CMPSCI 250: Introduction to Computation

David Mix Barrington

Spring, 2011

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 hours Tuesday 2-4, Wednesday 2:30-3:30, and Friday 2:30-3:30. I generally answer my email fairly reliably.

TA Contact Info: Abhinav Parate,, office hours Thursday 2:30-3:30, and Eric Ssebanakitta,, office hours Monday 1-2. TA office hours are in 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 three lecture meetings a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 11:15-12:05, in Lederle Tower ("LGRT") room 101.

There is one discussion meeting per week, meeting on Fridays 10:10-11:00. The students have been arbitrarily divided into two discussion sections. Section 01 meets in ELAB 323, and Section 02 meets in room 142 of the Computer Science Building. Most discussions will have a written assignment which you will carry out in groups, chosen randomly at the beginning of each discussion. Discussion attendance is required, so that missing a discussion will incur a grade penalty. The TA and I will probably alternate which sections we lead, so they should be as interchangeable as we can make them.

The textbook is several chapters of my draft version of Discrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science. Photocopies of this will be available before the start of term, probably for $53 (two volumes), at Collective Copies in downtown Amherst -- ask for course packet #19. (Dave gets none of this money -- it is the copying cost only.) If you have a copy of the CMPSCI 250 text for Fall 2010, you should be able to use it, but pay attention to the corrections I have made in the new version (these were updated during the break).

Announcements (19 May 2011):

Last modified 19 May 2011