Math 36500: Course Information

Course Title: Elements of Combinatorics

Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in Math 20300 or MATH 21200.

Catalog Description: The three problems of combinatorics (existence, counting, optimization), basic counting rules, graph theory, generating functions, principles of inclusion and exclusion, pigeonhole principle, selected additional topics.

Semester: Spring 2022.

Section: EF.

Meeting time and place: MoWe 2:00PM - 3:40PM in NAC 5/109.

Instructor Information:
Course Textbooks:

The textbook is available for free download and has an interactive web version. Try the link above.

General expectations: For each hour spent in the classroom, I expect you to spend at least three hours reading and understanding the book, understanding lecture notes, doing homework. Practice (doing problems) is an important part of learning. Only adequate practice will guarantee that you can complete midterm and final exam problems in a timely manner.

Expectations of written work: Mathematical arguments will be graded partially on presentation. In order to receive full credit, a student who reads your answer should be able to easily understand how you solved the problem. Written work is expected to be legible and arguments are expected to be well articulated.
Grades: Grades will be computed from the following weighted average:

The exam grade will be a weighted average of the final exam and midterm grades, with each midterm counting half as much as the final exam.

Your grade percentage will be tabulated out of 100% as indicated by the percentages above. A letter grade will be assigned to you according to the following list: A+ (97-100), A (95-96), A- (90-94), B+ (87-89), B (84-86), B- (80-83), C+ (77-79), C (74-76), C- (70-73), D (60-69), F (0-59).

Pandemic Issues: This is an in-person class, but policies may change because of safety concerns. Online instruction methods may be required (for example if the instructor tests positive for COVID-19).

Currently midterm and final examinations are intended to be in-person, but, due to ramifications of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that other examination methods may be required. This course may use online examination methods, may give some examinations as oral exams, and may require the use of video cameras during exams.

If online examinations are given in this course, the exams will be given synchronously (at the time in which the class meets) on Blackboard.

Midterm exam: There will be two midterm exams. The first midterm will be held on March 7th. The second midterm will held on April 13th.

Final exam: The Final Exam will be held at the time scheduled by the college. As of this writing, the final will be held on Wednesday, May 18th from 1 to 3:15pm in our usual classroom. For the most up to date information about the time of the final exam, see the Registrar's Final Exam Schedule.

Exam makeups: A single midterm is missed under well-documented and sufficiently compelling circumstance will result in that grade not counting towards your Exam grade portion of the course grade. (So in this case your Exam grade will be a weighted average of the final exam and the remaining midterm, with the midterm waited half as much as the final.)

If both midterms are missed under well-documented and sufficiently compelling circumstances, an offer of a makeup for the second midterm will be made. The makeup must be taken within one week of the scheduled exam, or a zero will be assigned as the exam grade.

Similarly if the final exam is missed under well-documented and sufficiently compelling circumstances, an offer of a makeup for the final exam will be made. The makeup must be taken within one week of the scheduled exam, or a zero will be assigned as the exam grade.

At the department’s or the instructor’s discretion, any makeup exam, including a makeup final, may be administered as an oral examination carried out either in-person or using video-conferencing software (such as Zoom).

Exceptions to the one week time period will only be made if a student can prove that they are unable to take the exam that week for compelling reasons.

Notify me ahead of any exam you expect to miss to be sure your circumstances are sufficiently compelling.

Homework assignments: Homework will be assigned approximately once a week and will have a due date. Homework assignments will be made available on the course website at least one week before the assignment is due.

I encourage you to work in groups on the homework problems, especially if this best suits your learning style. Nonetheless, you should be confident that you understand how to do each problem, and should be able to solve similar problems independently. Failure to ensure that you can solve problems independently will surely have a negative effect on quiz and exam grades.

This problem has a mix of assigned homework problems, some assigned for you to do, and some assigned for you to turn in. You are expected to think carefully about all these problems as I anticipate a failure to do so adversely affecting your exam grades. Please only turn in problems which are marked to be turned in.

Late homework: Late homework will not be accepted for any reason. If you need to miss class, please scan it and email your assignment to me as a PDF document before the start of class on the day it is due.
Dropped grades: The lowest 20% of assignments in the “Homework, Classwork, and Quizzes” category will be dropped (rounding up if necessary).
Quizzes and Classwork: At this point, I do not anticipate collecting classwork or giving quizzes, but this could change if the need becomes apparent as we move through the course. There will be no makeups for missed quizzes or classwork.
Course website: Course information, homework assignments, and documents can be found on the website:
Blackboard: I use blackboard to keep track of your grades. You can view your grades there. To access blackboard visit: Solutions to problem sets may be posted to blackboard.

Academic integrity: All work submitted for this course should be your own unless explicitly stated or acknowledged by you. This course follows the CUNY Policy on Acacdemic Integrity Policy. Violations will be pursued through the appropriate campus mechanisms.

In particular, it is expected that you not plagarize. This has been especially problematic on homework. Your homework must not copy from another source, and you must cite any sources used when preparing your solutions. Sources can include textbooks, webpages, discussions with other people, and other student work. Citations should be as specific as possible. All submitted work must be written in your own words.

Video lectures: Students who participate in this class with their camera on or use a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded solely for the purpose of creating a record for students enrolled in the class to refer to, including those enrolled students who are unable to attend live. If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the “chat” feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live.
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