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MATH151 General Mathematics

Topics such as basic mathematical models, operations research, introductory calculus, compound interest, exponential growth and decay, simple integration as well as exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions.

If you want to know which of MATH 151, MATH 160 or MATH 170 is best for you, check out the information and placement tools: 'Which MATH 100-level paper should I take?'

Mathematics occurs in almost every field of study and certainly in every quantitative discipline. Getting on top of even basic mathematical techniques is an important step to being able to understand the analytical processes in those fields - processes that deal with, for example, chemical reactions, financial models, population interactions between species and the stresses in the structural members of a bridge. This is an ideal paper for those who need or want to take at least a service paper in mathematical methods and do not yet have a background in mathematics sufficiently strong to join the MATH 160 class.

Emphasis is placed on understanding via examples, and you will use the methods taught to study a variety of practical problems. In the process your manipulation skills in algebra and calculus will improve, and you will gain insight into the usefulness of the techniques. It will also provide you with an appreciation of the value and power of mathematics and the motivation to progress to further MATH papers. In particular you will cover such topics as linear and quadratic models, linear programming, functional notation, differentiation, rates of change, graphing of functions, optimisation problems, exponentials and logarithms, compound interest, exponential growth and decay, and simple integration.

Paper title General Mathematics
Paper code MATH151
Subject Mathematics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Summer School (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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FINC 102, FINQ 102, QUAN 102
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
(i) This paper is recommended for students with NCEA Level 2 mathematics or equivalent. It provides excellent preparation for students wishing to take MATH160. (ii) MATH151 cannot be credited together with MATH101-104, 160 or 170 passed previously or concurrently.
This paper is intended for students whose mathematical background is insufficient to embark on MATH 160 but who want to improve their maths skills, either to assist in their studies of other subjects or to prepare themselves to take MATH 160.
Teaching staff
Summer School: To be advised
First Semester: Associate Professor Boris Baeumer
Paper Structure
Main topics:
  • Basic algebraic manipulation
  • Equations of lines
  • Systems of linear equations
  • Quadratics
  • Arithmetic progressions
  • Compound interest
  • Linear programming
  • Rates of change
  • Differentiation
  • Graphing functions
  • Optimisation problems
  • Simple integration
  • Finding areas
  • Exponential, log and trig functions
  • Differential equations
Course materials will be available on the resource page. A book of complete notes for MATH 151 is available for purchase at the Print Shop.
Course outline
View the course outline for MATH 151
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Basic mathematical literacy and demonstrated understanding of where and how central concepts are used

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Summer School

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 10:00-11:50 2-7
Wednesday 10:00-11:50 2-7
Thursday 10:00-11:50 2-7
M1 Monday 10:00-11:50 2-5, 7


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 2-7
Thursday 13:00-14:50 2-7