Introduction to Combinatorial Theory
Mathematics 301: Fall 2012

Professor: Rachel Pries, e-mail: pries AT; web page:; office: Weber 118.

Lecture: MWF 2:00-2:50, Engineering E203.

Course description: We will study the topics of graph theory and enumeration in order to gain experience with combinatorial problem solving. Along the way, we will develop skill in solving unfamiliar problems with creative insight and logical reasoning. Some of the highlights of the syllabus about graphs are paths, circuits, trees, matchings, planarity, coloring. For counting problems, we will cover everything from binomial coefficients to generating functions. This course has important "real world" applications, especially in engineering, computer science, operations research, and statistics. Tentative syllabus
Detailed information on projects
Sample quiz questions

Prerequisite: MCC160 or equivalent experience with calculus I.

Homework: Homework is the most important part of this class. Doing lots of homework problems is crucial for doing well in this class. Some homework problems will help you learn the material and demonstrate this knowledge. Other problems will involve experiments and open-ended investigation. The process of doing homework will enable you to do well on the tests. Homework is due every Friday. Homework must be neat, legible, and stapled in order to receive credit. I encourage you to brainstorm the problems in groups and write up your solutions independently.
Detailed information on homework and exams

Text and supplies: Combinatorics and Graph Theory by Harris, Hirst, and Mossinghoff
available to CSU students for free.
Discrete Mathematics Elementary and Beyond by Lovasz, Pelikan, and Vesztergombi
available to CSU students for free.
Some colored pencils or pens.

Examinations: There will be four in-class quizzes on the following Fridays:
9/14, 10/5, 10/26, 11/16.
There will be a final examination Thursday 12/13 11:50 am -1:50 pm.
There are no makeups for missed exams, regardless of the reason for absence. You must take the final examination at this time scheduled by the university; no final exams will be given earlier. If you have two final examinations scheduled at the same time, it is the responsibility of the other department to provide an alternate exam. Examinations will not be rescheduled because of travel arrangements. It is your responsibility to schedule travel appropriately.

Grading: The course grades will be computed as follows.
20% homework; 10% project handout; 40% quizzes (10% each); 30% Final.

CSU Honor Pledge: Academic integrity is important to me. As written by Greg Dickinson, Director of Graduate Studies; Professor, Dept. of Communication Studies:
At minimum, academic integrity means that no one will use another's work as their own. The CSU writing center defines plagiarism this way: Plagiarism is the unauthorized or unacknowledged use of another person's academic or scholarly work. Done on purpose, it is cheating. Done accidentally, it is no less serious. Regardless of how it occurs, plagiarism is a theft of intellectual property and a violation of an ironclad rule demanding "credit be given where credit is due."
Source: (Writing Guides: Understanding Plagiarism. Off-Site Icon Accessed, January 15, 2009)
If you plagiarize in your work you could lose credit for the plagiarized work, fail the assignment, or fail the course. Plagiarism could result in expulsion from the university. Each instance of plagiarism, classroom cheating, and other types of academic dishonesty will be addressed according to the principles published in the CSU General Catalog (see page seven, column two:
Academic integrity means having a true educational experience. It involves doing your own reading and studying. It includes regular class attendance, careful consideration of all class materials, and engagement with the class and your fellow students. Academic integrity lies at the core of our common goal: to create an intellectually honest and rigorous community. Because academic integrity, and the personal and social integrity of which academic integrity is an integral part, is so central to our mission as students, teachers, scholars, and citizens, we will ask to you sign the CSU Honor Pledge as part of completing all of our major assignments. While you will not be required to sign the honor pledge, we will ask each of you to write and sign the following statement on your papers and exams:
"I have not given, received, or used any unauthorized assistance."

Help: Help is always available if you have trouble with homework or lecture material. If your classmates can't answer your question, come ask me! Office hours are Wed 11-12 and Thurs 1-2 or by appointment.