CMPSCI 250: Introduction to Computation

David Mix Barrington

Spring, 2012

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 11-12, Wednesday 2:30-3:30, Thursday 3-4, Friday 3:30-4:30. I generally answer my email fairly reliably.

TA Contact Info: Cibele Friere (, office hours Thursday noon-1, Arti Ramesh (, office hours Tuesday 2-3, and Samamon Khemmarat (, office hours Monday 2-3. 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 Hasbrouck room 134.

There is one discussion meeting per week for each of the two sections, with Section D01 meeting Friday 12:20-1:10 p.m. and Section D02 meeting Friday 2:30-3:20 p.m., both 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's and I will cover the sections in various combinations, so they should be as interchangeable as we can make them. (D02 is currently more crowded -- anyone who can switch to D01 is encouraged to do so.)

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, for $53 (two volumes), at Collective Copies in downtown Amherst. Ask for course packet #21. (Dave gets none of this money -- it is the copying cost only.) The Spring 2012 version will have only a few minor edits from the Spring 2011 version, mostly correcting the errors noted on the Spring 2011 web site. The Fall 2010 version has a few more changes including four missing pages (which I can email you on request).

Announcements (4 June 2012):

Last modified 4 June 2012