COMPSCI 250: Introduction to Computation

David Mix Barrington and Marius Minea

Fall 2018

This is the home page for COMPSCI 250. COMPSCI 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 Computer Science Building, 545-4329, office hours for Fall 2018: TBA, Marius Minea, A261 Lederle GRC (low-rise), 545-1734, office hours Tuesday and Thursday, 5-6 p.m.

The best way to contact either Dave or Marius is by email.

TA and UCA Contact Info:


This course is primarily intended for undergraduates in computer science and related majors such as mathematics or computer engineering. COMPSCI 187 (programming with data structures) and MATH 132 (Calculus II) are prerequisites though occasionally we let in a student who is taking one or the other at the same time as 250.

The course meets for three lecture meetings a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 1:25-2:30. Dave will lecture in Goessmann 64 and Marius in Hasbrouck 134. The lectures will be similar and will follow the textbook pretty closely. Both lecture sections of the course will have the same assignments, exams, and grade scale.

There is one discussion meeting per week for each of the six sections, at various times Wednesdays before lecture as indicated on SPIRE. Each discussion will have a written assignment which you will carry out in groups. Discussion attendance is required, so that missing a discussion will incur a grade penalty. The TA's and instructors will cover the sections in various combinations, so they will be as interchangeable as we can make them.

The textbook is the current draft of Dave's in-progress book, Discrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science. This will be available at Collective Copies in Amherst Center, starting Friday 24 August. Prior versions of the textbook that were intended for CMPSCI 250 may be used -- the most recent versions of the book differ only by the correction of some minor errors.

The course is using the iClicker system, the Moodle course management system, and the Piazza system for student discussion. Basic information about the course will be on this site, and specifics of the course will be off of the Moodle main page once it is established.

Announcements 1 January 2019):

Last modified 1 January 2019