Math 28. Introduction to Combinatorics

Winter 2011

        Instructor:         Sergi Elizalde

        Lectures:           MWF 12:30-1:35 in Kemeny 108

        X-hour:           Tu 1:00-1:50

        Office Hours:    M 10:00-11:00, F 1:40-3:30

        Office:               Kemeny 332


        Phone:               646-8191

Schedule and homework assignments



The final exam will take place on Tuesday, March 15 at 8:00 in Kemeny 008. There can be questions about anything covered in class from Chapters 1-4, with an emphasis on Chapters 3 and 4.

Course description

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).


Combinatorics Through Guided Discovery, November 2004 edition, by Ken Bogart, available online here. You can also get a printed copy from the math department administrative office (Kemeny 102).


The course grade will be based on

        homework (25%),

        midterm exam (20%),

        final exam (35%),

        class participation (20%).

Homework will be assigned daily, and due every Monday. All the homework assignments are posted here. No late homework will be accepted.
You are encouraged to collaborate on the homework, but what you write has to be your own understanding of how to do the problem. You must state what sources you have consulted, with whom you have collaborated, and from whom you have received help.

No collaboration is permitted on exams.

Extra material

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 (courtesy of Rebecca Weber).

Students with disabilities: Students with disabilities enrolled in this course that may need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an office appointment to see me before the end of the second week of the term. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Student Accessibility Services office may be consulted to discuss appropriate implementation of any accommodation requested.