Other pages on the website: Enrollment information, TA list, Homework assignments and solutions, Grading policy details.
These may be updated regularly, so you may need to click the RELOAD button on your browser each time you visit each of these pages, to be sure that you are viewing the current version.
Lectures: TuTh 9:30-11am, 155 Dwinelle
Enrollment: The course control number is 54900. The Head TA, Stephan Garcia, is in charge of admitting students on the waiting list and handling requests for changing sections; the professor and the other TAs cannot help you with this. If you are a high school student, contact Barbara Peavy in 967 Evans.
Instructor: Bjorn Poonen, (510) 642-5229, poonen@math -- if you are sending email, please include your full name and your TA's name.
Office Hours (for the rest of December), always in 703 Evans: Thurs Dec 6, 11:30-12:30; Fri Dec 7, 4:00-5:00; Thurs Dec 13, 4:15-6:00.
Prerequisite: A little calculus. (Math 1A and 1B are more than enough.) Previous experience with university mathematics courses is strongly recommended.
Syllabus: Logic, set theory, functions, integer algorithms, mathematical proofs, induction, probability theory and combinatorics. If time permits, we may also discuss graphs and trees, basic number theory, and applications to analysis of algorithms.
Required Texts: Kenneth H. Rosen, Discrete mathematics and its applications, 4th edition;
H. W. Lenstra, Jr., Notes on probability theory, available online and at Copy Central, 2560 Bancroft Way.
Errata list for Rosen's book
Exams: There will be a midterm exam in class
on Tuesday, October 16, 2001.
The final exam will be held Friday, December 14, 8-11am (exam group 7)
in 155 Dwinelle.
Bring your photo ID, blue books, pencils or pens, and scrap paper to each exam.
Notes, books, and calculators will not be permitted for quizzes or exams.
Practice midterm and Solutions
White midterm and Solutions
Yellow midterm and Solutions
Rough number-to-letter conversion for midterm exam only:
The median was 72.
Practice final and Solutions
White final and Solutions
Yellow final and Solutions
Math 55 exams from previous semesters (some topics may differ)
The mean and standard deviation on the final were 114 and 36, respectively.
Grading: The course grade will be based on a weighted average of the final (40%), midterm (20%), and classwork (40%). Classwork includes homeworks and quizzes. Each quiz and homework grade below the (weighted) average of your final and midterm grades will be boosted up to that average. Click here for an example. The course grade will be curved.
Homework: There will be weekly assignments due at the beginning of section each Wednesday. Late homework will not be accepted, but see the grading policy above. You should not expect to be able to solve every single problem on your own; instead you are encouraged to discuss questions with each other or to come to office hours for help. If you meet with a study group, please think about the problems in advance and try to do as many as you can on your own before meeting. After discussion with others, write-ups must be done separately. (In practice, this means that you should not be looking at other students' solutions as you write your own.) Write in complete sentences whenever reasonable. Staple loose sheets! Solution sets will be available on-line and at Copy Central, 2560 Bancroft Way.
Comments: The tools developed in this course are essential for later mathematics and computer science courses. Math 55 can be used to satisfy the discrete math requirement for EECS majors and L&S CS majors. There is a course in the computer science department, CS 70, that covers approximately the same topics. The list of topics in Math 55 is slightly broader, while CS 70 is an "honors" version covering in greater depth the applications specific to computer science. One other difference is that CS 61A is a prerequisite for CS 70.
External websites: Companion website for Rosen's text, Student Learning Center, The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, the Sieve of Eratosthenes, the Enigma machine, and the P versus NP problem.