MATH 181
Discrete Structures - Fall 2007

Department of Mathematics
Richard E. Bayne

Table of Contents:

[ Text and Required Materials | Course Objectives | Course Content | Pre-requisites | Cooperative Learning Groups | Requirements | Administrative Policies | Office Hours ]


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Course Objectives

This course is designed to provide students of computer science and mathematics with several topics and ideas that will help them to develop and analyze algorithms as well as enable them to think about and solve problems in new ways. By the completion of the course students should be able to express ideas using mathematical notation and solve problems using the tools of mathematical analysis.

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Course Content

As the name indicates, this course deals with discrete, or finite, processes and sets of elements. Accordingly, many of the ideas included have direct application to computers. Among topics to be discussed are propositional and predicate calculus, quantification, mathematical induction, sets, sequences, relations and functions, as well as fundamental ideas about combinatorial analysis, recurrence relations, graphs and tree theory.

Approximate pacing of topics

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To be successful in this course, you should have mastery of college algebra. A highly recommended corequisite is a course in introductory programming. Please see me if you have any questions about your preparation for this course.

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Cooperative Learning Groups

You may do a good portion of the work of this course in cooperative learning groups. It seems to work best if there are three or four students in each group. You will be working with your small group in class, on homework problems, and on group projects.

Working well in a group is an important skill. Some of you may enjoy the group work more than others, and all of you will benefit from further developing this skill. After graduation, most of you will be working in jobs which will require you to function as a member of a project team. One objective of group work in this course is to help you to develop skills in working effectively as part of a team. Another is to encourage discussion obout the concepts.

One of the primary objectives of this course is to help you to learn to think about problems mathematically and to solve the problems on your own. Working with your colleagues in this class and talking about problems with your group members are strategies to help you better understand a problem situation from several points of view.

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Regular attendance, participation, lab activities, homework:

Regular attendance is expected. This class meets three times per week and each student is expected to attend every session and to arrive before the class begins. Students are responsible for all class work and assignments whether or not they are in attendance. Some material will be presented in class from a different perspective than that given in the text. "Getting someone's notes" is a poor substitute for being present and involved in class discussion. However, if you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed.
NOTE: experience has shown that there is a high correlation between class attendance and success.

Problem solving is not a spectator sport. During class periods there will often be time for large and/or small group discussions about selected problems. It is important to learn to ask helpful questions and to listen constructively to each other. Constructive participation sometimes means allowing others time and space to think about the problem.

Homework assignments (100 points) will be assigned continously. In addition to work assigned directly from the text, there will be assignments using WeBWorK, which will be accessible on the World Wide Web.

There will be four hour exams each worth 100 points. The material to be covered on each test will be announced in advance of the scheduled test date. Tests are tentatively scheduled for the following dates:

Please note that these dates may change depending on class progress and unforseen circumstances. ALL EXAMS COUNT; i. e., no scores will be discarded.

Ordinarily, there are no make-up tests; exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis. You must determine BEFORE the exam date whether your excuse will be acceptable.

Generally, incomplete grades will not be given. If there is an emergency which causes a student to be unable to finish course requirements, the emergency must be documented by the student's advisor or by the advisory center.

If you have concerns about your progress or ability to keep up with course assignments, please feel free to discuss these with me.

Final Exam: 200 points
The final exam will be cumulative and is scheduled for December 14 at 8:00 am.

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Administrative Policies

GRADES Grades will be determined as follows:

        85% - 100% of total points available    A
        75% - 84% of total points available     B
        62% - 74% of total points available     C
        50% - 61% of total points available     D
        0% - 49% of total points available      F

Academic Integrity Policy

Students who cheat violate their own integrity and the integrity of the university by claiming credit for work they have not done and knowledge they do not possess. All students are expected to recognize and to abide by the policy on academic integrity found in the Student Handbook. Because you will be asked to do work in collaboration with your group members, I will ask you to sign all homework assignments attesting to the fact that you have actively participated in the work.

Office Hours

Your tuition entitles you to see your instructor in conference about problems, personal and academic. Take advantage of the conference hours. Although the Mathematics Department office and department mail boxes are located on the second floor of Academic Support Building B (behind Locke Hall), my office is located in 236 Annex III, on the corner of 4th and College Streets, and can be reached from either of the two south-facing doors which are accessible from the driveway between Annex III and the C. B. Powell building. As a rule, I am available for students on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. My scheduled office hours for fall 2007 are