Introduction to Discrete Structures
Math 220

Fall 2003
A Track
Copley 244

Instructor: Richard Hammack Office hours:
Office: 238 Copley 9:30 -- 10:40, Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
Work: 752-7210 (and voice mail) 10:00 -- 11:30, Tuesday
Home: 353-8572 (before 9:30 p.m., please) and by appointment.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 132, or 142, or 202, or 212 or permission of the instructor
Text: Mathematics: A Discrete Introduction, by E. R. Scheinerman

This course is an introduction to a branch of mathematics called discrete mathematics. In contrast to calculus -- which is founded upon the continuous, unbroken real line -- discrete mathematics deals with structures consisting of distinct, disconnected parts. Its discrete or "digital" nature makes it ideally suited to (but not limited to) applications in computer science. It is an extensive field, and we will examine just a few of its main ideas. Topics will include Boolean algebra, elemental set theory, induction, relations and counting, functions, and graph theory. Particular attention will be paid to the notions of proof and counterexample. All this will involve Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 of the text.

In addition to serving as an introduction to discrete mathematics, this course is intended to sharpen your analytical skills and develop your ability to prove theorems.

Your grade is determined by homework assignments, two tests, and a final exam. Details follow.

Homework: Frequent homework assignments are collected, graded and returned. These assignments are important for two reasons. First, they help you understand the material and keep you from getting behind. Second, they give you valuable practice in communicating your ideas.

In addition to the work you hand in, you should work lots of extra problems for practice.

Participation: Participation means that you in some way demonstrate intellectual involvement in the course. It does not necessarily mean that you ask questions and volunteer answers. Active participation may include your working lots of homework problems, taking advantage of office hours, and displaying preparedness, dedication and intellectual curiosity.


Tests: There are two in-class tests and one final exam, tentatively scheduled as follows:

Test #1: Monday, September 29 ............................... Chapters 1, 2
Test #2: Friday, November 7...................................... Chapter 3, 4, 5
Final Exam: Monday, December 8, 2:00--5:00 PM...... Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9

Each of these tests is closed-book and closed-notes. They are written under the assumption that everyone is studying the material at least 7 hours per week outside of class.

Make-up Tests: If a test is missed due to a documented illness or emergency, then either a make-up is scheduled or that test grade is dropped. An unexcused absence from a test results in a grade of zero. The final exam is mandatory, and a make-up final can be given only with the consent of the Dean of the College.

The 10-point grading scale will be used:
A: 90-100
B: 80-89
C: 70-79
D: 60-69
F: 0-59
Your final average will be computed as follows:
Homework: 24%
Test #1: 24%
Test #2: 24%
Participation 4%
Final Exam: 24%

Attendance: I do not take attendance, but I do notice if you are not attending class. If your grades are high, I do not mind if you miss class occasionally. However, if your grades are low and you miss a lot of class, I will notify the Dean of Students.

As a matter of courtesy, you should arrive punctually and stay for the entire duration of each class you attend. Please inform me ahead of time if you must leave early.

Internet: Information about this course is posted on the Internet. To find it, go to my home page ( and click on "Math 220." There you will find the syllabus, homework assignments and solutions, a calendar, links to old tests, and other announcements.

Office: Please feel free to stop by my office whenever you have a question, or if you just want to chat. If my posted hours are inconvenient I will be happy to schedule an appointment.

Tell me if you are having trouble. Catching up can be very difficult once you get behind, so let me know as soon as you think there is a problem.

Notice: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other federal laws require Randolph-Macon College to provide a "reasonable accommodation" to any individual who advises us of a physical, psychological, or learning disability. If you have a physical, psychological, or learning disability that requires an accommodation, you must first register with the Office for Disability Support Services, located in the Higgins Academic Center.