INFO 150: A Mathematical Foundation for Informatics

David Mix Barrington

Fall, 2017

This is the home page for INFO 150. INFO 150 is an introductory undergraduate course in discrete mathematics and the mathematical method. I have developed it for use in a new degree program in the College of Information and Computer Sciences called "Informatics", a program that will teach computational thinking at a less technical level than the Computer Science majors. The intended audience for this course is students who intend to pursue computing, perhaps in programming courses for majors like CMPSCI 121 and 187, but could use more exposure to mathematical thinking first.

Instructor Contact Info: David Mix Barrington, 210 CMPSCI building, 545-4329, office hours for Fall 2017 Tue 11-12, Thu 3-4, Fri 2:30-3:30.

I generally answer my email fairly reliably.

TA Contact Info: There is no TA for this course but we have an undergraduate course assistant yet to be named.

The material of the course does not overlap much with that of the conventional pre-calculus and calculus courses, but it will demand some basic skill in calculation. There is no formal prerequisite, but an average high-school math background will be useful (e.g., the University's R1 gen-ed requirement). (This course does not carry gen-ed credit itself, though I expect that future versions will be R2 courses.)

On the opposite end of the spectrum, someone who has taken MATH 132 or CMPSCI 187 probably has too much mathematical maturity to be in the appropriate audience for this course.

The textbook for the course is Discrete Mathematics: Mathematical Reasoning and Proof with Puzzles, Patterns, and Games by Douglas E. Ensley and J Winston Crawley. The UMass Amazon virtual bookstore has been informed about the book. It's pretty expensive, but there is the cheaper options of buying it used (I didn't see options of renting it or getting the e-book on the Amazon site, but they may exist). Do not buy the paperback "solutions manual" in place of the hardcover textbook. We'll work through most of the book, with specific sections as specified on the syllabus.

The course will meet for three lecture meetings a week, MWF 11:15-12:05 in room 15 of Marston Hall. There will be graded activity in every class section, so attendance is required.

Announcements (25 November 2017):

Last modified 25 November 2017