Course Syllabus





All lectures occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays and are split between instructors as follows:

  •  Jason: 
    • 010x: CSIC11153:30pm - 4:45pm
    • 020x: ESJ 0202, 12:30 - 01:45pm
  • Roger: 040x, CSIC1115, 2:00-3:15


Course Content

The following is a list of topics that we intend to cover. 

  • Logic
    • Propositional Logic
    • Circuits
    • Predicates and quantifiers
  • Set Theory 
    • Basic definitions
    • Powerset, Cartesian Product
    • Proofs with sets
  • Number Theory and Proof techniques
    • Number Theoretic definitions (parity divisibility, modular arithmetic, prime factorization, floor / ceiling, rationality).
    • Proof strategies (direct, indirect, universal and existential statements)
    • Famous proofs and open problems
  • Induction
    • Mathematical (weak, strong)
    • Structural (trees, sets, strings, graphs)
    • Constructive
  • Combinatorics
    • Permutations, combinations
    • Binomial Theorem, Pascal's Triangle, combinatorial proofs
    • Elementary discrete probability, conditional probability, Bayes Theorem
  • Optional (as time allows)
    • Countability
    • "Big-oh" (LaTeX: \mathcal{O}) notation
    • Functions, Relations


Schedule of Assignments

Please refer to this PDF file for a calendar of our assignments and exams as well as other important dates, e.g Mid-Term ("Early Warning") grades as well as your 'W' date.


Discussion Sessions, Tutors and Graders

Discussion occurs on Mondays and Wednesdays, in specific times that can be accessed through this Testudo link. Every section is assigned a tutor ("teaching TA"), as well as a grader for homeworks and quizzes as follows:

Section code Meeting time (Mon / Wed)  CSIC Room # Tutor Grader
0101 10am-10:50am 3120 Rachael Zehrung Varun Chitkara
0102 11am-11:50am 3120 Joon Kim Anurag Prandham
0103 12pm - 12:50pm 3118 Andi Hopkins Varun Chitkara
0104 10am-10:50am 2117 Ravi Kemburu Aounon Kumar
0201 2pm-2:50pm 3120 Andrew Fichman Andrew Fichman
0202 10am-10:50am 1121 Shouvanik Chakrabotry Soheil Ehsani
0203 11am-11:50am 1121 Rohan Chandra Bowen Li
0204 12pm - 12:50pm 2117 Katherine Scola David Sekora
0205 8am-8:50am 3120
Justin Shen Owen Hoffman
0206 9am-9:50am 3120
Sina Mirnejad Dong Han (Albert) Kim
0207 1pm-1:50pm 3118
Marguerite McDaniel Owen Hoffman
0208 3pm-3:50pm 3120
Shaopeng Zhu Soheil Ehsani
0401 8am-8:50am 2117 Alex Brassel Jason Kuo
0402 9am-9:50am 2117
Suteerth Vishnu Dong Han (Albert) Kim
0403 5pm-5:50pm 1122 Michelle Yuan Aounon Kumar
0404 11am-11:50pm 2117 Katherine Scola David Sekora


Office Hours

All office hours are taking place in the undergraduate office hours room, AVW 1112 (right across the undergraduate office in A.V. Williams), except for the instructors', which take place in their respective offices, outlined above. 

11-27-2017 update: Since people have to change their office hours on any given week for multiple reasons, we have disseminated an Excel spreadsheet which the teaching staff will edit dynamically whenever an office hours change need be made.


 Description of Assignments

  1. Weekly homework assignments. Those will be released on Tuesdays and are always due 5 minutes before the relevant Tuesday lecture. Late submissions are acceptable through 5 minutes before your relevant Thursday lecture, with a 50% penalty. They will be compiled into PDF form and uploaded on ELMS. For information on how to create a PDF that will be acceptable for our purposes, see the section "Uploading your homework assignments" below. 
  2. Discussion Session quizzes (usually 2 per month, duration of 45 minutes).Think of those as "mini-midterms" that test your understanding over a period of time roughly equivalent to 4 (four) lectures. Written on pen (or pencil) and paper, closed book, tutors collect afterwards.
  3. Examinations. We will have 2 midterm exams and 1 final exam (see "Exams" section below). Those will be our only "summative" assessments for this semester. They will be written in pen (or pencil) and paper and will be handed out to proctors after the exam time. Closed book.
  4. Ungraded assignments.  Those are meant to help you out with elements such as assessing your mathematical background, learning \LaTeX or practicing the various different perks of ELMS. 


