Final Exam Topics 2011

## Pre-Test

See also ppol225:final-exam-2011

### What is Assumed?

- Elementary economic ideas about choice.
- Preference map. Indifference curves. Possibility frontier. Marginal values (rates).
- Previous encounters with "the multiple attribute problem"
- Transitivity, pairwise comparisons, satisficing, lexicrographic ordering, dominated alternatives, objective functions

## Final Exam

### What is a Model? What is Simulation?

- Give an ordinary language explanation of what a model is.
- Describe range of things that function as models in the world
- Describe range of models used in social and policy sciences.
- Distinguish simulation from modeling.
- Give an example of simulation in social and policy sciences

### Excel

- Basics
- Use formula to calculate values based on other cells.
- Autofill (values and formulae), use of relative and absolute cell references in formulae for autofill
- Formatting. Alignment, font, borders and fill, number format, decimal places, conditional formatting.
- Workspace control. Row and column width, merging cells, hiding columns, split panes, wrapping text, inserting newline in cell, text
- Rename, move, copy worksheets.
- Name a cell or cell range

- Simple Tasks
- Create a percentage table from a data count table.
- Use frequency() to convert list of data values into histogram
- Use formulas, relative/absolute references, and autofill to create a "times table"
- Pivot tables
- Create. One, two and multidimensional. Select different value field settings. Convert to text appropriate table. Use to clean data.

- Basic descriptive statistics with sum(), average(), mode(), median(), stddev(), frequency(), correl functions.

- Charts
- Simple data range to column, bar, pie, scatter. Label and format axes, chart titles, legends, gridlines.
- Add, remove, edit data series. Format data series (change line, point styles, add/customize labels)
- Add/remove/format/label trendlines
- De-junkify charts.
- Copy charts to Word. Remove borders, select colors for greyscale reproduction.
- Copy charts to PowerPoint.

- Advanced
- Add controls for interaction (sliders, spinners, etc.) to a worksheet

### MS Word

- Power Formatting
- Styles
- Page numbers
- Sections, headers, footers

- Professional Bits
- Captions and crossreferences
- Drawing
- Inserting images, charts, etc. and formatting text flow around them.
- Tables
- Equations

- Power Editing
- Sophisticated search and replace
- Paste options
- Customizing autocorrect
- Footnotes/endnotes

- Power Tools
- Tables of contents, etc.
- Track changes, versions, comments
- Mailmerge
- Citation and Bibliography tool

### Flow Charts

- Translate complicated instruction sequence into standard flowchart
- Use flowchart to demonstrate stepwise refinement and blackboxing
- Interpret complex flow chart that includes multiple divisions of labor
- Offer critique and correction to a poorly form flowchart
- Identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Decision Analysis

- Apply basic concepts of probability (events and outcomes, and, or, conditional)
- Calculate expected monetary value
- Translate verbal description of decision process into descriptive decision tree and vice versa
- Use simple tree to assess a set of alternatives under uncertainty
- Use decision tree to calculate the value of information provided by a test (how much should we be willing to pay for information?)
- Solve a problem that incorporates risk aversion
- Solve a problem that incorporates imperfect tests
- Explain relationship of decision trees and utility theory
- Explain/distinguish related concepts: choice/chance nodes, exhaustive/mutually exclusive, folding-back, imperfect tests, risk-aversion, the value of information, utility theory
- Describe indications and contraindications
- Identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Charts, Tables, and Diagrams

- Identify when bar, column, line, pie, and scatter plots are appropriate
- Construct and fully document charts of various types
- Distinguish charts and tables
- Articulate and implement a protocol for naming data tables
- Ability to create table in Excel, transfer to Word and elegantly format and correctly document
- Interpret basic PERT, Gantt, and Sankey digrams
- Identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Cost/Benefit Analysis

- Appreciate and explain basic idea of (global/aggregate) net benefit and potential compensation
- Calculating net cost/benefit and marginal cost/benefit. Sketch charts of same. Interpret tables/charts.
- Identify four choice scenarios and the CB protocol appropriate to each.
- Produce and interpret flow charts describing these
- Explain/distinguish related concepts: cost, benefit, net, marginal, benefit/cost ratio, willingness-to-pay, compensation, cost-effectiveness,
- Identify and respond to typical concerns (especially separation of CB and distributional issues) and caveats

### Discounting

- Explain in plain language what discounting is and why it is important.
- Dexterity in application of compound interest formula
- Given a schedule of costs and benefits and a discount rate, use Excel to calculate NPV both using NPV() and related functions and "by hand"
- Explain where discount rates come from in practice and identify rates currently used in several well known contexts
- Qualitatively interpret generic discount rate/PV curves
- Explain/distinguish related concepts: present value, discount rate, internal rate of return, break even and payback periods, opportunity cost
- Identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats around discount rates.

### Randomness as a Tool: Random Experiments and Monte Carlo Simulation

- Apply basic concepts of probability (events and outcomes, and, or, conditional)
- Craft an argument in favor of random trials as gold standard
- Demonstrate understanding of random selection from different shape distributions (uniform, normal, Poisson)
- Use rand() and related functions and data table function in Excel to generate Monte Carlo simulation
- Suggest indications and contraindications, identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Stock & Flow Models

- Translate system description into stock and flow diagram
- Translate diagram into difference equations
- Describe generic system performance possibilities
- Find a good source for refresher on system dynamics
- Concepts and Terms: positive/negative feedback, causal loops, equilibrium
- Suggest indications and contraindications, identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Project Management

- Describe components of logic model, interpret and criticize logic model, translate project description into conventional logic model
- Demonstrate familiarity with existence of broad range of project management strategies
- Gantt charts, PERT, CPM, stakeholder analysis, ISO 900x Standards

- Explain/describe what a PERT chart and a Gantt chart are.
- Explain/describe related concepts: critical path, scope, deliverables, tasks, work breakdown, activities, sequence, resource requirement, time and cost, schedule, budget, business plan, monitoring, control, outcomes assessment, evaluation
- Identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Back of the Envelope Calculations

- Describe general principle
- orders of magnitude
- Apply simple units of analysis assessment to ball park a problem
- Demonstrate awareness of making parallel assumptions (i.e., all optimistic or all pessimistic) in setting up an approximation
- Use BOTEC to come up with high and low estimates for a problem

- Identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Markov Models

- Describe general idea and types of problems that lend themselves to Markov model
- Describe requirements of a system to be eligible and how to solve "something else" problems
- ranslate between description, transition matrix, diagram
- From diagram, set up equations in Excel, chart results, identify equilibrium states
- Terms and concepts: Markov chain vs. Markov process, regular, absorbing, cyclical, state, absorbing state, transient state, eigen vecgtor, transition matrix
- Suggest indications and contraindications, identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Queuing Models

- Describe general idea and types of problems that lend themselves to queuing model
- Describe requirements of a system to be amenable to use of QM
- Translate between description, diagram, equations
- Explain why wait time is deadweight loss and nominal fees can be efficient
- Terms and concepts: arrivals, servers, Poisson distribution/process, wait time, deadweight loss
- Suggest indications and contraindications, identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Other Models

- Critical Mass Models
- Commons Models
- Coordination Models

### Agent Models

- Suggest indications and contraindications, identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Linear Programming

- Suggest indications and contraindications, identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

### Difference Equations

- Suggest indications and contraindications, identify and respond to typical concerns and caveats

page revision: 3, last edited: 04 Dec 2013 17:49