Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Updated - September 20, 2007

Course Number:  MA 320

Course Title:   Decision Mathemaics

(03 Semester Hours Lecture)

Instructor:    Michael D. Warner

PMB #144

1840 E. Warner Rd, Ste. A105

Tempe, AZ 85284

(480) 820-8783 (h)

(480) 967-1661 ext. 28092 vm (w)


Office Hours/Instructor Availability:

I hold office hours 24 hours a day on Saturday, Sunday, and public school holidays and 3PM to 6AM on Monday through Friday. The primary way to contact me at any time is by email with secondary contact by phone as listed above. Both home and work phone numbers have 24 hour voice mail. On class days, arrangements can be made to meet with me either before or after class.


Course Text: Mason, R.D., Lind, D.A., and Marchal, W.G. (1999). Statistical Techniques in Business and Economics. (10th ed.). Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill.

Supplemental Material:

1. World Wide Web pages: (class bulletin board)

Student Resources:

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Library Resources: [On-line]. Available:

Resident Center Riddle Aviation Collection (RAC). Available at the Resident Center.

Extended Campus Videotape Library. Available at the Resident Center.

Guide to Library Resources (Area Libraries). Available at the Resident Center.

Extended Campus Student Handbook: [On-line]. Available:

Resident Center computer(s) for academic support. Available at the Resident Center.

Bender, A. R., Schultz, J. T., & Landgren, E. W. (Eds.). (1997). Guide to the graduate research project. Daytona Beach, FL: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

American Psychological Association. (1994). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Course Description:

The mathematical concepts and applications in mathematical model building and problem solving. Included are mathematical areas which are basic to decision theory.

Prerequisites: MA 211 or MA 222. (Not open to engineering students.)



This course is required in the Aviation Business Administration and Aviation Maintenance Management degree programs. Its purpose is to provide a foundation upon which management decision problems can be solved.

Learning Objectives:

Upon course completion, students will be able to:

1. Construct an ANOVA table and use the F-test.

2. Compute the linear regression line using the method of least squares.

3. Predict new y-values using the least squares regression line.

4. Compute the coefficient of determination.

5. Analyze the simple regression model.

6. Compute confidence intervals in the simple regression model.

7. Compute and analyze Pearson's correlation coefficient.

8. Solve and analyze multiple linear regression problems.

9. Test hypotheses for multiple regression models.

10. Analyze the Chi-square test of independence for categorical variables.

11. Perform contingent table analysis.

12. Use the Wilcoxon signed-rank test and rank-sum test.

13. Use the Kruskal-Wallis test for several independent samples.

14. Compute and interpret Spearman's coefficient of rank correlation.

15. Construct and interpret a Pareto chart, a fishbone diagram, a mean chart, and a range chart, a percent defective chart, and a c-bar chart.

16. Construct and interpret a Laspeyres price index, a Paasche price index, and a value index.

17. Define and identify the four components of a time series.

18. Forecast future value of the time series using moving average, logarithmic trend equation, and least squares method.

19. Identify and solve three types of decision problems, using maximax, maximin, the expected payoff, and opportunity loss criteria.

20. Compute the expected value of perfect information.

21. Do sensitivity analysis.

22. Construct decision trees.

23. Demonstrate cogent abilities to write, speak, and think in scientific terms relevant to the concepts of this course as enhanced with computer technologies, as mutually agreed upon by the student and instructor.



The course grade will be determined from the results obtained from two area content quizzes, a student report and presentation of an instructor approved research paper, assigned in-class/homework, participation, and a final exam using the following weights:

Class Participation and Involvement


5 %


40 PTS

40 %

Individual Research Report/Presentation

15 PTS

15 %

In-Class/Homework Assignments

10 PTS

10 %

Final Exam

30 PTS

30 %


100 PTS

100 %


Grade Points



90 — 100 PTS

A (Superior)


80 — 89 PTS

B (Above Average)


70 — 79 PTS

C (Average)


60 — 69 PTS

D (Below Average)


00 — 59 PTS

F (Failure)


Class Policies:

Assignments: Assignments contained herein, and as augmented at instructor's discretion, shall be completed prior to the next scheduled class session or as assigned and will not be accepted beyond that date without prior instructor approval. Assignments constitute minimum coverage of the required lessons and the student is encouraged to complete additional study/research of related material to promote mastery of the objectives. Course content may vary from this syllabus to meet the needs of this particular class composition.

Guidelines for Project:

The Individual Research Report and presentation topic will be selected by mutual agreement between the student and instructor by the third week of class. A report outline will be submitted, preferably by email, to the instructor by the sixth week of class. A rough draft of the report will be due by the end of week seven of the class. The ten minute oral presentation will be delivered to the class during the eighth week and the written report will by due following the presentation. The report should be four to six pages in length, double space typed, with a minimum of three references of which no more than two shall be online sources. The style shall conform to American Psychological Association (APA), 1994, formatting.

Make-Up of Classes/Examinations: The faculty of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University affirms the importance of prompt and regular attendance on the part of all students. Quality instruction clearly depends upon active student participation in the classroom or its equivalent learning environment. Your participation is particularly important in this course, since each class constitutes a significant percentage of the total course. All absences, regardless of reason, require a make-up assignment, mutually arranged between the instructor and the student. If an absence is anticipated, the student should notify the instructor, preferably in advance. Students are encouraged to assist each other with access to class notes for missed classes.