Major Scheduled Grading Events (Exams)

  • Midterm 1: 10-10, during class time
  • Midterm 2: 11-16, during class time
    • Final: Date, time and venue will be announced by central scheduling mid-semester.



    This grading policy is subject to minor changes, up to 3% above or below for every one of the following assignment categories:

    • Homework assignments: 10%
    • Discussion Session quizzes: 15%
    • Midterm 1: 20%
    • Midterm  2: 25%
    • Final: 30%

    The course staff reserves the right to reduce the number of homeworks or quizzes on any given week, if deemed academically necessary.


    University "Course-Related Policies" 

    Starting with Fall 2016, the University has packaged certain campus-wide "course-related policies" into a single centralized webpage, which is traversable by navigating this link. Every course is required to link to these policies, which cover very important elements such as:

    • Excused absences (what are your rights, what are our responsibilities), including dates of projected religious observance.
    • Disability accommodations on campus
    • Code of Student Conduct and matters pertaining to Academic Integrity.
    • Grade contesting.
    • Mid-Term ("Early Warning") grades

    It is the responsibility of every instructor on campus to link to the course-related policies page from the course syllabus. Those policies are part of this (and any other) syllabus and you should familiarize yourselves with them! We further specialize the "course-related policies" by virtue of the following rules that affect midterms:

    • Midterm exam make-ups will be given only up to 1 (one) week after the scheduled date.
    • The following is the process according to which Midterm grade contests will be made: 

        - If you receive the midterm back and there is a simple numerical mistake in terms of just ADDING UP the score then you can show this to your tutor and they'll take care of it for you. 

        - If you think a problem has been graded incorrectly, then:

    1) In a blank piece of paper, write up NEATLY (typed preferred) why you think you deserve more points and staple that piece of paper in front of your midterm hardcopy.

    2) Give your tutor (your recitation session TA) the hardcopy of your midterm with the relevant sheet of paper in your first recitation session after you are given back the midterm. NO MIDTERM REGRADE REQUESTS WILL BE CONSIDERED AFTER THAT RECITATION SESSION, UNLESS YOU HAVE HAD AN EXCUSED ABSENCE FROM THAT RECITATION SESSION, in which case you will be able to submit your re-grade request two recitation sessions afterwards! For example:

    - Sandro has an excused absence from a Monday recitation session where the physical midterm hardcopies are re-distributed, so he gets his exam Wednesday. He has until the next Monday discussion session to submit his regrade request to their tutor.

    3) You are NOT to argue with a grader in person. This is for YOUR benefit since students in the heat of an argument often say really odd things (like "57 is a prime", see below).

    4) (VERY IMPORTANT) If from what you say it seems you know LESS than we thought you can lose points. Here are two characteristic examples that really happened:

    (a) The problem asks for a prime between 50 and 60. The students answers 57 and gets a 0 (3 divides 57). The student's regrade request argues that 57 IS a prime and hence he deserves credit. He then LOST 5 points, since 57 is not a prime (57 = 3 * 19)

    (b) The problem asks for a quantifier statement  that is true in the integers but not in the naturalsThe student writes:

    (\exists x)(\forall y)[ y\ge x]

    This is incorrect- its true in \mathbb{N}but not in \mathbb{Z} .he teaching staff thought that the student probably misread the question during the heat of the exam, but despite this he did get it wrong and consequently received 0 points for the problem. However, in their regrade request, written NOT during a timed exam but in the comfort of their home, they insisted that the statement IS true in \mathbb{Z}  but not in \mathbb{N} They lost 5 MORE points. The instructors had been incorrect in assuming it was a misread; the student proved to us that they knew less than what we thought.

    • Students needing ADS accommodations are requested to provide the instructor with the necessary ADS forms during the schedule adjustment period, detailed on this webpage as being the first 10 days of lecture. 



    This semester, we have a required textbook. This textbook is: 

    Susanna Epp, Discrete Mathematics with Applications, 4th Edition, Brooks / Code publishing,
    13: 978-0495391326.

