COMPSCI 250: Introduction to Computation

David Mix Barrington and Hia Ghosh

Spring 2020

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 Spring 2020: Tue 2-3, Thu 4-5, Fri 2-3 Hia Ghosh, LGRC 241 office hours Wed 4:00-4:30 (one on one), 4:30-6:00 (general)

The best way to contact either Dave or Hia 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 and are pretty strictly enforced.

The course meets for three lecture meetings a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Dave will lecture 10:10-11:00 in Morrill II 131 and Hia 12:20-1:10 in Thompson 106. We may occasionally swap lectures. 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 on Fridays 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, A Mathematical Foundation for Computer Science. The first half is available as an e-book from Kendall Hunt Publishing for $20. The second half is a paper volume that will be be available at Collective Copies in Amherst Center, starting sometime in late January, 2020. Prior versions of the textbook that were intended for CMPSCI 250 may be used with caution, as the new versions have many new exercises and problems.

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 15 January 2020):

Last modified 23 January 2020