URSI 604--Urban Analytical Tools

Instructor: Tony Filipovitch, 106e Morris Hall, 389-5033, 388-2264 (home), TONY@VAX1.Mankato.MSUS.edu
Office Hours: M-R 10-1 & M 1-2 (or any other time by appointment--see me first)


PAGE, G. & C. PATTON (1991) Quick Answers to Quantitative Problems. Boston: Academic Press, Inc. recommended reading--and just a handy book to have on your bookshelf


I assume that you have, through coursework or practical experience, the equivalent of the undergraduate methods sequence--URSI 301 Field Methodology and URSI 403 Urban Research Methods. These courses teach the elements of Theory Construction, Experimental Design, Database Design, and Statistics. They also teach the use of e-mail. Click on the highlighted terms for lists of review items. If you are not comfortable with your mastery of any of these topics, supplementary "catch up" sessions can be arranged. Look at a QRM chart.


Urban Analytical Tools is designed to provide an introduction to applied quantitative analysis for students who are preparing for a professional career in local government.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. Communicate using electronic mail
  2. Solve practical problems using (and modifying) microcomputer software.
  3. Present the results of your analysis in tabular and graphic form.
  4. Be able to interpret the results from larger, more complicated quantitative models.
  5. Frame a question and estimate a general solution with only simple analysis.
  6. Report the results of your analysis in a professional manner using a memo format.



Each week will be devoted to a different topic. Discussions of each topic are available on the Web (use the hotlinks from the Course Calendar). Classtime will be used to clarify any confusion, to practice applications, and to discuss interpretations of results. Most of the topics will use spreadsheet software.


You will submit weekly memos interpretting an application of each week's topic. The memos should follow the format described in URSI Style Sheets. The body of the memo should be 1-2 pages, although there may be attachments. Memos should be sent to me on e-mail (remember to send all files as TEXT files).


There will be no final test. Your grade will be based on your 10 memoes. Each memo is worth 10 pts. The final grade will be based on a 90%/80%/... scale.

All memos must be turned in on time. Make-up memos will be allowed only if you contact me before noon of the day they are due. On the other hand, a memo may be revised as often as you wish prior to November 21. You may work together, but you must write your memos independently.

Course Calendar

Sept. 19: Introduction (course objectives, e-mail & web navigation, Institutional Review Board procedures)
Sept. 26: Review of Statistics & Database design
Upper Midwest Planning Conference (St. Cloud, MN)
Oct. 3: Benefit/Cost Analysis
Oct. 10: PERT
Oct. 17: Decision Models & Linear Programming
Oct. 24: Population Forecasting (Cohort Survival Method)
Oct. 31: Spatial Distribution Analysis
Nov. 7: Real Estate Pro Forma
Nov. 14: Tax-Increment Financing & Capital Improvement Programming
Nov. 21: Fiscal Impact Assessment
Nov. 28: Thanksgiving Holiday
Dec. 5: Labor Agreements


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© 1996 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 1 September 96