Syllabus for Discrete Mathematics - Spring 2023
Professor: Mark McClure
The word "discrete" means individually separate and distinct. Thus, when we study functions in discrete mathematics, their domain is often the natural numbers or some other subset of the integers - maybe, even a finite set. Natural applied questions that arise in that context include:
Counting and enumeration: For example,
- How many seating arrangments are there at a dinner party?
- How many ways can 8 non-attacking Queens be placed on a chess board?
- Analysis of algorithms
- Graph theory
In addition to learning about those topics, we will learn some foundations of mathematical logic and algorithms in code.
- The text: We will be using the third edition of text Discrete Mathematics, An Open Introduction. This is a great, open source text that's freely avaible online. You may purchase a copy online for only $15, if you like, but that's not necessary. Most folks would probably be happy viewing the online version. All the info you need is avaible here:
- Math Discourse: We'll use an online discussion forum called Math Discourse to facilitate communication and to do quite a few computational assignments.
- Computer and internet connection: In addition to the text and forum, we'll access a number of computational tools online. It's not out of the question that we'll need to use Zoom a bit, though that will hopefully be rare.
There will be two exams during the term. Likely dates for those exams are
- Thursday, March 2 and
- Thursday, April 13.
- Qizzes: There will also be two quizzes - one three weeks before each midterm exam. Thats
- Thursday, January 26 and
- Thursday, February 16 and
- Thursday, March 30.
- Homework: There will be three
types of homework:
- Textbook assignments, which will not be collected but offer important practice,
- WebWork assignments, which will be on the computer and auto-graded, and
- Forum assignments, which give us an opportunity to collaborate and will often be computational in nature.
- Final grades: I will determine final grades using a scale not more stringent than the standard 90-80-70-60 scale. You will be apprised of your standing as the term progresses.
- Late work: In general, I don't accept late work.
- Cheating: I don't deal with cheating. If I suspect cheating strongly enough, I simply refer you to the provost and fail you for the class.
Your rights and responsibilities
It's worth understanding your rights and responsibilities as a student at UNCA. One of my responsibilities is to make sure you have the information that you need to do that. Since this is common to all classes, I've got that information on this legalese document.