University of Minnesota
CSCI 2011: Discrete Structures
CSCI 2011 Syllabus

CSCI 2011

Discrete Structures of Computer Science

Spring 2019

(Last revised 12/29/2018)

Read this document carefully: it explains the structure and policies of the class, and we will assume that you know and understand all of the information contained here.

Meeting time and place:
Lecture (010): 4:00pm - 5:15pm, Tuesday and Thursday, Bruininks Hall 220.



Name Nathan Taylor
Office Keller Hall 6-199

For instructor and TA office hours, see the Office Hours page on the website.

Class website:
This website is the primary source of information for the Evening (010) section of 2011. The Canvas site for the class serves three purposes:

  • Assignments will be submitted to Canvas.
  • Grades will be posted to Canvas.
  • Canvas has a discussion forum that students can use to discuss course concepts.

Email Use: Most emails for the class should be sent to:

This alias will forward your message to the instructor and all of the TAs. Make sure to use Reply All when participating in an email conversation using the alias, so that all of the course staff can continue to provide input.
The exception to this is grading complaints. If you are emailing us because you think your Assignment was graded incorrectly, then you don't need to email the alias, just email the TA who graded you and CC me ( I will not interfere in a grading dispute unless the TA is clearly wrong or not following the grading guidelines I gave them for the problem, so this is mostly between you and the TA. Below are the TA's emails:

Ruyuan Wan:
Eric Liu:
Tom Gebhart:
Nimer Wazwaz:
Sylvia Wu:
Devon Tuma:
Naman Sogani:
Huilin Zhang:

General course description: The course objective is to learn the mathematical foundations necessary for a wide variety of fields within Computer Science.

Topics covered: Foundations of discrete mathematics. Sets, sequences, functions, big-O, propositional/predicate logic, proof methods, counting methods, recursion/recurrences, relations, trees/graph fundamentals.

Class schedule

Pre-requisites: MATH 1271 or MATH 1371

Text: Rosen: Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications 7th edition. ISBN-13: 978-0073383095

Grading: For all graded work, please address any concerns within one week of receiving the grade. After one week, no adjustments will be made. The grade breakdown for the course is as follows:

Assignments (14 of them, lowest 2 dropped)                     48% 
Quizzes (7 of them, lowest 1 dropped)                          30%
Recitations (14 of them, lowest 2 dropped)                     12%
In-class Exercises (47 of them, lowest 7 dropped)              10%

Final grades will be assigned based the following scale:

      93.0% -- 100.0%   A
      90.0% --  93.0%   A-
      87.0% --  90.0%   B+
      83.0% --  87.0%   B
      80.0% --  83.0%   B-
      77.0% --  80.0%   C+
      73.0% --  77.0%   C
      70.0% --  73.0%   C-
      67.0% --  70.0%   D+
      60.0% --  67.0%   D
       0.0% --  60.0%   F

Grades will not be rounded. For S/N grading, a satisfactory grade (S) requires a grade of 70.0% or above. Note that there is no Final Exam.


  • Assignments generally consist of a set of problems that resemble those at the end of each section of the textbook.
  • Assignments will be posted each Wednesday, due the next Wednesday at 1:00 PM.
  • You must submit your Assignment solutions to the appropriate link on Canvas before the deadline.
  • Late Assignments will not be accepted, but your lowest two scores will be dropped.
  • Assignments must be completed alone. You may discuss general approaches to the problems with other students, but you must write up your own answers and at no point should you show your answers to another student.
  • Assignments must be submitted in PDF format.
  • Submitting typed Assignments is preferred, but handwritten documents that have been scanned in are acceptable so long as the scanned PDF is still legible.
  • You may want to consider learning how to use LaTeX for this course, since it will allow you to produce very professional looking PDFs for your answers and is a useful skill to put on your resume. Otherwise, you can take the lazy route and do everything with Google Docs or Word.
  • The TAs will grade Assignments primarily based on the quality of your explanations, not on whether your final answer is correct.
  • Only a subset of the problems will be thoroughly graded on any given week, but some points will be allocated for completing the remaining problems. Which problems will be graded will not be known in advance.


