CMPSCI 240: Reasoning About Uncertainty

David Mix Barrington

Fall, 2009

This is the home page for CMPSCI 240. CMPSCI 240 is the second official offering of a new undergraduate core course for the new computer science curriculum. It deals with counting, probability, probabilistic reasoning, Markov processes, and touches on classical game theory and information theory. For students under the old computer science major requirements, CMPSCI 240 may be used to fill the "math elective" requirement. For students opting for the new requirements, it is a required core course, though the requirement is waived for students who have passed both CMPSCI 383 and another 300+ computer science elective. (This page used to say that the requirement would be waived for CMPSCI 383 and a "math elective" -- this is not a general policy.)

Instructor Contact Info: David Mix Barrington, 210 CMPSCI building, 545-4329, office hours Mon 11-12, Tue 11-12, Thu 1-3, all in my office. I generally answer my email fairly reliably.

TA Contact Info: Brandon McPhail, mcphailb at cs dot umass dot edu, office hours Monday 1-2, Friday 11-12, all in 220 LGRT.

The course is primarily intended for undergraduates in computer science and related majors such as mathematics or computer engineering. The main prerequisites are CMPSCI 187 (data structures) and MATH 132 (the second semester of calculus).

There is no professionally published textbook for the course. We will use draft versions of my discrete math textbook, which I will make available at Collective copies at cost. I'll announce here when the text booklet is available -- since I am editing and revising, it will be right before term starts. Note that course packets are not returnable, as you are paying for the copying costs only (I get no royalty).

The course is scheduled three lecture meetings a week, MWF 10:10-11:00 AM, and one discussion meeting per week, Wednesdays 11:15-12:05, all in room A201 of the low-rise portion of Lederle Graduate Reseach Center (LGRC, not LGRT). On three Wednesdays during the term we will use both the lecture and discussion periods for midterm exams. Some of the discussion periods have in-class writing assignments, for which you will not get credit if you are absent, but otherwise attendance is not part of the grade.

There will be three midterms, a final exam, four programming assignments, eight written non-programming homework assignments, and about four in-class writing assignments -- see the requirements page.

Announcements (3 January 2010):

Last modified 3 January 2010