Discrete Mathematics: A Gateway to Advanced Mathematics

Intermediate—Fall

This seminar is an introduction to the world of elegant mathematics, beyond that encountered in high school, under the guise of an introductory survey course in discrete mathematics. We will touch on the tips of many icebergs! The subject of discrete mathematics houses the intersection of mathematics and computer science; it is an active area of research that includes combinatorics, graph theory, geometry, and optimization. The topics in this course are selected to give an idea of the types of thinking used in a variety of discrete mathematics research areas. Learning the facts and techniques of discrete mathematics is inextricably intertwined with reasoning and communicating about discrete mathematics. Thus, at the same time as surveying discrete mathematics, this course is an introduction to rigorous reasoning and to writing convincing arguments. These skills are necessary in all of mathematics and computer science and very applicable to law and philosophy. Conference work will explore additional mathematical topics. The seminar is essential for students planning advanced study in mathematics and highly recommended for students studying computer science, law, or philosophy or who seek to enhance their logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Prerequisite: Prior study of Calculus or equivalent preparation.