Discrete Structures

Computer Science 2800
Cornell University
Spring 2011

Instructor: Rafael Pass

Time: MWF 1:25-2:15
Place: Upson B17 (and not Phillips 203 as listed in the course catalog)
Course Web page:

Head TA: Edward Lui


Other TAs and Office hours: Staff Page

Course Admin: Randy Hess (rbhess at


Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications, Rosen; McGraw-Hill (6th edition)

Course Administration

We are using the course management system, CMS.  Please login to and check whether you are registered. There will be a list of courses you are registered for, and Com S 2800 should be one of them.  If not, please send your full name and Cornell netid to Randy so he can register you.  You can check your grades in CMS. 

Homeworks and Grading

There will be 9 homeworks, 2 in-class prelims and a final exam.

The homeworks can be found in CMS. Graded homework assignments can be picked up in Upson 360 on weekdays during 12pm – 4pm.


Important dates


Homeworks need to be handed in before the beginning of class.

Late days are granted only under very special circumstances, but to compute the final HW grade, we drop the HW with the lowest score.


Weights: homeworks 35%, mid-terms 2*15% and final 35%.

Homework Policy

You are free to collaborate with other students on the homework, but you must turn in your own individually written solution and you must specify the names of your collaborators. It is a violation of this policy to submit a problem solution that you are unable to explain orally to a member of the course staff. It is a violation of the Academic Integrity Code to copy any one else’s solution.

Syllabus and Reading (subject to change)

Lecture notes can be downloaded here. These notes are updated after each module is covered.

  1. Sets, Functions and Relations : (Rosen: Ch 2.1-3, 2.4:158-160, 8.1,8.5,8.4:544-548)
  2. Proof techniques: Basic proof strategies (Rosen: Ch 1.6-7), Induction (Rosen: Ch 4.1-2,4.3:294-299)
  3. Number theory (Rosen: Ch 3.4-5, 3.6:227-229, 3.7)
  4. Counting/combinatorics (Rosen: Ch 5.1-4, 7.5)
  5. Probability (Rosen: Ch 6)
  6. Logic (Rosen: Ch 1.1-4)
  7. Graph theory (Rosen: Ch 9.1-5,9.8)
  8. Finite automata and regular languages (Rosen: Ch 12.2-4)


Each module corresponds to 4-5 lectures (i.e., 1.5 week).