Discrete Structures Syllabus
CS 1800 Spring 2014


College of Computer and Information Science
Northeastern University

Course Goals

This course introduces the mathematical structures and methods that form the foundation of computer science. The material will be motivated by applications from computer science. Students will learn: (1) specific skills, e.g., binary and modular arithmetic, set notation, etc.; (2) general knowledge, e.g., counting, proof, and analysis techniques; and (3) how to think, e.g., general problem solving techniques.

Day and time

    Lecture: M,W,Th 09:15AM–10:20AM, Bharakis Health Center Room 310

Office Hours

    Office hours may change during the semester.

Expectations of Students

We expect that you will study with friends and often work out problem solutions together, but you must write up you own solutions, in your own words. Cheating will not be tolerated. Professors, TAs, and peer tutors will be available to answer questions but will not do your homework for you. One of our course goals is to teach you how to think on your own.

This course has two kinds of homework – weekly online assignments that will be entirely completed electronically, and 4 written assignments distributed across the period of the course. For the written assignments, we require that all submissions be neat, organized. Your submission should be written entirely by yourself. If you sought help from or collaborated with any other student, then their names must be acknowledged in your solution.

Assignments are expected to be turned in on time. Late written assignments will be penalized by 10 points per calendar day beyond the due date. No written assignments will be accepted after the solutions are posted. Late online assignments will be penalized by 50%. If you have a valid excuse for turning in a late assignment, you should let us know, in writing, in advance. If you are sick at the time of an assignment or exam, let us know as soon as possible so we can make other arrangements.

If a student misses a class, it is his or her responsibility to get the notes from a classmate (arrange this in advance if possible), go over them, and then if necessary come to the course staff with questions.

No electronic devices (computers, recording devices, phones, etc) in class without permission first.

If you don't understand something, please ask questions. We love questions. One of the benefits of attending a university as opposed to reading a book is that you get to interact with faculty.

Books and Supplies

Printouts of our text are available at the bookstore at a very modest price. Even though the text is available online, most student find it convenient to own the hardcopy version. There are also handouts that you will be expected to read during the semester. Click on the "Text and Handouts" link to the left for more information.

Assignments and Exams

There will be on-line homework assignments, written homework assignments, two midterm exams, quizzes, and a cumulative final. We will have weekly quizzes during the lectures. We will drop the lowest quiz grade, so if you miss a lecture, no worries. There will be no make-up quizzes, so it is your responsibility to try to attend all of the lectures and recitations. Your grade will be computed as follows:

on-line homework 10%
written homework 15%
weekly lecture quizzes 10%
section participation 10%
midterm exams 30%
final exam 25%

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