CSCI 250 Spring 2011
Discrete Structures
Archived Class
Charles Cusack
Computer Science
Hope College



CSCI 125
CSCI 255
MATH 341


Course Information

Time 2:00-2:50 pm Monday/Wednesday
2:00-2:50 pm Friday (Optional) Homework Session
LocationVNZORN 142

Instructor Chuck Cusack
OfficeVWF 233
Phone 395-7271
Office Hours     Walk-in or by appointment

Textbook Discrete Mathematics and its Applications, Sixth Edition, Kenneth Rosen, McGraw-Hill, 2007.

  • Answers in the back of your book
    The back of your book contains answers to all of the odd-numbered problems from the book.
  • Student Solution Manual
    This is available at the reserve desk in the library. It contains solutions (not just the answers, but how they got them) to all odd numbered exercises.
  • Discrete Mathematics and its Applications, Sixth Edition, Website
  • Student Resources for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications, Sixth Edition
    This site has lots of useful stuff, including additional examples, demonstration applets, self assessments, etc. If you have difficulty with a particular section, you should look for additional help here. Choose the current chapter from the drop-down menu on the left to see hat resources are available for the chapter.
  • Me
    Make an appointment to get help whenever you need it. My schedule is pretty flexible. Probably the easiest time to meet with me is right after class.
  • My Notes pages
  • My Programs pages

Coverage Lots of fun topics.

Expectations This course is very heavily mathematical. You will have to solve many mathematics problems and write some proofs. One of the most important things to realize in this course is that precision is very important in mathematics. You cannot skip steps, make guesses, or use flawed logic. Any of these things can lead to incorrect answers.
The bulk of class on Mondays and Wednesdays will consist of me lecturing through the material and doing examples. On Fridays, which are optional, we will conducts "homework sessions". This will give you an opporunity to do some of your work (reading, suggested exercises, homework) in an environment where plenty of help is available. I will also answer questions about the homework assignments. I strongly urge you to attend these sessions. You have to do the work at some point anyway, so why not do it when help is easily accessible?
Here are tips for success:
  • Do the assigned reading. In fact, this is so important, you will need to hand in summaries every day there is a reading assignment. See the Grading page for more details.
  • Do the suggested exercises. Although I cannot make you do these, I promise you that the more of these you do the better off you will be. Repetition is very important in learning, especially in mathematics.
  • Get assistance. If you are struggling with a particular topic, spending another 2 hours beating your head against the wall is not going to be very productive. When you are stuck, get help from someone who knows what they are talking about (e.g. me, the Help Center, someone who has done well in the course previously) but make sure you are not going beyond the bounds of what is acceptable.
  • Attend the homework sessions. There is really no good reason not to do this. You have to do the work anyway, so why not do it when help is available?
  • Ask questions. If you do not understand the material or a homework problem, ask questions.
  • Review homework assignments. When you get your graded homework assignments back, go over them and try to determine what you did incorrectly. Then try to figure out how to do it correctly. If you cannot figure it out, ask me. You will see the material again (on future asignments or exams, for instance) so it is not helpful to ignore the problems.