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Computer Science 203, Discrete Structures, is a required course for Computer Science Majors. The class covers proof techniques, counting methods, calculation, and problem-solving strategies through topics such as logic, sets, numbers, functions, relations, graphs, combinatorics, discrete probability, modular arithmetic, summations, and recurrences. Discrete mathematics is the mathematics of the integers {..., -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, ...}, which underlies all conventional discrete computers.

Students in this course will learn how to:

Proof techniques including direct/indirect, contradiction, contrapositive, counterexample, epsilon-delta, counting arguments (e.g. Pigeon-hole Principle), diagonalization, and strong and weak mathematical induction will be covered. Counting methods include the fundamental principles of counting (addition and product rules), permutations, combinations, k-permutations, permutations with repeated elements, D'Alembert's method, urn model, principle of inclusion/exclusion, setting up and solving recurrences, partition and sum, and seat-of-the-pants approximations. Calculation topics include summations, recurrences (first- and second-order homogeneous and nonhomogeneous linear difference equations with constant coefficients), simplification, approximation by bounding, change of coordinates, and the symbolic and numerical math package Maple.

In fall 2002, some sections will use the textbook by Susanna S. Epp, and others will try the text by Kenneth H. Rosen. In December 2002, the instructors will decide which text to use in the future.

Chapters in Epp textbook covered (in order):

Chapters in Rosen textbbok covered (in order):

All instructors are strongly urged to ensure common minimum standards as described in the semester schedule and lecture descriptions followed by course coorinator Dr. Alan T. Sherman.

Become rich and famous solving math problems:


Fall 2002


Spring 2001


Previous Semesters


Related Graduate Course


Paul Artola, artola@cs.umbc.edu
Alan T. Sherman, sherman@umbc.edu