  • Every other Tuesday, there will be a 30 minute Quiz during lecture.
  • Quizzes are theoretically comprehensive, but in practice will heavily focus on the content covered since the last quiz.
  • The quizzes are closed book and are not collaborative.
  • You will be permitted one double-sided 8.5 x 11 sheet of handwritten notes for each quiz. Typed notes or other printed material is not acceptable.
  • No make-up quizzes will be permitted, but your lowest quiz score will be dropped.
  • Note that the final quiz will occur on Thursday, May 2, as there is no class on Tuesday, May 7.


  • Each recitation will begin with the TA discussing course content or going over examples..
  • The remaining time will be allotted to group work on a set of problems related to that content.
  • Groups of 3-4 students will be assigned randomly by the TA for the group work portion of recitation.
  • Groups must signal the TA to check their answers to each problem as they complete them.
  • Groups must get each problem checked off before moving on to the next one: splitting the group to work on different problems is not allowed.
  • Students who arrive late to recitation or do not substantially contribute to their group's efforts will not receive any credit for the recitation, regardless of their group's score.
  • No make-up recitations will be permitted, but your lowest two scores will be dropped.

In-class Exercises:

  • Each lecture will include two in-class exercises: one at the beginning of class, and one about halfway through.
  • Lectures that contain a quiz will only have one at the beginning of class.
  • The exercise at the beginning of lecture will generally cover the assigned reading for the day.
  • The exercise(s) during lecture will generally cover the lecture content discussed thus far.
  • In-class exercises are open-book, open-notes, and fully collaborative: you are encouraged to discuss with your neighbors.
  • In-class exercises will generally consist of a single multiple-choice question asked using Google Forms.
  • The link for the Google Form will be posted in lecture at the start of the exercise, and will close ~5 minutes later.
  • Students who are not able to access Google Forms during lecture will be given a notecard on which to submit their answer.
  • In-class exercises are graded out of 1 point: your answer is either correct or it is wrong.
  • No make-up in-class exercises will be allowed, but your lowest seven scores will be dropped.

Scholastic conduct:

First, here is the departmental policy on Academic Dishonesty.

Where my policy differs or further specifies the department's:

1. You are permitted to use course material without citing: this includes lecture slides, the assigned textbook, anything from your discussion sections, and any additional material I post online for THIS iteration of CSCI 2011 (you can't use material from previous semesters). This is just to avoid having to cite the textbook for every other problem.

2. I consider actively searching for a current Assignment problem on the internet to be Academic Dishonesty. This isn't actually enforceable, but it inevitably leads to other sorts of Academic Dishonesty when you attempt to use that material.

3. If you submit a solution that you do not understand because it came from an outside source, that is Academic Dishonesty, because it is not an accurate representation of your own knowledge of the content. This can include trying to paraphrase a solution you found on the internet to avoid directly copying.

4. I'm not going to even try to enforce 6(b): Revealing or hinting to another student all or part of the essential idea(s) or solution architecture or design needed to be invented to solve any part of or all of an active grade-related assignment. Ultimately, this happens all of the time in office hours because it's just way too inefficient to insist on ensuring that only one student can hear you at a time. You're free to discuss general ideas so long as you don't actually share answer write-ups on the Assignments.

University policies:

Grade definitions from the Administrative Policy

Make up work for legitimate absences

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence

Equity, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

Academic Freedom

Incompletes: will be given only in very rare instances when an unforeseeable event causes a student who has completed all the coursework to date to be unable to complete a small portion of the work (typically the final assignment or exam). Incompletes will not be awarded for foreseeable events including a heavy course load or a poorer-than-expected performance. Verifiable documentations must be provided for the incomplete to be granted, and arrangements for the incomplete should be made as soon as such the unforeseeable event is apparent.

Disability Accommodations: We desire to make learning rewarding and fun for all students and make every attempt to accommodate anyone who has a desire to learn. If you require special classroom or test-taking accommodations, you need to contact the University Disability Services and also notify the instructor as soon as possible at the start of the semester (no later than 1 week prior to the first quiz).

Students Mental Health and Stress Managment: As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via