such as for ECO 2023--have priority over any class. The instructor of the conflicting class is obligated to offer you a nopenalty make up exam. Now, here is my policy: If the instructor of the conflicting class seems reasonable, you can ask him or her for a make up. But if he or she says no or if the instructor seems unreasonable, email me for permission to take my make up test. Regardless of the reason you contact me, if you do not email before or within one day of the test, you will not be given permission to take the make up. The makeup exam will be cumulative and will cover all the material in the class. Let me repeat this sentence: The makeup exam will be cumulative and will cover all the material in the class. I probably ought to repeat it once again, but I grow bored...however, it will be cumulative and will cover all the material in the class. (Pretty sneaky how I worked in that third repeat.) Why is the make up cumulative? There are a couple of reasons. First, this test is a make up for any of the other tests, so it's not really possible to base it on anything other than the entire course. Second, I worry about students who miss a test. In particular, I worry that they will not do well on the final exam because they will not study enough to make up for the test they missed. By making this test cumulative, anyone who takes it will already have started studying for the final exam and so I presume do will better on the final exam when they take it. The midterm exams are given in the evening. So, if you are working, please be sure that you can get off for the times each exam is offered. Do not drive off to Jacksonville the night before a test, because your car might run out of gas on the drive back to Gainesville. Do not confuse my test with the ECO 2013 test. Do not fail to set your alarm clock so that you sleep past the test time. Do not write the wrong date on your calendar. Do not have a calendar that has an inaccurate number of days for a month. Do not work for a boss who will not let you off of work to take an exam. If you do any of these -- or other, similar acts -- and miss a test, your grade will suffer. You MUST take the tests here in Gainesville. This is not a distance education class; it's an on campus class, at least when it comes to the tests. Midterm 1 Thursday, February 14 Time: 8:20 PM 9:20 PM (This test is in the evening!) Rooms: The room assignments will be announced on the web site when the test is closer Midterm 2 Thursday, March 20 Time: 8:20 PM 9:20 PM (This test is in the evening!) Rooms: The room assignments will be announced on the web site when the test is closer 5 Makeup Test Thursday, April 17 (Remember, you must have advance permission to take this exam.) Time: 8:20 PM 9:20 PM (This test is in the evening!) Rooms: The room assignments will be announced on the web site when the test is closer Final Exam Wednesday, April 30 Time: 10:00 AM 11:00 AM Rooms: The room assignments will be announced on the web site when the test is closer Test Scores The scores on each exam will be adjusted so that the average grade is 74. For instance, if the class average on the early and late first midterm is 70, I will add 4 points to each score so as to raise the average to 74 (75 70 = 4). So if your score is an 83, I will add 4 points to it so that your ultimate score is 83 + 4 = 87. If the class average exceeds 74, I will not subtract points to lower the average to 74. Problems with the Test Scores The scores from each test will be posted on the web about a week after the exam. You must check your score when it is posted as soon as possible. There are three reasons you should check on your score. If there is a problem -- you think you should have an 88 and the posted score is 85 -- you have one week after the score plus the curve is posted on the web to inquire. Do NOT delay in checking your scores. Last year I had a student inquire about his second test after the final exam. We DID NOT change this student's score and it might have cost him an A versus a B. You probably do not want this to happen to yourself! So, how do you inquire? Email the grader at: [email protected] DO NOT ASK ME AND DO NOT EMAIL ME ABOUT A POSSIBLE ERROR! If you do so, I may simply trash your message and not pass it along to the grader. I hate to be harsh, but last semester I had around 100 or so student requests asking me about their scores, even though I clearly stated on the syllabus to ask the grader these questions. I do not have the time to spend relaying messages, so this semester I may not relay messages. I do not know where the grader keeps the bubble sheets and even if I did know, I believe they are locked...and I do not have a key. So I cannot possibly check them for you. (Plus, to be honest, I do not want to know where the bubble sheets are kept and I do not want a key.) Be cautious about asking about your score because posted on the web will be your score and the answers you bubbled in for each question. So if you think that you bubbled 6 in the correct answers, say a "C", and the web shows that you bubbled in a "B", take it from me: You bubbled in a "B." If you ask the grader to check this sort of issue, he will do so. And if you are correct, you will get credit. But if you are incorrect you will lose credit for another question. Now, that said, there are times when you might well want the grader to check your test score. For instance, if the answer shows as an "X" you might either have failed to bubble in an answer or your bubble might be too light to have been read by the scanner. This sort of issue can be cleared up and even if you forgot to answer the