PhD Math Bootcamp 2019


Instructor: Joe Patten
Office: 205C Hulbert Hall
Office Hours: TBA
Dates: Mon July 22 - Tue August 13
Time: 10 am - 12 pm
Lectures: Hulbert Hall Room 23

Class Website

Go to my website.

Course Description

This course serves as a refresher for linear algebra, univariate calculus, optimization, and multivariate calculus. In addition, it will cover important topics meant to help you begin to acquire what is often called mathematical maturity through covering basic topics in logic, set theory and proofs. It is designed to help prepare you mathematically for the math course in the fall semester. This is an active-learning course. Lecture notes will be posted online. Please note that the instructor(s) of EconS 506 course during the Fall semester may assess your knowledge of the topics covered in this summer course with an exam in the first week of the Fall semester, and that exam score may affect your grade in the EconS 506 course.

Course Learning Goals

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

Understand and have working knowledge of mathematics used in PhD-level economics. Students will learn/review calculus of one variable and of several variables, linear algebra and matrix properties. Students will also learn some logic, set theory and proof strategies useful for learning and understanding more advanced mathematical concepts.

The following will address this outcome:

Assigned readings and problem sets.

This outcome will be evaluated primarily by:

Completion of problem sets and exams.

Course Materials

The following are some recommended textbooks. The primary book used for this course will be Simon & Blume’s “Mathematics for Economists”. However, Simon & Blume’s text, by itself, is inadequate for modern mathematics, you should expect to consult other texts. I will provide other notes as additional resources, particularly for the set theory and proofs sections.

Graduate-level Course Books

Mathematics for Economists

Mathematical Proof

Linear Algebra and Matrix Algebra

Undergraduate-level Course Books As Additional Reference

Grading, Exams, and Homework

Grading will be based off points accumulated through assignments and the exam.

Course Items Due Date Points
Assignment 1 July 29 20
Assignment 2 August 5 20
Assignment 3 August 12 20
Final Exam August 13 from 10 AM-12 PM 40
Total   100


It is WSU policy that for every hour of faculty directed activities, students should expect a minimum of two hours engaged in supportive learning activities. Depending on your skills and knowledge as a learner, additional time may be required.

In this course, there will be no official “faculty directed time” and the workload will in all honesty be substantial for all individuals that have not had a significant amount of prior mathematics education.


An assignment will be posted on the course website. Due dates are given below. **The assignments should be submitted to my box or my email by 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on the due date**. Note that if you are going to turn your assignment into my box, do so before 5:00 pm as the office will lock the room that has the boxes at that time. Each assignment will be worth 20/100 points. The assignments will be problem sets that give the students practice applying the mathematical tools covered in the course texts.

Late assignments

Although I do prefer that you turn in your assignments on time, I will accept assignments past their due date. Turning in assignments late will not affect your grade. That being said, I strongly encourage you to adhere to the course schedule listed below so that you don’t fall behind.

Consider typing your homework assignments.

You may turn in your homework either hand-written or typed. That being said, as a professional economist you will need to communicate mathematical arguments in a clear, well type-set document. Although I do not require you to type out your homework in this class, it may be a great opportunity for you to learn. If you wish to type your homework assignments, I recommend using TeX, although you could also use MathType, Microsoft Word’s equation editor, scientific word, etc. It is a good idea to invest time and effort gaining proficiency in these tools as you will definitely use them later. It might seem slow at first, but these assignments will give you practice, making you more fluent in these tools and prepare you for assignments in your first year courses. If you feel that you are spending too much time typing up your assignments, consider turning in a handwritten copy, and typing it up later.

NOTE: If you are working on a chromebook or for some other reason are unable to use any of the above mentioned tools to type your assignments, I recommend using an online browser-based LaTeX editor. Some good sites capable of doing simple to complex projects are and Both sites have free options that allow you full access without contributors.

For those using LaTeX I will provide assignment templates for you to use.

Final Exam

There will be one exam at the end of the course and it is worth 40/100 points. The exam will cover all the material covered in the course. The exam will be proctored on campus in Hulbert Hall on a date TBA (in the week of August 12-16).

Course Outline

Below I have provided a tentative schedule. Dates as well as topics are subject to change depending on the pace of the course, as well as what I think should be covered.

Before coming to mathcamp:

Date Topics Readings Assignments
Prereqs Univariate Calculus S&B 2-5 Prerequisite assignment to be completed early in the course.

Week 1 (July 22-July 26)

Date Topics Readings Assignments
22 Linear Systems and Matrix Algebra S&B 6-9; Notes
23 Linear Systems and Matrix Algebra S&B 6-9; Notes
24 Linear Spaces S&B 10, 11
25 Set Theory Provided Notes
26 Logic & Weekly Review Appendix A1; Provided Notes

Week 2 (July 29-August 2)

Date Topics Readings Assignments
29 Proofs Appendix A1; Provided Notes Assignment 1 due
30 Proofs and Real Analysis S&B 12; Appendix A1; Provided Notes
31 Real Analysis S&Provided Notes
1 Real Analysis Provided Notes
2 Real Analysis & Weekly Review Provided Notes

Week 3 (August 5-August 9)

Date Topics Readings Assignments
5 Real Analysis and Multivariate Calculus S&B 13-15, 30 Assignment 2 due
6 Multivariate Calculus S&B 13-15, 30
7 Multivariate Calculus and Optimization S&B 13-15, 30
8 Optimization S&B 20-21
9 Envelope Theorem & Weekly Review S&B 20-21

Week 4 (August 12-14)

Date Topics Readings Assignments
12 Assignment 3 due
13 Final Exam from 10 AM-12 PM No Notes

S&B ~ Simon & Blume text

Prerequisite Assignment The prerequisite assignment will not count toward your grade for the course, but you will be entirely accountable for the mastery of the related content in EconS 506. The assignment is given as a chance for you to review and practice the univariate calculus and assess your level of mastery of the content.

Students with Disabilities

Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please either visit or call the Access Center (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417) to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. For more information contact a Disability Specialist at 509-335-3417, or on-line via or or

Pullman or WSU Online Phone: (509) 335-3417 Website: Email:

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You can learn more about Academic Integrity on your campus using the URL listed in the Academic Regulations section or to . Please use these resources to ensure that you don’t inadvertently violate WSU’s standard of conduct. It is strongly suggested that every student read and understand these definitions.

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