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Special Topics Courses 2018-2019


  • Content in any given year will depend on the instructor.
  • Enrolment is restricted to Rotman Commerce students.
  • To take a 400-series course, 14.0+ credits are required; for a 300-series, 9.0+ credits are required; and for a 200-series, 4.0+ credits are required.


RSM212H1S – Accounting for Finance Professionals
RSM310H1S – Managing Customer Value
RSM314H1S – Sports Analytics
RSM410H1F – Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance
RSM412H1F – Service Operations Analytics
RSM414H1F – Creativity for Business Innovation
RSM419H1S – Designing for Equality  Open to Y3 & Y4 RC students

RSM212H1S – Accounting for Finance Professionals

Instructor: Dragan Stojanovic
Prerequisite: RSM219H1

This course is intended for students in the Specialist in Finance and Economics. It is an intermediate-level course that builds on the foundations from RSM219H1, Introduction to Financial Accounting. It is meant to be taken instead of RSM220H1, Intermediate Financial Accounting I, by students not in an Accounting Specialist.

This course will be especially helpful for students planning to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 exam, and it focuses on analysing financial statements prepared under IFRS and US GAAP.

RSM310H1S – Managing Customer Value

Instructor: David Soberman
Prerequisite: RSM250H1

Watch a video presentation about the course

This course introduces you to the theory behind marketing and is designed to provide you with the opportunity to put these ideas and elements into practice in a simulated competitive environment.

The precise objectives of the simulation are:

  1. To reinforce the value of a marketing orientation (the importance of being customer-driven).
  2. To revisit the importance and implications of segmentation
  3. To experience the challenge of working in a competitive environment with a limited number of major competitors.
  4. To demonstrate the importance of understanding the core competences of your firm and those of your competitors as a precursor to strategy development
  5. To appreciate the key differences between managing mature categories and growing (new) categories.
  6. To use market research and to observe how its use leads to vast improvements in decision making.

Once you develop a strategy for your Markstrat company, you implement tactical decisions that follow from your strategy and these include:

  1. Product Decisions, such as which new product(s) to introduce in the market, how to re-engineer an existing product, whether to add new product extensions in the existing product line, which brand name to use, etc.
  2. Pricing Decisions of the company’s product/service, such as pricing of existing or new products.
  3. Place/Channel decisions such as in which kinds of outlets you should sell your products, how any intermediaries you want in the distribution channel, how will you manage channel conflict, etc.
  4. Promotional/Communication decisions, such as how should you promote your product (through advertising, deploying your company’s sales force, using coupons, using point of sales promotions, etc.), which media vehicles should you use for advertising, how much money should you allocate across different media vehicles, which theme(s) should you emphasize in the advertising message, etc.

The simulation takes place over a 6 year period, and the competition provides you with an experience that is stimulating, intense and highly representative of what marketers do in the real world.  Each company makes 6 decisions, and each decision simulates the creation and execution of an annual marketing plan. The interaction between the firms is what determines market (firm) outcomes.

RSM314H1S – Sports Analytics

Instructor: Matthew Mitchell
Prerequisite: ECO220Y1 (Updated August 8, 2018)

This course will apply concepts of analytic management and data analysis to the sports world. Sports offers a unique opportunity to measure employee (especially player) performance and firm decisions in response to that data. Students will learn how econometric analysis can help in this process. The class will address both popular discussion of sports analytics as well as academic papers at the research frontier, since those papers are an opportunity to learn about the latest thinking. The class will be will be an opportunity to use evidence from sports as a way to assess other theories that are a part of business education.

We will study the use of analytics in a variety of sports settings.  Students will have the opportunity to do their own data analysis using sports data from a variety of sports. Although not expressly focused on hockey, we will sometimes use data from the hockey analytics firms Stathletes brought to us by co-founder Meghan Chayka. The course will also involve guest speakers from the sports industry to better understand the ways in which analytics are being used in different sports.

RSM410H1S – Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance

Instructor: Steven Balaban
Prerequisite: RSM333H1

The primary objective of the course is to improve students’ ability to understand the concepts and institutions involved in private equity. The course will provide students with skill sets so they can analyze and understand private equity from multiple perspectives: the perspective of the individual/firm seeking and receiving private equity finance; the perspective of the private equity fund; and, the perspective of the limited partners that provide finance for private equity funds. Students will also learn how to build Leverage Buyout (LBO) models.

This course uses case analysis to learn about private equity, including an emphasis on practical elements and will involve guest speakers who will share their experiences in the private equity industry. Whether students are interested in a career in private equity or are looking to familiarize themselves with the industry, this course will offer an in-depth understanding of how private equity works and an ability to analyze and present complex situations in the private markets.

RSM412H1F – Service Operations Analytics

Instructor: Vahid Roshanaei
Prerequisite: RSM270H1

The service sector makes significant contributions to the world economy. For example, in 2016, the service sector created about 71% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Production and provided employment for 76% of the Canadian labour force. The service sector includes health, education, commercial services (restaurants, recreation, amusement, personal care, etc.), trade (wholesale and retail), transportation, communication, and financial and legal (insurance, real state, banking and investment). It is therefore of paramount importance for students to understand service operations.

In this course, students will learn decision making in service operations using analytics, i.e., the combination of computer science, optimization, and statistics. We will provide step-by-step training on how to apply these techniques in modern computer languages such as Python and Gurobi.

Students will address questions such as “how this service operations can be improved?”, “what service level performance measures should be considered”, and “what data is needed to support improvement of this service operations?”  We will study and demonstrate these questions in the context of specific services using data-driven service operations cases. Students will apply and test their underlying analytics and provide practical and managerial insights using these cases.

RSM414H1F – Creativity for Business Innovation

Instructor: Angèle Beausoleil
Prerequisite: 14.0+ credits

This course will challenge you to develop your personal and professional creativity. Current research in experimental psychology suggests that creativity can be developed and refined, albeit with effort and practice. Through a combination of lectures and immersive in-class and field-based activities, you will engage in divergent thinking to see problems and opportunities more clearly, and develop solutions unseen and unimagined by others. This course is useful to students across all Rotman Commerce specializations.

RSM419H1S – Designing for Equality

Instructor: Nika Stelman
Prerequisite: None

Open to Y3 & Y4 RC students

This course uses business design methods to make progress on some of the most complex gender-based challenges facing businesses today. Hone your skill set in design thinking and learn how to apply innovative design frameworks to complex challenges relating to gender and the economy. This exciting course teaches you how to innovate for lasting social and economic impact. RSM 459H1 is useful background but not a pre-requisite.


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