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CS 173 - Discrete Structures

Spring 2021

Official Description

Discrete mathematical structures frequently encountered in the study of Computer Science. Sets, propositions, Boolean algebra, induction, recursion, relations, functions, and graphs. Course Information: Credit is not given for both CS 173 and MATH 213. Prerequisite: One of CS 125, ECE 220; one of MATH 220, MATH 221. Class Schedule Information: Students must register for a lecture and discussion section.

Related Faculty

Subject Area

Theory / Math



Learning Goals

Predicate logic: determine the truth of statements, perform simple transformations (esp. negation), accurately apply formal definitions (esp. vacuous truth cases, attention to variable types and scope) (6)
Write literate proofs using straightforward application of standard outlines (direct, contrapositive, contradiction, upper/lower bounds). (3)
Write inductive proofs, including proofs on trees (3), (6)
State and apply basic definitions, facts, and notation for commonly used discrete math constructs (3)
Derive big-O running time for simple pseudocode examples, especially recursive examples. Includes finding closed-forms for recursively-defined formulas using unrolling and recursion trees (6)
Classify examples the complexity of very simple examples in terms of countable versus uncountable, polynomial versus exponential, decidable versus undecidable (6)

Topic List

logic and proofs
number theory
sets and collections of sets
Induction and recursive definition
big-O, algorithms, NP
state diagrams

Assessment and Revisions

Revisions in last 6 years Approximately when revision was done Reason for revision
New Textbook Spring 11-Spring 2013 Integrate logic and proof learning throughout term, relate math to applications, modernize
On-line activities Fall 2011-Spring 2013 (on-going) Move simple material out of lectures, aid learning with drill, help students prepare for lectures and be more engaged,
On-line homework submission with rubric grading Fall 2012-Spring 2013 Simplify submission process, encourage quality writing product, enable research into automated feedback

Required, Elective, or Selected Elective


Discrete StructuresAL139311OLC30930 - 1045 T R    Margaret M Fleck
Discrete StructuresAL261916OLC30930 - 1045 M F    Margaret M Fleck
Discrete StructuresALP61102OLC30930 - 1045 T R    Margaret M Fleck
Discrete StructuresALR61917OLC30930 - 1045 M F    Margaret M Fleck
Discrete StructuresBL172799OLC31530 - 1645 T R    Benjamin Cosman
Discrete StructuresBL250094OLC31230 - 1345 T R    Benjamin Cosman
Discrete StructuresBLP72800OLC31530 - 1645 T R    Benjamin Cosman
Discrete StructuresBLR50093OLC31230 - 1345 T R    Benjamin Cosman