INFO 150: A Mathematical Foundation for Informatics
David Mix Barrington
This is the home page for INFO 150.
CMPSCI 190DM 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
for majors like
CMPSCI 121 and 187, but could use more exposure to mathematical
Instructor Contact Info:
David Mix Barrington, 210 CMPSCI
building, 545-4329, office hours for Fall 2016
Monday 2:00-3:00, Tuesday 11:00-12:00, and Thursday 2:00-3:00.
I generally answer my email fairly
TA Contact Info: There is no TA for this course but we have
a grader, Joey Canning,
The material of the course does not overlap much with that of the
pre-calculus and calculus courses, but it will demand some basic skill
calculation. There is no formal prerequisite, but an average
math background will be useful (e.g., the University's R1 gen-ed
(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
CMPSCI 187 probably has too much mathematical maturity to be in
appropriate audience for this course.
The textbook for the course is
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 (10 January 2017):
- (10 Jan) I have posted the final
exam and its solution. The
exam scale was A = 105, C = 70. The exam scores were 101, 95, 93,
91, 88, 86, 86, 85, 82, 81, 81, 81, 78, 77, 77, 76, 71, 71, 70, 65,
60, 59, 41, so that the median was 81, a B-.
For overall course grades, things tended to even out as people
who did better on one component tended to do worse on others.
There were three B+, twelve B, four B-, and one each C+, C, C-,
and D. Thanks for an interesting and productive term!
- (13 Dec) The solutions to
the practice final exam are now up.
- (9 Dec) I have posted the practice
final exam. I will post the solution on Monday.
- (28 Nov) I have posted the second
midterm and its solutions. The
scale was A = 85, B = 70, C = 55, and D = 40. The 23 scores in
order were 86, 84, 77, 76, 74, 67, 67, 65, 62, 62, 62, 59, 59, 58,
57, 56, 56, 55, 48, 48, 47, 44, 44. As I said after the first
midterm, no one is failing (in fact now no one will fail) and those
below C on exams still have a shot at an overall C depending on
the other components of the course.
- (28 Nov) Thanks to all of you who have emailed me about project
I'll respond to each of these soon, probably tomorrow.
- (14 Nov) Solutions to the
practice second midterm are up.
- (11 Nov) The practice second
midterm is posted. I will post solutions on Monday.
- (9 Nov) I have posted more
information about the course project.
- (19 Oct) I have posted the text and
solutions to the first midterm. I set
the scale at A = 90, B = 72, C = 54, D = 36. The scores were 83, 81,
79, 77, 73, 70, 69, 67, 66, 66, 66, 63, 62, 61, 60, 56, 56, 56, 53, 50, 50,
47, and 43. No one is failing, and those below C on the exam all have a chance
to get C or better through attendance, homework, and the project. On your
exam papers I indicated how your attendance and homework so far affect
your overall course grade so far.
- (16 Oct) I'm back, and hope to get the tests graded before
Wednesday's class. Tomorrow we'll start on Chapter 3.
- (6 Oct) The solutions to the
practice first midterm are now up.
- (5 Oct) The first practice
is now up. I will post solutions by Friday morning. Also note that
there is no lecture this Friday, as I already announced by email.
- (29 Sept) Welcome to our new grader, Joey Canning, who will be
taking over starting with HW#8.
- (12 Sept) One student reported being able to rent the textbook
for the semester from Barnes and Noble for about $60.
- (9 Sept) The assignnment for Monday is given in full on the
homework assignment page. I will soon stop writing
out the assignments, once more of you have the textbook.
- (7 Sept) Please try to get the textbook as soon as possible. There is
no homework due this Friday, but on Friday I will give an assignment that
will be due Monday in class.
- (7 Sept) The Informatics information session I mentioned in class will
be tomorrow (8 Sept) at 4:00 PM in room 140 of the CS building, with Prof.
- (22 Aug) This is a preliminary version of the web page. The course has run
three times previously under the number CMPSCI 190DM, each time with only a few students, so I am excited about
our current enrollment of 22. Please email me if you would like to
talk about the course and whether it is right for you. I'll have more material
on this page as we get closer to term. If you have questions about the
Informatics program, now being operated in cooperation with BDIC, please
contact Dr. Michelle Trim, the
undergraduate advisor for the program.
Last modified 10 January 2017