INFO 150: A Mathematical Foundation for Informatics

Prof. Peter J. Haas

Fall, 2018

This is the home page for INFO 150, an introductory undergraduate course in discrete mathematics and the mathematical method. It has been developed for use in a new degree program in the College of Information and Computer Sciences called "Informatics", which focuses on the application of computational principles and techniques to advance other disciplines. The intended audience for this course comprises 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.

Class Meetings: The course will have two lecture meetings a week, MW 2:30-3:45 in room A203 of Lederle Graduate Center. There will graded activities in class, so attendance is required. (Bring a paper and pencil.)

Instructor Contact Info: Peter J. Haas, 204 CMPSCI building.

Office Hours (Tentative): Mon 4:30-5:30, Wed 10-11, and Thurs 1-2.

Online Discussion Forum: We will be using Piazza for online discussion; you can sign up for Piazza here. Class announcement will be transmitted via Piazza and also posted on the course web page. Here are some ground rules for using Piazza:

TA Contact Info: Emily Herbert, Office Hours: Tue 10:30am-noon and Fri 1-2pm, both in LGRC T220

Additional Grader Contact Info: David Ter-Ovanesyan

Prerequisites: 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 are cheaper options of renting it or buying it used, e.g., on Amazon. 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.


Last modified 13 September 2018