Discrete Math (V63.0120)

Instructor information


Goals and Topics

Our major goal will be to familiarize ourselves with some of the important tools of discrete mathematics.

Course Details


Textbook and Materials

Discrete Mathematics: Mathematical Reasoning and Proof with Puzzles, Patterns, and Games
by Douglas E. Ensley and J. Winston Crawley.
ISBN 0-471-47602-1


Homework will be assigned weekly and collected on Thursdays. In fairness to the other students in the course, late homework will generally not be accepted. We will, however, drop the lowest homework score in computation of final grades. Please talk to the instructor in cases of emergency.

Homework problems will each be worth 3 points and will be graded according to the following rubric.

Points Description of Work
3 Work is completely accurate and essentially perfect. Work is thoroughly developed, neat, and easy to read. Complete sentences are used.
2 Work is good, but incompletely developed, hard to read, unexplained, or jumbled. Answers which are not explained, even if correct, will generally receive 2 points. Work contains the "right idea" but is flawed.
1 Work is sketchy. There is some correct work, but most of the work is incorrect.
0 Work minimal or non-existent. Solution is completely incorrect.



There will be five 15-20 minute quizzes. Quizzes will start at the beginning of class. We will also drop the lowest quiz.


There will be an in-class midterm examination as indicated in the schedule below.


The cumulative final examination for this course is noted on the schedule below. We will not be able to accommodate early finals for nonacademic, non-emergency reasons. Please plan your travel schedule accordingly.


Make-up quizzes and exams are allowed only for the following.

Those make-ups not arising from emergencies must be taken before the date of the quiz/exam. If the make-up needs to be taken after the date/time of the quiz/exam, it should be taken early as possible. In all cases, contact the instructor immediately.


Don't cheat. It is the only fair and respectful option to your classmates and me. If you are caught, you might find me breathing down your neck through the rest of the semester in addition to suffering whatever penalty I deem fit for the transgression.

Grading policy

Grades will be computed by a weighted average:

Homework 10%
Quizzes 20%
Midterm 30%
Exam 40%

Final scores will be converted to letter grades beginning with the following scale:

93 A
90 A-
87 B+
83 B
80 B-
75 C+
65 C
50 D

As for a curve, these cutoffs might be adjusted, but only in the downward direction (to make letter grades higher).

Tentative Calendar

Week Day Book Section Topic and Notes
1 Tue 01/25 1.1, 1.2 First Examples, Number Puzzles and Sequences
  Thu 01/27 1.3 Truth-tellers, Liars, and Propositional Logic
2 Tue 02/01 1.4 Predicates
  Thu 02/03 1.5 Implications
3 Tue 02/08 1.6 Quiz 1; Validity of Arguments
  Thu 02/10 2.1 Mathematical Writing
4 Tue 02/15 2.2 Proofs about Numbers
  Thu 02/17 2.3 Mathematical Induction
5 Tue 02/22 2.5 Quiz 2; Contradiction and the Pigeonhole Principle
  Thu 02/24 3.1, 3.2 Set Definitions and Operations
6 Tue 03/01 3.3 Proving Set Properties
  Thu 03/03 3.4 Boolean Algebra
7 Tue 03/08   Review
  Thu 03/10   Midterm
8 Tue 03/15 Spring Break  
  Thu 03/17 Spring Break  
9 Tue 03/22 4.1, 4.2 Definitions of Functions, Diagrams, Relations, and Inverses, Composition
  Thu 03/24 4.3 Properties of Functions and Set Cardinality
10 Tue 03/29 4.4 Properties of Relations
  Thu 03/31 4.5 Equivalence Relations
11 Tue 04/05 5.1, 5.2 Quiz 3; Introduction to Combinatorics, Basic Rules for Counting
  Thu 04/07 5.3 Combinations and the Binomial Theorem
12 Tue 04/12 5.4 Binary Sequences
  Thu 04/14 5.5 Recursive Counting Continue to 6.1
13 Tue 04/19 6.1, 6.2 Quiz 4; Introduction to Probability, Sum, and Product Rules
  Thu 04/21 6.3 Probability in Games of Chance
14 Tue 04/26 7.1, 7.2 Graph Theory, Proofs about Graphs and Trees
  Thu 04/28 7.3 Isomorphism and Planarity
15 Tue 05/03   Quiz 5; Review
  Thu 05/05   Final Exam