question, the grader will not reduce your score. Or, perhaps you skipped a question (so that you bubbled in your answer to #23 as the answer to #22, and so on for all the remaining questions). This is another example of an error we want to correct, so please email the grader. In any case, the grader will check your bubble sheet and email a response back to you. The grader will then make any changes to your score that are necessary. The second reason to check your score is to check on your progress in the class. In past terms I have had students tell me during the last week of class "I just checked my tests and I thought I was doing OK in the class, but I have a 43 and a 53. What can I do?" I can think of several potential answers to the question "What can I do?" but all of them are rude and none of them can be repeated. The bottom line is that these students are doomed: They will fail the class. Do not put yourself in this position. Be aware of how well you are doing at all times. The scores are posted on the web, along with your answers to each question. When you take an exam, you are allowed to keep your test. So on your exam circle your answers in order to check against the answer key to determine which questions you missed. The web scores generally are accurate, but you should check them frequently to make sure that there was no error. Class Grades After you have taken the midterms and final, your grade will be calculated two ways: The two midterms are weighted 40% each and the final 20%. The highest midterm is weighted 50% and the final 50%. Your grade is determined by whichever method gives you the higher score. The procedure is done automatically, so you do not need to request it. This grading procedure allows you to drop a midterm test in case you bomb one. However, if you do very well on the two midterms, the final exam will receive relatively little weight. 7 Grading Scale Points Grade A B+ B C+ C D E 90.00 and above 89.99 to 87.00 86.99. to 80.00 79.99 to 77.00 76.99 to 70.00 69.99 to 66.67 66.66 and below A few comments on my grading scale: First, notice that the cutoff for a D is a 66.66 not a 60.00. This, too, is unfair, so there is no need to tell me. Second, notice that there is no D+ grade. I think this fact is obvious from looking at the grading scale but last semester I had a few students email me asking why they did not receive D+'s. My response should have been that "you did not receive a D+ for the same reason you received a D" You simply did not pay enough attention to the class" but I did not send that email. However I am now putting it on my syllabus... Third, I know that the grading scale above looks hard. But, looks can be deceiving. The grading scale I use combined with allowing you to drop a test will give an average grade this semester of about 2.85, closer to a B than a C+. Fourth, and most important, the cut off lines given above are unalterable. If you get an 86.99, you will get a B not a B+. If this happens to you, it's obviously unfair. And, in fact, I will grieve with you, I will rail against the total injustice of it with you, I will even raise my voice to the heavens and proclaim how unfair it is with you. But: I WILL NOT CHANGE YOUR GRADE. Policy on Incompletes If events beyond your control adversely affect your performance in this class and you decide you need an incomplete, a grade of "I" may be assigned. However, by UF rules, you must be passing the class and, in addition, you must ask me for an incomplete and present valid reasons to me on or before April 18. Teaching Assistants There are teaching assistants who are eager to help answer your questions about the material in this class. They hold office hours in MAT 111. MAT 111 is kept staffed five days a week by students whose task is to help you with questions about the material. Office hours are tentatively scheduled for 12:00 to 7:00 PM everyday, Monday through Friday. Do not hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity if some issue is puzzling you. 8 Viewing Classes You absolutely must watch the lectures. One very simple reason is that I often mention important aspects about the class in the lectures that I do not put on the class web page. For instance, in past terms, I have announced the testing rooms in the lectures and have not put them on the class web page. Why do I do this? Because I want you to watch each and every lecture because that is the most important key to doing well in the class. Is that all you have to do to pass or receive an A? Get real--of course not! Some students watch the lectures, study hard and still fail the class. I guess it's because economics comes hard for them. For me, languages are hard--I failed beginning German...twice! But I bet I would have done a lot better if I'd gone to class every day. So, I don't want you to fail because you get lazy and don't watch the lecture. Old Tests On the class web page are exams and answer keys from past semesters. You can download these exams to help you study for this semester's exams. I think old tests are a particularly efficient way to study for the exams. If you can answer the questions on the old exams, most likely you will be able to answer similar questions on this semester's exams. Indeed, I think that not using this resource is tantamount to asking to fail the class because you are not willing to put in enough effort to pass! Required Information from the University of Florida I am required by UF regulation to tell you in this syllabus that this class provides General Education credit in the area of Social and Behavior Sciences. You will analyze the characteristics and