This is the course information website for sections F01 and F02 of Math 113: Discrete Structures.
All other material for the class will be posted on the Moodle page.
Office hours: M 3:40-4:30pm, Tu 11am-12pm, Th 1:30-3:30pm; you can also make an appointment or stop by my office. If my door is open, you are welcome in. My office is a safe space to ask questions.
Evening sessions: A course assistant is available Monday and Thursday 7:00 to 8:00pm in Library 389, to help with Math 113.
Math help center: Student tutors are available to help you on STuWTh from 7:00 to 9:00pm in Library 204.
Text: Discrete Mathematics -- Lázló Lovász, József Pelikán, Katalin Vesztergombi.
Course description: This course is an introduction to the mathematics of discrete structures, mainly combinatorics (the mathematics of counting), probability, and number theory (special properties of integers). We will emphasize creative mathematical reasoning, problem-solving, proof techniques, and rigorous mathematical writing.
Course design: This class is designed to be learner-centered (as opposed to teacher-centered). There are three main components:
Solutions should be written neatly or typeset (preferably using LaTeX. Resources are available here). and should use complete sentences. An ideal solution is written as an explanation meant for other students in the class. Please order and staple your solutions.
Collaboration policy: I encourage you to work on homework together, this is a great way of learning. But YOU MUST WRITE UP YOUR OWN SOLUTIONS INDEPENDENTLY. For total disclosure, write the names of your collaborators and tutors.
Exams: There will be two take-home exams and a final exam. You are welcome to use a two-sided letter-sized page of notes during the exam. Electronic devices (calculators, cellphones, computers, tablets, etc), notebooks, books, and collaborators are not allowed during exams.
Class participation: I expect you to actively engage in conversations during group work. Every student should present a solution to the class at least twice during the semester. I encourage you to ask questions during lecture.
Joint expectations: We share the responsibility of creating a learning community in which we will interact through class discussions, one-on-one conversations, group work, and office hours. All conversations should be respectful and should have the goal of advancing understanding, not competing or showing off. This learning environment might be new and challenging to you, so I hope you will let me know if you are having trouble. You should expect that I will be fair to all of you, that I will encourage you to find your voice, and that I will provide feedback and guidance that will help you.
Grades: Your grade will be based on your performance on the reading assignments, homework, the midterms and final exam, and class participation.
Each problem in the homework receives a two-component grade. The first component is mathematical content, and it is graded according to the following scale:
The second component is mathematical writing and it is graded on a 0-2 scale.
Technology: The use of electronic devices (computers, cell phones, tablets, etc) is not allowed in the classroom without my authorization. Talk to me if you have a specific reason for needing to use technology (for example, note taking).
Academic honesty: As noted above, for homework you should write your own solutions and disclose your collaborators. For exams, there is no collaboration allowed. The internet is a great source of information about mathematics; you are welcome to search information about the material of the course online, but you should not search for solutions to specific problems in the homework. You should not consult solutions to homework and exams from previous versions of this class.
Accommodations: If you have a documented disability requiring accommodations please let me know as soon as possible and make sure I get the official notification from Disability Support Services (DSS). I cannot provide accommodations after an assignment has been turned in or within 24 hours of an exam. If you have an undocumented disability you should contact DSS, and I can help you navigate that process.
A final remark: Learning and understanding mathematics requires engaging with the material several times. You might not get what is happening on the first try. Struggling with the material is normal, and maybe even expected.
By doing the reading, actively participating in class, explaining your ideas and insights, listening to your peers, spending time working on the homework, reviewing the material, and talking to me, you will increase your understanding. Use the resources available!