There are two kinds of courses in the first year. They differ according to the academic origin of students (whether they passed the economics or the mathematics competitive examinations). They aim at giving students of each category the required knowledge they lack. Courses common to both sets of students then provide basic knowledge in the main subjects taught at the ENSAE, i.e. probability, optimization, statistics, microeconomics and macroeconomics.
Special training for students having taken the economics entrance examination
Courses mainly consist of mathematics. The Algebra course provides the matrix algebra and bilinear algebra necessary for econometrics and data analysis. The Analysis course deals with supplements of analysis necessary for probability and optimisation. The Differential Calculus course provides the essential tools used in economics and optimization. Another course provides the students with the basics of measure theory.
Special training for students having taken the mathematics entrance examination
These students have to follow both mathematics and introduction to economics courses. Some aspects of mathematics not taught in “classes préparatoires” are added in order to complete the student’s training, such as Functional and Convex Analysis. There is also a course devoted to the Mathematical Foundations of Probabilities.
Students follow an Introduction to Economics course presenting the main concepts and the accounting side of economic analysis, and are required to write dissertations on descriptive economics.
During the first semester, both categories of students follow courses aiming to provide necessary skills in computer science. Introduction to Computer Science presents the different computer tools available in the school. Then students are introduced to SAS language, the most commonly used statistical software in the school. The use of other software is taught in the following years. The Algorithms and Programming course deals with basic notions about programming and applications in the Python language. Optional courses include a training to LaTeX. All students also follow courses in Optimization, Monetary and Financial Economics, Measure and Integration Theory, and Lectures in Descriptive Statistics.
During the second semester, Optimisation Techniques are thoroughly presented. Probability Theory, Introduction to Statistics and Econometrics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Data Analysis also provide thorough introductions to these fundamental fields of ENSAE. Students are also offered historical and epistemological insights in the History of Economic Analysis course.
The Programming Project lasts the whole semester.
Additionnaly, students follow mandatory courses in English and in a second foreign language.