At UCLA all students majoring in economics are required to complete two quarters of College Calculus for science majors. This sequence of courses provides a thorough introduction to derivatives and integrals. However, there are few, if any, lectures on maximization with more than one variable or maximization with constraints. In economics, multi-variable maximization with contraints is central. Many variables are necessarily positive. Any such variable must therefore satisfy a "non-negativity constraint". Typicically there are resource constraints as well. For example, a consumer's choice of a bundle of commodities is restricted to those bundles that satisfy a budget constraint.

The goal of this on-line introduction is to help economics students learn how to apply calculus to such problems. Having worked through the notes and exercises, students will be well prepared to analyse the economic models they will be presented in a typical upper division course. The course has nine modules. (see the top menu.) Part A, "One-variable calculus" has four modules. These focus on those elements of a typical college calculus course that are most used in economics. Making sure that you are totally comfortable with these topics will be helpful. One type of function not typically given much coverage in a mathematice course is the family of concave functions. So Part A is more then simply a review. Part B, "Calculus with two or more variables" has four modules. These comprise the core of the course.

Below is a You Tube video presenting some examples that illustate the kind of mathematical problems that are central to economic modelling.