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MAT1097 Quantitative analysis - Semester 1 , 2008

Unit leader :

Dr Alistair Carr

Lecturer(s) :


  • Assoc Prof Philip Rayment
  • Dr Alistair Carr


  • Leow Soo Kar

Tutors(s) :


  • Assoc Prof Philip Rayment
  • Dr Alistair Carr


Welcome to MAT1097: Quantitative Analysis, a core unit in the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems (Business Systems) degree. This unit concentrates mainly on quantitative techniques which can be applied to various aspects of the business environment. It provides useful background for later units in the Business Systems sequence.

Unit synopsis

Topics covered include: The processes of modelling and analysis as a basis for decision making. Solution of linear systems, introduction to linear programming and its applications. Statistics: collection, presentation and interpretation of data, including time series data; simple linear regression and correlation. Probability, random variables and their distributions, application to decision-making under uncetainty. Populations and samples: sampling distribution of the sample mean and proportion; interval estimation and hypothesis testing for a population mean and proportion and for the difference between two means and proportions.

Learning outcomes

     To introduce students to some of the standard mathematical and statistical techniques which can be used in analysis of business problems and in the decision making based on such analysis.

•    To develop students' understanding of the collection and analysis of data using elementary statistical ideas, and enable them to make sound inferences from the data.

•    To introduce the use of a spreadsheet as an effective tool for mathematical and statistical analysis.

•    After completing this unit, students should be able to confidently use and interpret quantitative data and techniques, in order to be more effective in business planning and decision making.


For on campus students, weekly workload commitments are:

  • three one-hour lectures 
  • one-hour problem-solving tutorial 
  • one-hour PC laboratory incorporating Excel tasks as a device for deepening understanding of concepts and techniques
  • a minimum of 6-7 hours of personal study in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.

Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however, you should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

Unit relationships


There are no prerequisites for this unit.


MAT1097 is a core unit in the business systems major of the BITS degree. It is a prerequisite for unit FIT2033 Computer models for business decisions.

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Dr Alistair Carr

Lecturer(s) :

Mr Soo Leow
Assoc Prof Philip Rayment
Dr Alistair Carr

Tutor(s) :

Assoc Prof Philip Rayment
Dr Alistair Carr

Teaching and learning method

For on campus students, the three lectures per week provide the basis for students to master the key concepts and skills, and incorporate a large number of examples which extend the study material provided in the Unit Books.

The weekly tutorials are keyed to the preceding lectures, and provide students with opportunities to develop problem-solving skills with an emphasis on computationally non-intensive tasks for which a basic calculator is sufficient.

The weekly PC laboratory classes take the tutorials one step further, by utilising MS Excel as a computaional tools for tasks encompassing both data analysis and simulation aspects.

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Key dates
1 Introduction; functions and their graphs  
2 Linear programming  
3 Exploring and presenting data  
4 Probability concepts and techniques  
Mid semester break
5 Random variables and their distributions  
6 Decision making under uncertainty  
7 Sampling and sampling distributions Assignment 1 due Wednesday
8 Estimation from random samples  
9 Hypothesis testing  
10 Linear regression modelling  
11 Time series data  
12 Index numbers Assignment 2 due Wednesday
13 Revision  

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Albright, S.C., Winston, W.L. and Zappe, C. Data Analysis and Decision Making with Microsoft Excel, 3rd edition, Thomson South-Western, 2006. (ISBN0-324-40082-9)

The earlier first edition, published in 1999, or second edition, published in 2003, may be used as an alternative; the Unit Books give references to all three editions.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Ayra, J.C. and Lardner, R.W. (1993). Mathematical Analysis for Business, Economics, and the Life and social Sciences, 4th edition, Prentice-Hall.

Berenson, M.L. and Levine, D.M. (1995). Basic Business Statistics: Concepts and Applications, 6th edition, Prentice-Hall.

Bierman, H., Bonini, C.P. and Hausman, W.H. (1986). Quantitative Analysis for Business Decisions, 7th edition, Irwin.

Buglear, J. (2005). Quantitative Methods for Business: The A-Z of QM, Elsevier.

Selvanathan, A., Selvanathan, S., Keller, G. and Warrack, B. (2000). Australian Business Statistics, 2nd edition, Nelson.

Shannon, J. (1995). Mathematics for Business, Economics and Finance, Jacaranda Wiley.

Swift, L. and Piff, S. (2005). Quantitative methods for business, management and finance, 2nd edn., Palgrave Macmillan.

Waters, D. (1997). Quantitative Methods for Business, 2nd edition, Addison‑Wesley.

Watson, C.J., Billingsley, P., Croft, D.J. and Huntsberger, D.V. (1992). Statistics for Management and Economics, 5th edition, Prentice-Hall.

Required software and/or hardware

You will need access to Firefox or Internet Explorer browser, for working with the resources provided in Blackboard, and to Microsoft Excel, for use of its data analysis and charting facilities.