structure of individuals, families, groups and institutions to develop an understanding of the human species. When I first read what you will accomplish in this class, I sure was impressed with ... me! Imagine that I can teach all this stuff!! I did not know this until I got a memo telling me that I had to provide this information. How stupid of me. More seriously, I think this class will provide you valuable information about how people function in today's world. My hope is that you leave the class with an appreciation for the quantitative techniques used by economists but, more importantly, with a deeper understanding of how markets and society works to provide us with the goods and services we need and want. More Required Information from the University of Florida I am also required by UF regulation to give you the student learning objective (the "SLO") for this class. After reading what was written for me, I am even more impressed with .... me, once again!! And, again more seriously, following is the SLO: 9 ECO 2023 This course contributes to at least part of a number of Student Learning Outcomes (SLO's) for a variety of majors Accounting 1. Understand individual business disciplines and their relationship to the global business environment. 6. Apply mathematical concepts and technology to interpret, understand and communicate quantitative data. Business Administration, General Studies 1. Knowledge of the basic business functions of accounting, decision sciences, economics, finance, management and marketing. 3. Interpret, understand and communicate quantitative concepts. Decision and Information Sciences 1. Understand the application of methods of scientific inquiry used in the social sciences, arts and humanities as applied to the business discipline. 2. Understand each individual business discipline. 8. Apply statistical and mathematical tools to analyze quantitative data. Economics, Business Administration 1. Understand the basic business functions of accounting, statistics, operations management, economics, finance, management and marketing. 2. Understand the implications of utility maximization for the behavior and choices of households and how households respond to incentives. 3. Understand the implications of profit maximization for the behavior and choices of firms in the short run, the long run and a variety of market structures. 4. Understand the meaning and implications of market efficiency. 8. Interpret, understand and communicate quantitative concepts. Economics, Liberal Arts and Sciences 1. Understand the implications of utility maximization for the behavior and choices of households and how households respond to incentives. 2. Understand the implications of profit maximization for the behavior and choices of firms in the short run, the long run and a variety of market structures. 3. Understand the meaning and implications of market efficiency. 7. Interpret, understand and communicate quantitative concepts. 10 Finance 2. Integrate and apply principles and methods of scientific inquiry, social sciences, arts and humanities to the business environment. 3. Understand individual business disciplines and their relationship to the domestic and global business environment. 5. Understand basic operating decisions that require financial analysis such as working capital management and capital budgeting. 8. Understand the factors that determine the pricing of equity, debt and derivative securities. 9. Apply mathematical concepts to interpret, understand and communicate quantitative data. 10. Analyze and interpret economic and financial events for internal decisionmaking purposes. Management 1. Understand the application of methods of scientific inquiry used in the social sciences, arts and humanities as applied to the business discipline. 2. Understand each individual business discipline. 4. Apply mathematical concepts to analyze, understand and communicate quantitative data. Marketing 1. Consumer Behavior: Understand consumer motivations and decision processes. 11 Week Jan 7 Jan 14 Jan 21 Jan 28 Feb 4 Chapter(s) (Probably) Covered in Class M 1,2 3 4,5 6 W 1,2 3 4 5 6 REVIEW 10 11 12 REVIEW 13, 14 14, 15 16 17 REVIEW F 2 3 4 5 8 9, 19, Stock Market 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17, 18 The basic material; Supply/Demand; Efficiency Behind the basics; The consumer and the firm Feb 11 Feb 18 8 9, 19, Stock Market 10, 11 12 12 13 14 15 16, 17 18 Firms; Perfectly competitive and those with market power Feb 25 March 3 March 10 March 17 March 24 March 31 April 7 April 14 April 21 Government policies Input markets and income Days with "" are days without this class. (I wanted to use " " as the symbol for a day without this class, but past students have told me the happy face is more appropriate.) In Chapter 1, read the appendix only if you need the math review; otherwise skip it. In Chapter 2, until we study Chapter 5, skip pages 37 39. Also in Chapter 2, permanently skip pages 42 to the first half of 45. In Chapter 5, return to Chapter 2 and read pages 3739. In Chapter 8, skip the second half of page 182 and 183. Also skip the appendix. In Chapter 12, until we study Chapter 14, skip the material on regulating a natural monopoly on pages 278 and 279. In Chapter 14, return to Chapter 12 and read the pages previously skipped. In Chapter 19, skip the second half of page 438 through 440 and only skim page 442. Read all the other pages. 12 ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course ECO 2023 taught by Professor Rush during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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