CMPSCI 250: Introduction to Computation

David Mix Barrington

Fall, 2010

This is the home page for CMPSCI 250. CMPSCI 250 is the undergraduate core course in discrete mathematics and will deal with logic, elementary number theory, proof by induction, recursion on trees, search algorithms, finite state machines, and a bit of computability.

Instructor Contact Info: David Mix Barrington, 210 CMPSCI building, 545-4329, office Monday 11-12, Thursday 2-3:30. I generally answer my email fairly reliably.

TA Contact Info: Ed Mazur (mostly section 01), office hours Friday 2-3:30, LGRT 220.

John Brattin (mostly section 02), office hours Wednesday 2:30-4:00, LGRT 220.

The course is primarily intended for undergraduates in computer science and related majors such as mathematics or computer engineering. CMPSCI 187 (programming with data structures) and MATH 132 (Calculus II) are corequisites and in fact most students in the course have already taken both.

The course meets for two lecture meetings a week, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45. Both sections will now meet in Goessmann Lab Addition 151, with Dave lecturing.

There is one discussion meeting per week, Tuesday 2:30-3:20. Section 01 section meets again in Goessmann Addition 151, and Section 02 meets in room LGRT 113. Discussion attendance is required, so that missing a discussion will incur a grade penalty.

The textbook is several chapters of Dave's draft version of Discrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science. Photocopies of this are available, for $48 (two volumes), at Collective Copies in downtown Amherst. (Dave gets none of this money -- it is the copying cost only.) Note that the printed volume is missing section 2.11 through Dave's error -- printed copies of these five pages are available in class.

There is also an honors section for the course called CMPSCI H250, a one-credit seminar (run by Dave) intended for undergraduates in Commonwealth College (but open to non-CC students as well if there is room). In this we are reading Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach and discuss how it relates to the topics of the main course. The seminar meets on Thursdays 4-5 p.m. in room 243 of the Computer Science Building.

Announcements (22 December 2010):

Last modified 22 December 2010