Syllabus for Computer Science 202


Mathematical Tools for Computer Science, Fall 2018

TuTh 1-2:15, room DL 220.
Office hours will be announced weekly.


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


Reading will be assigned from Notes on Discrete Mathematics by Prof. James Aspnes. This is available online as a pdf file.

Other Resources

Web page
The course web page is at Please consult it on a regular basis.

Other possibly relevant books
Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications by Kenneth H. Rosen, 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. Rosen's book is a widely-used text and very comprehensive, 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 and learning problem-solving.

Course Requirements

The course requirements consist of class attendance, assigned reading, ten or so approximately weekly problem sets, one in-class midterm (October 16, 2018) and a final exam at the regularly scheduled time during finals period (Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 2-5 pm). 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 performance on the problem sets, midterm, and final exam. The weighting of these components will be discussed in class.

Late Policy

Homework submitted between the end of class on the due date (typically a Thursday) and the end of the next class meeting (typically the following Tuesday) is Late. You may submit THREE homeworks Late during the term with no penality. Any further homeworks submitted Late will each have a 25 point penalty subtracted. Homework submitted beyond the Late window is Too Late and will not be accepted. If you have a Dean's Excuse, the lateness penalties do not apply, but if the homework will be submitted beyond the Late window, you must consult the instructor about possibly doing an alternate assignment, because the solutions will be released after the Late window.

Policy on Working Together

You are permitted to collaborate in small groups on the homework assignments. Each student must write up solutions in his or her own words, and list the names of everyone (including course staff) consulted in connection with the assignment. Please also list any resources (offline or online) consulted in the course of doing the assignment. Failure to list the people and sources consulted for an assignment will be treated as a violation of academic honesty.

There is substantial pedagogical benefit to discussing problems, and seeing other people's approaches to them. However, the midterm and final will test your individual grasp of the material and problem-solving techniques, so it is important to develop your own skills in all aspects of the course.

Topics Covered

This course will cover much of Chapters 1-13 of Notes on Discrete Mathematics by Prof. James Aspnes. For more details, notes on the lectures from Fall 2016 are available on the course web site.

September 13, 2018