Mathematics 501: Fall 2018

Professor: Rachel Pries, e-mail: pries AT math DOT colostate DOT edu; web page:; office: Weber 205A.

Lecture: MWF 2:00-2:50, Engineering E104.

Course description: In this course, we will study combinatorics, with a focus on counting problems and graphs. We will follow the course syllabus, including the following major topics: basic and advanced counting techniques, generating functions and recurrence relations, and graphs (algebraic properties, spectral properties, and algorithms). After completing the course, everyone should have a passing grade for the 501 qualifying exam requirement. The material is fun and has key applications in other topics such as algebra, geometry, number theory, topology, computer science, and industrial applications. This course will be primarily theoretical, but if time permits we will investigate some applications.

Prerequisite: Math 301 or an equivalent undergraduate combinatorics course, or permission of professor.

Homework: Homework is the most important part of this class. It should demonstrate your knowledge of the material, your investigation of open ended questions, and your skill at writing proofs. Homework is due every Friday afternoon. Homework must be neat, legible, stapled, with skipped lines. I encourage you to brainstorm the problems in groups and write up your solutions independently.
Homework problems Tentative syllabus

Text: See syllabus for the names of the textbooks. These books are all freely available to CSU students through CSU Springer Link:
step 1: go to the CSU library page CSU library page or (on-campus only?) .
step 2: in the almost everything box, type in keywords (e.g. Aigner and enumeration) and click the search icon.
step 3: click on the item, look for full text available, and download.

Examinations: See syllabus.

Grading: See syllabus. Class participation will determine borderline grades.

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 1-2 and Thurs 2-3 or by appointment.

Classroom policies:
Yes! Respect: we all have different backgrounds, skills, and goals.
Yes! Reciprocity: active and engaged learning.
Yes! Focus: deep connections and high level critical thinking.
Yes! Integrity: do your best, take responsibility, build a true education.
No :( disrespect, disengagement, distraction, despair. Please turn off your cell phone.