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MAZ5025: Financial Literacy (2013-2014)

COURSE TITLE: Financial Literacy
CALENDAR YEAR: 2013-2014

Major Concepts/Content: This course introduces students to the mathematics and mathematical models used in various financial topics. The focus will be on the applied mathematics, primarily algebraic concepts, surrounding finance and business fundamentals. Students are provided opportunities to develop habits of mind while applying skills and knowledge in mathematics to the area of Finance. Concepts related to graphical, tabular, and algorithmic representations of functions introduced in Algebra I will be reinforced and enhanced through the financial problems explored.

Major Instructional Activities: Students will be expected to complete a number of research-based projects, differentiated to provide relevance to their learning. Working together, students will problem solve making connections to the world around them as well as to other math concepts. Students will practice effective oral and written communication as they explain and justify their thinking. Students will be given opportunities to explore technology and multimedia to stimulate their imagination and curiosity about applied mathematics in the area of Finance. The classroom is expanded to include the greater community as self-directed students work both independently and interdependently.

Major Evaluative Techniques: Performances, projects and multiple forms of media are used for self, peer and other forms of assessment. Grades are based on what a student has learned.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Understand and use exponential growth models to determine present and future value of a single deposit.
  • Quantify and understand the opportunity costs of making financial decisions.
  • Use multiple representations of mathematical models, primarily algebraic, to make informed decisions.
  • Compare and contrast the costs of checking account options using algebraic models.
  • Create and interpret mathematical models that represent the cost of borrowing money on various loan products.
  • Use systems of equations to compare and contrast varying loan options on mortgages and other financial products.
  • Understand and explain the applied relevance of the mathematical models created in context of a problem being solved.
  • Understand the mathematics behind annual percentage rate (APR) and annual percentage yield (APY) calculations and the related change as a result of various bank fees.
  • Understand the proportional relationship between interest rate and risk on varying types of investments and loan products.