Academic Honesty and Integrity: Academic honesty is the expected mode of behavior. All honesty violations will be treated seriously as prescribed by the University. Note the definition and discussion on plagiarism that follows.

Plagiarism.The following definitions, with sources indicated are germane:

ERAU Extended Campus Student Handbook. Plagiarism is perhaps the most common and misunderstood form of academic dishonesty. It involves the taking of ideas, writings, etc. from another and passing them off as one's own. Plagiarism includes the use of any source to complete academic assignments without proper acknowledgment of the source.

ERAU Extended Campus Faculty Academic Orientation Manual (FAOM) (1996).Plagiarism can be defined as: Intentional use as one’s own, of any written material or ideas that has been created by another person, without clearly acknowledging that material by citation ("The American," 1985). There are three related activities:
1. Word-for word plagiarism involves a person copying another author’s work on a word-for-word basis, or by altering only a phrase or clause (Schwartz, 1991). This is avoided by quotation marks around the phrase and a citation, including the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number in parentheses (American Psychological Association (APA), 1994).
2. Paraphrase plagiarism is an attempt to substitute key words, phrases, or sentences of the original meaning or theme that is the same as the author’s (Schwartz, 1991). Avoid this by a citation of the author’s last name and publication year in parentheses (APA, 1994).
3. Mosaic plagiarism is done by taking important phrases, terms, ideas, or intellectual themes from another author and placing them in the person’s own work. Avoid by quoting and citing (Schwartz, 1991).
Plagiarism is normally committed unintentionally because the writer does not understand what the term means. Please become familiar with this policy to avoid unnecessary administrative actions.

Proprietary Information: While the University’s teaching/learning model emphasizes the sharing of professional experiences in the context of analyzing relevant course materials, it is against the policy of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for students and/or faculty members to share information about present or past employers that would be considered to be "proprietary," "confidential," "company sensitive," or "trade secret."

Harassment and Unethical Behavior: All employees and students have a right to an environment free of discrimination, including freedom from sexual harassment. It is the policy of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University that no employee or student may sexually harass another. The intent of this policy is not to create a climate of discomfort but to foster responsible behavior in an academic and working environment free of discrimination. The University sexual harassment policy can be found in ERAU Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM) section 8.3.4 at

Student Preparation and Participation: As a MINIMUM, all students are EXPECTED to have READ and thought about the information provided in the assigned chapters BEFORE class commences! This is a professional responsibility to yourself and your classmates. Active participation in class discussions is an important element of a collegiate program; it is evaluated by instructors and is reflected in the assignment of course grades. Participation includes the quantity and quality of comments and class discussions, lively fellowship, positive contributions to group assignments, ability to respond to questions by classmates and the instructor and ability to work as a member of a group. Students are expected to synthesize, analyze and integrate all reading assignments. It is obvious that consistent attendance and being on time is an essential ingredient of participation.

Computing, Critical Thinking, Speaking and Writing Across the Curriculum

In addition to the specific content of this course, there will be a concentration on the development of the students’ computing, critical thinking, speaking and writing skills:
(1) Computing: Students will be expected to use computer technology in this course. Use of word-processing to compose and edit course papers, PowerPoint or HTML to make class presentations, and E-mail to communicate with other students and the instructor is the recommended class standard,
(2) Critical Thinking: Students will be encouraged to form their own opinions and analysis of the relevant course topics and information. Throughout the course, they will be encouraged to use clear, logical thinking. The ability to analyze situations using sound, scientific reasoning will be emphasized,
(3) Speaking: Students will be expected throughout this course to express themselves orally. Their opinions will always be sought on a voluntary basis. Each student will have an opportunity to make presentations in the course, and
(4) Writing: The required report is recommended to be written in ERAU Graduate Research Project (GRP) format and style, using the GRP Guidelines and the American Psychological Association (APA) format. The GRP/APA format uses citations in the text, when citing another author’s work, and a reference list at the end with all the sources. GRP/APA is very formal, third person, uses no contractions and has a very specific style. Development of writing skills is considered an essential element of this course.


Course Schedule:



1 / 1  




2 / 2  



3 / 3  





4 / 4  



5 / 5  



6 / 6  





7 / 7  





8 / 8  




9 / 9  




Introductions / Syllabus / Overview

Class Discussion: Introduction,

Analysis of Variation


Class Discussion: Linear Regression

and Correlation


Class Discussion: Multiple Regression

and Correlation Analysis




Class Discussion: Nonparametric

Methods: Chi-square Applications


Class Discussion: Nonparametric

Methods: Analysis of Ranked Data


Class Discussion: Statistical Quality





Class Discussion: Index Numbers





Class Discussion: Time Series and




Class Discussion: An Introduction to

Decision Making,

Final Exam


Read Syllabus

Read/Review Text Chapter 11,

Problems as assigned


Read/Review Text Chapter 12,

Problems as assigned


Read/Review Text Chapter 13,

Problems as assigned,

Individual Research Topics Slecetion due

Quiz: Chapters 11-12


Read/Review Text Chapter 14,

Problems as assigned


Read/Review Text Chapter 15,

Problems as assigned


Read/Review Text Chapter 16,

Problems as assigned,

Individual Research Project outline due,

Quiz: Chapters 13, 14, 15


Read/Review Text Chapter 17,

Problems as assigned,

Individual Research Project

rough draft due.


Read/Review Text Chapter 18,

Problems as assigned,

Research Project Presentation due.


Read/Review Text Chapter 19,

Final Exam


Note: Specific problems assigned for each chapter can be found on the class website at



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