INFO 150: A Mathematical Foundation for Informatics
Prof. Peter J. Haas
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
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:
- You must converse respectfully with each other and with the instructors.
- Posts are restricted to topics directly related to the class.
- You may post anonymously, but do not abuse this privilege
- You may ask for hints or clarifications, but do not simply ask for answers to the questions, or post such answers.
- You are encouraged to help other students via posting (subject to the above restrictions).
- For private matters you can post privately or email me.
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
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.
- (September 21) An annotated version of the slides covered on Wednesday has been posted.
- (September 20) HW #3 has been posted on the class web page, due Monday. Hopefully you should all have textbooks by now. If not, as per Emily's earlier comment, Chapter 1 is available for free online at https://www.wiley.com//college/sc/ensley/c01.pdf.
- (September 20) Emily's Friday office hours have been changed to 1-2pm, starting this week.
- (September 14) I will be traveling part of next week, and will
need to cancel my office hours on Wednesday, Sept 19, from
10-11am. Emily will be teaching the class that day.
- (September 13) Disability Services is seeking a note taker for
this class. If you are interested, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org your name, student ID and the course info
(INFO 105, Professor Haas). Disability Services staff will contact
you to confirm and provide you instructions. You may earn 1
undergraduate academic credit (practicum EDUC 398NT) or 45 hours of
community service for your efforts.
- (12 September) As mentioned in class, you can find online
resources that supplement the textbook. The URL is
- (12 September) Reminder: There will be an Informatics
information session tomorrow, Sept 13, from 6-7pm in CS 140.
- (7 September) As of today, only half the class has signed up for
Piazza. You need to sign yourself up ASAP using the link given above.
- (6 September) Lecture 1 slides have been further corrected
- (5 September) As a reminder, HW 1 has been posted and is due (in
paper form) at the beginning of class on Monday.
- (5 September) An annotated version of the slides from Lecture 1
has been posted on the webpage
- (5 September) Please make sure to bring a pencil and paper to
every lecture in order to do the in-class activities
- (1 August) This is a preliminary version of the web page. There
will be more material on this page as we get closer to term, and some
details may change prior to Setember 5. 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 13 September 2018