CS311H - Discrete Math for Computer Science: Honors - Fall 2013

CS311H - Discrete Math for Computer Science: Honors - Fall 2013

Instructor: Peter Stone
Department of Computer Science

Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45am
GDC 5.302

Jump to the assignments page.
Jump to the resources page.

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Instructor Contact Information

office hour: Mondays 1pm-2pm (please let me know in advance if you're coming) and by appointment
office: GDC 3.508
phone: 471-9796
fax: 471-8885
email: pstone@cs.utexas.edu

Teaching Assistant

Matthew Hausknecht

office hours: 1-2pm Tuesdays, 1-2pm Thursdays, and by appointment
office: GDC 1.302 (Computer lab)
email: mhauskn@cs.utexas.edu


Sudheesh Katkam

office hours: Monday 2 to 3:30pm, Thursday 3:30 to 5pm, and Friday 9:30 to 11:00.
location: GDC first floor computer lab.
email: sudheesh.katkam@utexas.edu


Admission to the CS honors program.

Syllabus and Text

This page serves as the syllabus for this course.
The course textbook is Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications
By Kenneth H. Rosen
Published by McGraw Hill.
We will use the 7th edition. Problems are different in previous editions and online editions. You need the 7th edition.

Selected readings and exercises from this text will be assigned.

This course makes use of the web-based Quest content delivery and homework server system maintained by the College of Natural Sciences. This homework service will require a $25 charge per student for its use, which goes toward the maintenance and operation of the resource. Please go to http://quest.cns.utexas.edu to log in to the Quest system for this class. After the 12th day of class, when you log into Quest you will be asked to pay via credit card on a secure payment site. You have the option to wait up to 30 days to pay while still continuing to use Quest for your assignments. If you are taking more than one course using Quest, you will not be charged more than $50/semester. Quest provides mandatory instructional material for this course, just as is your textbook, etc. For payment questions, email quest.billing@cns.utexas.edu.


Assignments will be updated on the assignments page. Before class you will often be required to complete one or more modules on Quest. Each module consists of several videos you will need to watch, followed by multiple choice quizzes designed to test your comprehension of the videos. Tentative assignments will sometimes be posted a few weeks in advance, but the readings and exercises may change up until the week before they are due (1 week in advance).
To see your grades go to Canvas.

Discussion Forum

While the Professor and the TA would be glad to answer any questions you have, you would frequently find your peers to be an equally important resource in this class.

Please subscribe to our class piazza page.


The objective of this class is to introduce incoming honors students to the fundamentals of discrete mathematics as used in the field of computer science. The material will be presented in such a way as to be interesting and appreciated both by students who have a natural affinity for the beauty of abstract reasoning, and by students who are more interested in its practical implications. All students who successfully complete the class will be able to generate rigorous, and ideally succinct and elegant, mathematical proofs.


The course is designed to cover all of the topics covered by the non-honors version of the course (311), but in greater depth. Such topics include: More advanced topics, such as countability and elements of number theory will be introduced as time permits and depending on the level and interest of the students in the class.

Course Requirements

Pre-class questions (5%):
Before most classes, you will be asked to view a video or read some material in the textbook, and answer questions pertaining to the material. Answers will be due by 8pm the night before class.

These deadlines are designed both to encourage you to do the readings/watch the videos before class and also to allow us to incorporate some of your responses into the class discussions.

Class participation (15%):
Students are expected to be present and actively engaged in every class and in every assigned discussion session. Some pop quizzes may be given and incorporated into this component of the grade.

Missed Quizzes:
There are three "time frames" in the semester: everything before Test 1, material between Tests 1 and 2, and everything after Test 2 but before the final. The lowest Quiz grade for each of these time periods will have its grade replaced by the grade received on the next Test, if the Test grade is higher. Therefore, a single missed Quiz per time period should not hurt your grade, but repeatedly missed Quizzes will. Naturally, you have to perform well on the Tests as well.

Homework (20%):
At least five written homework sets will be assigned. You may work in groups of up to three, but you must write up the solutions to the homeworks yourself, and you must explicitly acknowledge any help given or received (tell us with whom you worked).

Midterms (30%):
Two midterm exams will be administered.

Final (30%):
A final exam will be given during the regular final exam period on: Saturday, December 14th, 7pm-10pm in JGB 2.216.

Extension Policy

If you turn in your assignment late, expect points to be deducted. No exceptions will be made for the pre-class questions (subject to the ``notice about missed work due to religious holy days'' below). For other assignments, extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but in most cases they will not be granted. The greater the advance notice of a need for an extension, the greater the likelihood of leniency.

For homework assignments, by default, 10% will be deducted for lateness, plus an additional 1% for every 24-hour period beyond 2 that the assignment is late. For example, an assignment due at 9:30am on Tuesday will have 10% deducted if it is turned in late but before 9:30am on Thursday. It will have 11% deducted if it is turned in by 9:30am Friday, etc.

This extension policy is, by all accounts, quite lenient. The primary objective is to incentivize students to keep pace with the class. The secondary objective is to incentivize students who have missed an assignment, for whatever reason, to nonetheless learn the material. If the leniency of the policy is seen to be abused by the students, it will be revised towards being more penal.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

You are encouraged to discuss the concepts with classmates, but all written work must be your own. All work ideas, quotes, and code fragments that originate from elsewhere must be cited according to standard academic practice. Students caught cheating will automatically fail the course. If in doubt, look at the departmental guidelines and/or ask.

Notice about students with disabilities

The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To determine if you qualify, please contact the Dean of Students at 471-6529; 471-4641 TTY. If they certify your needs, I will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.

Notice about missed work due to religious holy days

A student who misses an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holy day will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence, provided that he or she has properly notified the instructor. It is the policy of the University of Texas at Austin that the student must notify the instructor at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates he or she will be absent to observe a religious holy day. For religious holy days that fall within the first two weeks of the semester, the notice should be given on the first day of the semester. The student will not be penalized for these excused absences, but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence.


Slides from the classes as well as other resources are posted on the class resources page.

Relevant Links

  • This course was previously offered as CS 313H: Logic, Sets, and Functions: Honors, taught in Fall 2012.
  • This course is modeled in part after CS 313K, taught by Adam Klivans in Spring 2012.

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