INFO 150: A Mathematical Foundation for Informatics

Prof. Peter J. Haas

Fall, 2019

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 the new Informatics degree program in the College of Information and Computer Sciences, 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 CS 140. 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: Mon 4:30-5:30, Wed 10:00-11:00, and by appointment.

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

Turning in Assignments: We will be using Gradescope for grading homeworks and exams. You will need to set up a Gradescope account if you don't have one. Then you will need to enroll in INFO 150 using code 92DERX. When turning in assignments, you will need to upload them to Gradescope as images or as a pdf file; ask one of the teaching team or go to the Gradescope help page. Assignments must generally be submitted by 11:59pm on the day that they are due.

Late Homework Policy: You are allowed up to three late days for the semester. A late homework without compensating late days will get zero credit.

Homework and Exam Regrading Policy: You must contact the TAs with grading questions within 5 days of when the homework or exam is returned.

Teaching Team Contact Info:

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 and algebra. 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.) 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 eCampus. 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.

Getting additional help via Academic Alert System: Your success in this course is important. We have partnered with Student Success and your academic advisors to assist you in better understanding course material which can aid you on your path to success. Resources available to students include: Supplemental Instruction, ExSEL Group Tutoring, and 1:1 Tutoring. Visit the Learning Resource Center online at Throughout the semester, we will communicate with Student Success & academic advisors regarding your progress in the course. If you are contacted, please consider scheduling appointments such as tutoring or academic advising and talk with your professor. Referrals are not punitive and are meant to assist you in connecting with resources at UMass. Please email if you have any questions or need assistance connecting with resources.


Last modified 7 September 2019