Syllabus for Computer Science 202a


Mathematical Tools for Computer Science, Fall 2011

TuTh 1-2:15, room 211 Mason Lab.
Office hours will be announced weekly.


Dana Angluin
office: 414 AKW, phone: 432-1273

Teaching Assistants

Jerrod Ankenman
office: 114 AKW
Chong Deng
office: 114 AKW


The following textbook is required and will be available at the Yale Bookstore and on 24 hour reserve at the Engineering and Applied Sciences Library.

Other Resources

Web page
The course web page is at It contains various useful materials (including this syllabus) and will be updated frequently. Please consult it on a regular basis.

Reserve materials
There will be several books on 24-hour reserve at the Engineering and Applied Sciences Library for this course. They include the course text (both 6th and 7th editions), and also Discrete Mathematics with Applications by Susanna S. Epp, How to Read and Do Proofs by Daniel Solow, and How to Solve It by George Polya. Epp's book has more extended explanations of many concepts, Solow's book is a short but comprehensive introduction to reading, constructing, and writing proofs, and Polya's book explains (with examples) his approach to teaching problem-solving.

Prof. Aspnes's CPSC 202 Notes
Prof. James Aspnes has taught this course a number of times and has written a comprehensive set of course notes, available from his webpage: CS 202/Notes.

Course Requirements

The course requirements consist of class attendance, assigned reading, weekly problem sets, quizzes, one midterm and a final exam. The date of the in-class midterm will be announced later. The (comprehensive) final exam will be Tuesday, December 13 at 2 pm; please make your travel plans accordingly. Plan on spending between 6-8 hours per week on the course outside of class. The problem sets are an integral part of the course.

Please don't leave the homework to the last minute. You will be more efficient, learn more, have more chance to get help, and generally be calmer and happier if you do the associated reading first and start the problem sets early.


The final grade in the course will be based on class participation, and your performance on the problem sets, quizzes, midterm, and final exam. The weighting of these components will be discussed in class.

Late Policy

Late work without a Dean's excuse will be assessed a penalty of 10 points (out of 100) per lecture that the work is late. If you have a Dean's excuse, making up missed work may involve alternative assignments, at the discretion of the instructor; please check with the instructor in this case.

Policy on Working Together

Unless otherwise specified, the homework assignments are your individual responsibility. Plagiarism is a violation of University rules and will not be tolerated. You must neither copy work from others nor allow your own work to be copied.

You are encouraged to ask others general questions about the concepts and material of the course, but if you need more specific help with an assignment, please ask a TA or the instructor for assistance. Working in groups to solve homework problems is not permitted in this course. Please talk to the instructor if you have any questions about this policy.

Topics Covered

This course will cover much of Chapters 1-10 in the sixth edition of Rosen, and about 2 weeks of basic linear algebra, for which course notes will be available.

7 September 2011