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East Tennessee State University
Department of Computer & Information Sciences
CSCI 1900 -- Math for Computer Science Syllabus
Summer Term, 2005

Last updated 04/28/2005

[ General | Schedule | Grading | Expectations | Other Policies | Attachment ]


David Tarnoff


Room 219 in the College of Medicine Building (Old student union)

Office Hrs:

Tuesday and Wednesday 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
or by appointment
Click here for latest schedule


423.439.6404 (Office/voice mail)



Web page:

http://csciwww.etsu.edu/tarnoff/ (mirror)

Course Number: CSCI 1900

Course Title: Math for Computer Science

Meeting Times:

Section 070: Tue/Wed/Thu 1:00 PM to 2:35 PM in Gilbreath 314

Catalog Description: Students will gain a working knowledge of set theory, mathematical induction and recursion, relations and digraphs, functions, trees and languages, semigroups, finite-state machines, and languages and see how these topics are applied to the practice of computer science.

Prerequisite: CSCI 1250 or 1800

Credit: 3 credit hours

Course Purpose: The methods used by computer scientists to solve problems are based on the material of discrete structures. This course is meant to prepare students with the tools and problem solving skills to help them develop software, tools of analysis, and procedures that they will be using in both their academic and professional lives. It is essential that the students understand these topics in order to understand modern computational techniques.

Learning Outcomes: The course is meant to instruct students on the mathematical principles used in computer applications. With this background, we expect students completing this course to be able to:

Required text: Discrete Mathematical Structures, 5th ed.,
by Bernard Kolman, et. al., ISBN: 0-13-045797-3

Course outline: The course outline for section 070 is presented below. The instructor has the right to alter the outline at any time due to time constraints, unexpected scheduling conflicts, or overall benefit to class effectiveness. Please see your instructor for the course outline for section 201.

Day Topic Reading
17-May Sets and Subsets 1.1
18-May Operations on Sets 1.2
19-May Sequences/Regular Expressions 1.3
24-May Division in the Integers 1.4
25-May Matrices, Propositions, and Logical Operations 1.5 and 2.1
26-May Conditional Statements 2.2
31-May Review for Test 1/Methods of Proof 2.3
** Test 1 **
2-Jun Mathematical Induction 2.4
7-Jun Permutations 3.1
8-Jun Combinations 3.2
9-Jun Elements of Probability 3.4
14-Jun Relations 4.1 and 4.2
15-Jun Properties of Relations 4.4 and 4.5
16-Jun Review for Test 2/Functions 5.1
** Test 2 **
22-Jun Complexity of Functions 5.2 and 5.3
23-Jun Trees 7.1
28-Jun Labeled Trees 7.2
29-Jun Tree Searching 7.3
30-Jun Minimal Spanning Trees 7.5
5-Jul Graphs/Finite State Machines 8.1 and 10.3
6-Jul Review for Test 3/Languages 10.1
** Test 3 **

Grading policy: The grading policies for each section will vary depending on the needs of the course and the preferences of the instructor. The table below shows the weights carried by each assignment toward calculating a student's final grade in section 070 only. For information on the grading policy for section 201, please see your instructor.

Assignment Portion of final grade
Homework and quizzes 25%
Test 1 25 %
Test 2 25 %
Test 3 25 %
Total 100%

The table below presents the translation between a student's total score and their final grade.

Percent cutoff (Minimum score to receive grade)






















0 to less than 60


Posting of grades: The following is duplicated from Section 5.9 of the East Tennessee State Faculty Handbook which is available on-line at http://www.etsu.edu/senate/facultyhandbook/:

"In order to be in compliance with provisions of the 'Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974' (Buckley Amendment), the posting of student grades at East Tennessee State University is prohibited. Interpretations of the Buckley Amendment have also prohibited the use of any codes such as Social Security numbers and other devices that might make identification of a student and his/her grade still possible.


As a result, the distribution of grades through e-mail is also not allowed.

Expectations, Attendance, and Participation: Both students and instructors have expectations of one another. Many of these are mutual. Students should expect the instructor to be in class on time, to be prepared, to be attentive to students, to be available to answer questions and to provide help related to the course, and to make a genuine effort to help students achieve the course objectives. On those rare occasions when the instructor must miss class, students should expect suitable arrangements for the class to continue in the instructor's absence. Students should expect the instructor to devote considerable time and effort to the course.