    However, we do not require that you purchase the 4th edition of the book new (the cost of the hardcover can go all the way up to $350 through online retailers like Amazon). Other books that the instructional staff consider good choices are:

    • Kenneth Rosen, Discrete Mathematics and its Applications, 7th edition, McGraw Hill, ISBN-13: 978-0-07-338309-5 
    • Thomas Koshy, Discrete Mathematics with Applications, 1st edition, Elsevier, ISBN-13: 978-0124211803. (out of print, can only be found used online or in the UMCP library system)

    Students who want to have access to extra material for practice are encouraged to purchase, rent or borrow any edition of these books. 


    Uploading your homework assignments

    We only allow PDF format for the uploading of your homework assignments, whose description will also be supplied in PDF format, prepared with the document preparation system \LaTeX. We can think of four different ways to submit your homework assignments:

    1. \LaTeX ("lah-tech"; highly encouraged) The best way to submit your assignments is to edit the provided \LaTeX source files (which have the suffix .tex) and then convert them to PDF using pdflatex. This is because of the ease, aesthetic quality and modularity of mathematical formulae with \LaTeX To help you out with learning \LaTeX, we have included the well-known document "The Not So Short Introduction to \LaTeX2ein our course materials (link to PDF). In addition, the review sheet that we publish so that you can assess your mathematical background (as it pertains to 250) has the \LaTeXsource included, so that you can play around with it if you wish. It has been observed anecdotally that people who learn \LaTeX tend to never, ever want to use another program to author documents ever again.
    2. Microsoft Word or Open/Libre Office (easy with simple text, tough with formulae): It is also possible to use your favorite office suite to write down your responses, but you would have to convert to PDF before submission, otherwise the system will not let you upload your response. Those programs tend to have very cumbersome and unwieldy, WYSISWYG equation editors, so we prefer\LaTeX to using those.
    3. Directly editing the PDF with a PDF program that allows it (very easy with simple text, virtually impossible with formulae): Some programs like Adobe Acrobat DC Professional (available for free to all students through Terpware) and Apple Preview in Macs allow for this, but we have not found an easy way for the inputting of mathematical formulae.
    4. Hand-Written scan (discouraged): If you must submit a hand-written response, we kindly ask that you use an actual scanner to turn your response into a legible PDF. This University libraries link has a lot of information about scanning, printing and copying around campus; consult it if you're not sure where to use a machine capable of producing quality scans of handwritten documents. If you submit a hand-written response, it will have to be legible. If we cannot read your response to a question, we will not be able to grade it with anything above a zero!


    Late homework assignment policy

    As stated above, homeworks are due 5 minutes before every specific section begins its Tuesday lecture. Late homeworks will be accepted until the same time before the Thursday lecture, with a 50% penalty. After that point in time, the homework assignment will not even be available on ELMS! 

    Below are some examples of the late homework assignment policies. The names have been chosen randomly and do not necessarily reflect the situation of any given current student.

    • Julie is a student in the 0101 section. It is Tuesday, 09-26 at 3:26am and Julie has not submitted her homework assignment due in her lecture. She still has 2 (two) days, until Thursday 09-28 at 3:26am to submit for 50% credit.
    • Derek is a student in the 0403 section. It is Thursday, 09-28 at 1:56 pm and Derek has not submitted his second homework, which was ordinarily due the Tuesday before, 5 minutes before his lecture. Unfortunately, Derek can no longer submit his second homework, because the late deadline has passed. He will receive a 0 (zero) for that particular homework. 


    Make-Up assignment policy for quizzes and midterms

    • Quizzes. Students that were not present for a quiz because of an excused absence (see relevant section on excused absences) can have that quiz grade excused by the course instructors.
    • There are make-up midterms. As stated in the specification of the campus-wide "Course-Related policies above", a student whose absence from a midterm or final was excused, can sit for a make-up midterm within one week from the scheduled time of the actual midterm. 
    • Make-up finals are also possible, once again within one week of the scheduled date of the exam.



    Here are some official tutoring services for you:





    3:30pm - 5:30pm

       Tuesday    1pm-3pm
    Wednesday    4pm-6pm



    The AWC also offers one-on-one tutoring  by request: please visit for more.

    • The office of Learning Assistance Services, which is part of the Counseling Center of the University (link to their website) , also offers free tutoring for UMD students. Their office is 2202 Shoemaker and their phone# is 301-314-7693.  Their academic coaches can help with time management, reading, math learning skills, note-taking and exam preparation skills. They also offer practice midterms.

    Course Summary:

    Date Details Due