Equipment and consumables required or provided

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

  • A unit book containing detailed notes providing the learning objectives, topic content, required readings and  review exercises;
  • Weekly tutorial or laboratory tasks and exercises with sample solutions provided one to two weeks later;
  • A guide to the use of Microsoft Excel in this unit;
  • Assignments;
  • A sample examination;
  • Access to past examination papers;
  • Discussion groups via Blackboard;
  • A printed Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit;
  • The unit web site on MUSO, where some of the resources outlined above will be made available.

Library access

The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

All unit and lecture materials are available through MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources. Some units will be piloted in Moodle.

You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal (http://my.monash.edu.au).

Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

In order for your Blackboard unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

For example :

  • Blackboard supported browser
  • Supported Java runtime environment

For more information, please visit


You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

For further contact information including operational hours, please visit


Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:


If your unit is piloted in Moodle, you will see a link from your Blackboard unit to Moodle at http://moodle.med.monash.edu.au.
From the Faculty of Information Technology category, click on the link for your unit.


Unit assessment policy

To pass this unit, a student must obtain :
  • 40% or more in the unit's examination and
  • 40% or more in the unit's non-examination assessment
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination assessment then a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded for the unit.

The continuous assessment carries a weighting of 40% and the end-of-semester examination 60%. 

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Assignment 1

    Description :

    Incorporates tasks requiring material covered in Topics 1-5, some calculator based and some involving use of MS Excel.

    Weighting : 20%

    Criteria for assessment :

    You should include all relevant working, logically and coherently organised. Correct answers without full explanation do not attract full credit: the intent of the assignments is for you to demonstrate not only that you can do, but also that you understand.

    Due date : Wednesday 16 April 2008

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Assignment 2

    Description :

    Incorporates tasks requiring material covered in Topics 6-11, some calculator based and some involving use of MS Excel.

    Weighting : 20%

    Criteria for assessment :

    You should include all relevant working, logically and coherently organised. Correct answers without full explanation do not attract full credit: the intent of the assignments is for you to demonstrate not only that you can do, but also that you understand.

    Due date : Wednesday 21 May2008


  • Examination

    Weighting : 60%

    Length : 3 hours

    Type ( open/closed book ) : Open book

    Remarks ( optional - leave blank for none ) :

    The examination in this unit will be conducted during the end-of-semester examination period. The exam will be of three-hours duration, with a 10-minute reading period beforehand. The exam is open book, which means you are allowed to take into the exam all the MAT1097 material, that is, this Unit Guide, the Unit Books, your assignments and any printed solutions. You may also take into the examination your own handwritten notes and a calculator.

    There is considerable danger in relying on the access to large quantities of written material, which the open book policy permits. It is recommended that prior to the exam you invest some effort in producing a brief summary of important definitions, formulae and other results.

    All topics in the Unit Books are examinable. The assessment assignments do not cover Topic 12. This is to allow you enough time to cover Topic 12 while your second assignment is being assessed.

    For 2008, the final examination paper will incorporate two sections:

    Section A, carrying 30 marks, will consist of short, relatively straightforward questions covering all the material – you should attempt all questions.

    Section B, also carrying 30 marks, will contain six questions each worth
    10 marks. You should attempt three of these questions; if you attempt more, you will receive marks for all your work up to the maximum of 30 marks.

    The six questions on Section B will span the following topics:

    Topic 3:     Linear Programming

    Topics 5 and 7 combined: Probability, Random Variables and Sampling Distributions

    Topic 8:     Estimation from Random Samples

    Topic 9:     Hypothesis Testing

    Topic 10:   Introduction to Regression Modelling

    Topic 11:   Time Series Data

    We recommend that you plan to devote about 90 minutes to Section A and then approximately 30 minutes to each chosen Section B question.

    A sample examination paper (from Semester 2, 2006) is provided as part of the hard-copy Unit Guide, to give some indication of what you might expect by way of format and style of questions.

    Other past exam papers may be accessed via the My.Monash portal page for MAT1097 or the on-line Library Catalogue.

Assignment submission

Assignments should be submitted by paper submission. On-campus Students submit the assignment to the unit adviser by the due date, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached. Off Campus (OCL) students - Mail your assignment to the Off-Campus Learning Centre with the cover sheet attached. Singapore and Hong Kong Students [Gippsland only] - Submit your assignment to your agent with the cover sheet attached. Do not email submissions. The due date is the date by which the the submission is to be posted.

Assignment coversheets

On campus students should use a SASE or GSIT coversheet. OCL students should use the bar-coded coversheets provided to them.

University and Faculty policy on assessment

Due dates and extensions

The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of [describe penalty for late submission, describe the deadline for late assignment acceptance or any conditions that are placed on late assignments, e g, "Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted."]

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.

Register of counselling about plagiarism

The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

Non-discriminatory language

The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

Deferred assessment and special consideration

Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.