CMPSCI 190DM: A Mathematical Foundation for Informatics
David Mix Barrington
This is the home page for CMPSCI 190DM.
CMPSCI 190DM is an experimental version of an introductory
undergraduate course in discrete mathematics and the mathematical
method. I am developing it for possible use in a
new degree program
in the School of Computer Science called "Informatics", a program that
will teach computational thinking at a less technical level than the
Computer Science majors. The intended audience for this course is
students who intend to pursue computing, perhaps in programming
for majors like
CMPSCI 121 and 187, but could use more exposure to mathematical
Instructor Contact Info:
David Mix Barrington, 210 CMPSCI
building, 545-4329, office hours for Fall 2015 Tue 11-12, Wed
2:30-3:30, and Thu 2-3.
I generally answer my email fairly
TA Contact Info: There is no TA or grader for this course.
The material of the course does not overlap much with that of the
pre-calculus and calculus courses, but it will demand some basic skill
calculation. There is no formal prerequisite, but an average
math background will be useful (e.g., the University's R1 gen-ed
(This course does not carry gen-ed credit itself, though I expect that
future versions will be R2 courses.)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, someone who has taken MATH 132
CMPSCI 187 probably has too much mathematical maturity to be in
appropriate audience for this course.
The textbook for the course is
Mathematical Reasoning and Proof with Puzzles, Patterns, and Games by
Douglas E. Ensley and J Winston Crawley.
The UMass Amazon virtual bookstore has been informed about
the book. It's pretty expensive, but there are the cheaper options of buying
it used, renting it, or getting the e-book. We'll work through most
of the book, with specific sections as specified on the syllabus.
The course will meet for three lecture meetings a week, MWF 11:15-12:05
in room 327 of the Engineering Lab (ELAB). There will be graded
activity in every class section, so attendance is required.
Announcements (20 November 2015):
- (20 Nov) I have just posted the text
and solutions for the third midterm.
They will be returned in class later this morning. The scores
ranged from 27 to 78 with a median of 59.5. The scale was A = 85,
B = 70, C = 55, D = 40, F = 25.
- (15 Nov) The solutions to
that exam are now also up.
- (12 Nov) The practice third
midterm is up.
- (9 Nov) The next midterm is a week from Wednesday in class. I will
try to have a practice midterm posted by sometime Wednesday, so we can discuss
it Friday and Monday.
- (1 Nov) I drafted an assignment for Monday but forgot to post
it, and I think now it's too late. I've posted an assignment due on
Wednesday covering sections 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3.
- (25 Oct) I have posted the second
midterm and its solution. The
scores of the seven people who took the exam ranged from 98 to 59
with a median of 93, so I will keep the announced scale of A = 90, C
= 60. I'll return the exams in lecture tomorrow, and collect the
homework that I assigned on Friday. We'll begin talking about
- (20 Oct) The solutions to the
practice second midterm are now up. I also forgot to assign
homework for tomorrow's class.
- (17 Oct) The practice second
midterm is up.
- (16 Oct) The practice for the second midterm might be up tomorrow
instead of tonight. The homework for Monday is now up.
- (13 Oct) Tomorrow's homework is now up. I plan to have the first midterm
text and solution posted by tonight, and the second practice midterm by Friday.
Remember that the second midterm is a week from Friday, in class.
- (25 Sept) So I am off to Germany after class today. The
practice exam solution is up now.
The real exam will be Monday during the class period -- Larkin Flodin,
one of my TA's for CS 250, will proctor it. It will be similar to the
practice exam except that the point breakdown for the four questions
will be 20-20-25-35 instead of the practice exam's 15-30-25-30.
Remember that there is no class next Wednesday or Friday -- we will start
up again on Monday 5 October with section 2.1 of the book. I will have
grade exams to return on Wed 7 October. While I am away I will have some
access to email but don't be surprised if I don't see something for up to
- (20 Sept) The practice first midterm is posted in the
exam directory. I will post solutions to this
exam on Wednesday. Note that the add/drop date is tomorrow --
email me if you want to talk about whether you should take the class.
- (9 Sept) The first assignment is posted on the
homework index page. The questions are
similar to ones in section 1.1 of the book, but not the same so please
read what is there carefully.
- (6 Sept) I emailed the registered students today. Please get the
textbook as soon as possible, and please contact me if you would
like to discuss whether this is the right course for you this term.
- (6 Sept) The syllabus and the
requirements and grading page are now posted.
- This is a preliminary version of the web page. The course has run
twice previously, each with only a handful of students, so I am excited about
our current double-digit enrollment. Please email me if you would like to
talk about the course and whether it is right for you. I'll have more material
on this page as we get closer to term. If you have questions about the
Informatics program, now being operated in cooperation with BDIC, please
contact Dr. Michelle Trim, the
undergraduate advisor for the program.
Last modified 13 December 2015