Introduction to Combinatorics

Welcome to Math 28! This webpage will be home to the syllabus, homework assignments, and announcements.

**Note: Final exam locations have just been announced: ours will be in a familiar location, Kemeny Hall 108.**

Math 28 is a course in combinatorial mathematics. Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics that studies sets (usually finite) of objects that satisfy some properties. In particular, it is concerned with "counting" the objects in a set (enumerative combinatorics), with determining when an object with a required list of properties exist, with constructing and analyzing objects meeting certain properties (as in combinatorial designs and matroid theory), with finding "largest", "smallest", or "optimal" objects (extremal combinatorics and combinatorial optimization), and with finding algebraic structures these objects may have (algebraic combinatorics).

The class meets MWF 10:00-11:05 (10 hour), Kemeny Hall 108. X-hour is Thursday 12-12:50. We will use the X-hour to replace two Friday classes, namely Friday January 16 and Friday Jan 30. In addition, we will have an X-hour class on Thursday January 22 to make up for Martin Luther King Day; and Thursday February 12, on account of Winter Carnival. These events, as well as any further changes of calendar, are reflected on schedule page (see below).

Our textbook is the course notes *Combinatorics Through Guided Discovery*, March 20 2005 edition, by Ken Bogart, available at the Copy Center.

There will be an in-class mid-term exam on Wednesday, February 11; make sure you can be there! The final exam is in the very first exam slot, at 8am (sorry about that) on Friday, March 13. Location: our regular classroom, Kemeny 108.

Your grade in Math 28 will be a function of your mid-term exam (15%), final exam (40%), homework (25%), and class participation (20%).

Your regular instructor is Prof. Pete Winkler, Kemeny 231, phone extension 6-3468. It's usually more reliable to email than to call, however. Office Hours: Mondays 2-3, Wednesdays 2-3, Fridays (except non-class days) 11:10-12:10, and by appointment.

Tips on writing proofs (2-page pdf).

If you want to learn the LaTeX typesetting system for writing up homework (highly recommended), here is a page of resources.

Help on Material

There are many ways to get help with the material. Here are some:

- Ask questions during, before, or after class.
- Discuss material with your classmates. I want everyone to write up their own homework, but feel free to discuss it with each other.
- Come to office hours to discuss questions. Office hours are nothing more than time put aside when I am guaranteed to be in my office free to meet with you. You do not need to make an appointment, nor feel bad about interrupting whatever I'm filling my time with when you come in.
- Make an appointment to meet with me. While I prefer this be done only in cases where the above options simply don't work out, or when the discussion is to be confidential, I am happy to meet with you at other times.

Last modified December 31, 2008