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Core Curriculum

MATH 285-1,2,3, First Year Accelerated Mathematics for MMSS: A three quarter sequence covering linear algebra and multivariate calculus taken only by MMSS students.  It covers the same material and is taught at a comparable level of rigor to the two MENU math sequences, MATH 290-1,2,3 and MATH 291-1,2,3.  Linear algebra is covered in the first quarter and the initial part of the second quarter.  Mulivariable calculus is covered in the remainder of the sequence.

MMSS 300, Foundations of  Mathematical Social Science: Introduction to the core mathematical elements of formal Social Science, including Individual Decision Making, Choice Under Uncertainty, Social Choice and Welfare, Efficiency Concepts, and Dynamic Decision-Making.

Math 385, Probability and Statistics:  This course covers the structure of probability theory, which is the foundation of statistics, and provides many examples of the use of probabilistic reasoning. It discusses the most commonly encountered probability distributions, both discrete and continuous. The course considers random sampling from a population, and the distributions of some sample statistics.  It deals with the problem of estimation - the process of using data (in the best possible way) to learn about the value of the unknown parameters of a model. Finally, it discusses hypothesis testing - the use of data to confirm or reject hypotheses formed about the relationship among (economic) variables.

Math 386-1, Econometrics:  The first course of the two quarter MMSS econometrics sequence. Most of this course is devoted to the multi-variate linear regression model, covering both econometric theory and applications.  Topics include: the simple regression model, multiple regression analysis, large sample properties of OLS, regression analysis with qualitative information, heteroskedasticity, and specification and data problems.

Math 386-2, Econometrics:  The second course of the two quarter MMSS econometrics sequence. This course is intended to be an applied econometrics class focusing on using econometrics in writing empirical papers. Topics covered include time series, applied regression and instrumental variable analysis, discrete dependent variables, panel data, and treatment effect methods.

MMSS 211-1, Intermediate Microeconomics: A fast-paced mathematical treatment of intermediate microeconomics designed for mathematically sophisticated students.  No previous training in microeconomics is assumed.  Topics covered include consumer and producer behavior in market economies, equilibrium in competitive and monopolistic markets, public goods and externalities, and welfare analysis.

MMSS 211-2, Introduction to Game Theory:  The first course of the two quarter MMSS game theory sequence.  It covers static and dynamic games of complete information and evolutionary game theory.  It considers examples drawn from economics and the other social sciences.

MMSS 211-3, Formal Models in Political Science: This course provides an introduction to positive political theory and describes how formal methods may be used to analyze politics and political institutions.  Topics covered include preference aggregation, social choice, voting theory, and executive legislative relations.  A goal of the course is to demonstrate how formal models and methods can be applied to questions of substantive interest. The course emphasizes the identification of relevant questions worthy of investigation, and the intuition behind models and methods.

MMSS 311-1, Advanced Game Theory: The second course of the two quarter MMSS game theory sequence.  It covers static and dynamic games of incomplete information including auctions, signaling games and cheap talk games.

MMSS 311-2, Topics in Formal Models in Social Science: The final social science course in the MMSS program and is meant to be a capstone course that addresses substantive issues in a social science discipline other than economics, using the formal modeling and/or statistical analysis tools that students have learned in their previous MMSS coursework.  The topic(s) covered vary from year to year depending on the interests of the instructor.  Past topics have included elections and voting, American politics, models of conflict and war, and the psychology of individual decision making.

MMSS 398-1,2,3, Senior Seminar: All MMSS Program students must write an acceptable senior thesis as part of their graduation requirements. The seminar, in addition to a Northwestern faculty advisor,  guides students through their independent research project to ensure it is an original contribution to social science analysis.