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Spreadsheet Software as a Teaching Tool for Introductory Mathematics Courses Shuzo Takahashi Arizona Winter School 2002 March 10, 2002 Abstract I will talk about one way to use spreadsheets (Excel) in teaching mathematics, in particular, in teaching elementary probability theory to

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spreadsheet software as a teaching tool for introductory mathematics courses
Spreadsheet Software as a Teaching Tool for Introductory Mathematics Courses

Shuzo Takahashi

Arizona Winter School 2002

March 10, 2002

abstract
Abstract

I will talk about one way to use spreadsheets

(Excel) in teaching mathematics, in particular,

in teaching elementary probability theory to

business majors. Other applications (i.e., calculus)

will be briefly discussed.

outline of talk
Outline of Talk
  • Overview of the Business Mathematics course
  • The loan workout project and its solution using Excel
  • A fun approach to teaching expected value and a graphical illustration of the meaning of expected value using Excel.
  • Possible use of Excel in teaching calculus
the business mathematics course at the university of arizona
The Business Mathematics Course at the University of Arizona

This course was developed jointly by

Professor Richard Thompson

Department of Mathematics

and

Professor Chris Lamoureux

Department of Finance

business mathematics
Business Mathematics

Business Mathematics is the foundation for students’

future career in business, showing them how to apply

the language of mathematics to business problems, and

how to use computers to do mathematics.

business mathematics6
Business Mathematics

Business Mathematics centers around significant

business problems and the tools, both mathematical

and computer based, that are needed for their

solutions.

  • Projects are the loan workout project, the stock option pricingproject, etc.
  • Mathematical tools are elementary probability theory, calculus, etc.
  • Computer tools are Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
business mathematics7
Business Mathematics
  • Using the new tools, students work in teams to complete projects and report their solutions both orally and in written form.
  • Student presentations will be given in the current business style, using PowerPoint and Excel.
business mathematics8
Business Mathematics

All course material is in PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Media files.

Usefulness of Computer Text

  • Hyperlinks allow you to move easily between mathematical instruction and computer calculation, graphing, and simulations.
  • Computer animations clarify mathematical concepts.
  • Electronic searching can locate any given word or phrase.
  • You can customize your computer text by adding notes, extra pages, or additional files.
business mathematics9
Business Mathematics

Course Web Site

http://business.math.arizona.edu

Business Mathematics

loan workout project
Loan Workout Project
  • You are loan officers of Acadia Bank.
  • Acadia Bank has a commercial loan with a fullvalue of $4,000,000 outstanding to John Sanders’ entrepreneurial venture.
  • His business is not going well and he is not able to pay interest on his loan.
  • What are you going to do as loan officers?
loan workout project11
Loan Workout Project

Acadia has to decide whether to foreclose on the loan or to work out a new schedule of payments.

  • If Acadia forecloses on John’s loan, it will only recover a foreclosure value of $2,100,000.
  • If Acadia attempts a workout, and John's venture succeeds, then the bank will be repaid the full value of $4,000,000.
  • If Acadia attempts a workout, and John's venture fails, then the bank will only recover a default value of $250,000.
decision
Decision

How do you decide which one to choose?

  • Foreclosure
  • Workout
expected value
Expected Value

E(W) = Full Value Pr(S) + Default Value Pr(F)

  • E(W) = Expected Value of Workout
  • Pr(S) = The probability of success
  • Pr(F) = The probability of failure
how to calculate pr s and pr f
How to Calculate Pr(S) and Pr(F)
  • Historical data on past borrowers
  • Certain information about John Sanders
  • Current economic conditions
  • Conditional Probability and Bayes’ Theorem
a decision method
A Decision Method
  • Compare Expected Value and Foreclosure Value.
  • If Expected Value < Foreclosure Value, then choose “Foreclosure.”
  • If Expected Value > Foreclosure Value,then choose “Workout.”

Solution

questions
Questions
  • What is the actual meaning of expected value?
  • Is our decision method sound?

Issue

  • Students tend to focus on their individual case.
  • They are not able to recognize that the bank’s profit is based on many similar loans as a whole.
a fun approach to teaching expected value
A Fun Approach to Teaching Expected Value

One lecture I gave in class.

let s play
Let's play!

Who wants to be a millionaire?

game situation
Game Situation

You have won $64,000 and are facing a tough $125,000 question.

This means that you will receive $125,000 if you answer the question correctly. But you will receive only $32,000 if your answer is wrong. Also, you can walk away with $64,000 if you decide not to answer the question.

What would be the best strategy to take?

125 000 question
$125,000 Question

Which city is the birthplace of the famous

business math instructor Shuzo?

A. Wakayama B. Iiyama

C. Kumayama D. Matsuyama

125 000 question21
$125,000 Question

Which city is the birthplace of the famous

business math instructor Shuzo?

A. Wakayama B. Iiyama

C. Kumayama D. Matsuyama

  • Suppose that you decide to answer the question. What is the expected value of the outcome?
  • Do you answer the question or do you walk away with $64,000?
125 000 question22
$125,000 Question

Which city is the birthplace of the famous

business math instructor Shuzo?

A. Wakayama B. Iiyama

C. Kumayama D. Matsuyama

Expected Value

125,000  1/4 + 32,000  3/4 = 55,250

Walk Away

64,000

125 000 question23
$125,000 Question

50:50

Which city is the birthplace of the famous

business math instructor Shuzo?

A. Wakayama B. Iiyama

C. Kumayama D. Matsuyama

two choices
Two Choices

B. Iiyama

C. Kumayama

two choices25
Two Choices

B. Iiyama

C. Kumayama

  • Suppose that you decide to answer the question. What is the expected value of the outcome?
  • Do you answer the question or do you walk away with $64,000?
two choices26
Two Choices

B. Iiyama

C. Kumayama

Expected Value

125,000  1/2 + 32,000  1/2 = 78,500

Walk Away

64,000

does teamwork help
Does Teamwork Help?

Suppose all of you will have a turn playing the game. You got together and agreed that you will divide the total winnings equally. (We are assuming that each of you is facing exactly the same situation described above.)

Now think about what the best strategy is.

Should everyone walk away? In this case, everyone gets $64,000. Or should everyone answer the question?

Game Simulation

team discussion
Team Discussion

Now think about how this can be applied to your project.

Project Simulation

some uses of excel in teaching calculus
Some Uses of Excel in Teaching Calculus
  • Graphing
  • Midpoint Sums
  • Numerical Integration
  • Slopes and Derivatives

Graphing

Sums

Integration

Slopes