The instructor has similar expectations of students: that students come to class on time, are prepared, are attentive and participate in class, complete class assignments and submit them on time, and make a genuine effort to meet the course objectives. The instructor expects students to devote considerable time and effort to the course.

When you are absent, you are still responsible for material, assignments, and anything else that occurs in class. When you must miss class, you are responsible for finding out what was missed, making sure that any work due that day gets to the instructor, and getting any assignments or materials handed out during your absence so that you can prepare for the next class. This is a 3-hour course and you should be prepared to spend a minimum of 4-6 hours outside of class for each hour in-class. Attendance and participation is important; students with poor attendance generally do poorly. Missing material from one class makes it difficult to understand new material and, once behind, it is difficult to catch up. You are encouraged to ask appropriate questions and to participate in class discussions and activities. You may learn as much from one another as from the instructor. If you are confused about some point, chances are that others are also confused and will appreciate that you asked for clarification.

Make-up tests (exams and/or quizzes) will be given for authorized university activities only if a student presents suitable documentation (evidence) explaining the absence to the instructor prior to the scheduled exam time. The instructor reserves the right to disapprove any explanations for absences presented without prior notice and not provide the opportunity for a make-up test. Students knowing they will be absent from an announced test because of personal or business reasons are required to inform the instructor before the absence. A make-up test may be given early in some cases.

Tests may include any material covered in lectures, assigned readings, or
exercises even if the material was not covered directly in lecture.

Academic Integrity: Student-teacher relationships are built on trust. For example, students must trust that teachers have made responsible decisions about the structure and content of the course, and teachers must trust that work submitted by a student was indeed done by the student. Acts which violate this trust undermine the educational process and are inconsistent with our very reason for being at ETSU.

You are encouraged to discuss the material and issues addressed in the course, including assignments, with members of the class and others. Helping one another find and understand problems in assignments is permitted as long as an honest individual attempt has been made to solve the problem. Everyone, however, must do his/her own work. Completing an assignment "by committee" and submitting it as an individual work is academic misconduct unless the assignment has been clearly designated as a team assignment. Your name on submitted work is an affirmation that the work is yours.

The following is taken from section 5.7 "Academic Misconduct" of the East Tennessee State University Faculty Handbook, June 1, 2001:

"Academic misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action. Any act of dishonesty in academic work constitutes academic misconduct. This includes plagiarism, the changing of falsifying of any academic documents or materials, cheating, and the giving or receiving of unauthorized aid in tests, examinations, or other assigned school work. Penalties for academic misconduct will vary with the seriousness of the offense and may include, but are not limited to: a grade of 'F' on the work in question, a grade of 'F' of the course, reprimand, probation, suspension, and expulsion. For a second academic offense the penalty is permanent expulsion.

"Plagiarism is defined as follows by Black, Henry Campbell, Black's Law Dictionary, West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1968 (p. 1308): 'The act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one's own mind.'

"Moreover, 'To be liable for plagiarism it is not necessarily to exactly duplicate another's literary work it being sufficient if unfair use of such work is made by lifting of substantial portion thereof, but even an exact counterpart of another's work does not constitute 'plagiarism' if such counterpart was arrived at independently' (O'Rouke vs. RKO Radio Pictures, D. C., Mass., 44F. Supp. 480, 482, 483)."

Special Accommodations: Students with needs for note taking or test taking accommodations should make arrangements with the instructor during the first week of the term.

Laptop Policy: The use of laptops or PDAs for the purpose of note taking or viewing the on-line course notes is permitted. All other uses are prohibited. Any student found to violate this policy will be asked to discontinue use of the device for the remainder of the class period. A second offense will result in the removal of the student's laptop privileges for the remainder of the semester.

Snow/ice: Classes are seldom canceled; use your better judgment if main roads are snow-covered or icy. Please listen to the radio if there is any doubt about early morning classes being canceled or delayed.

Use of CSCI Laboratories:The CSCI laboratories are to be used only for work pertaining to CSCI courses. You may not work the Gilbreath labs for other freshman and sophomore level computer science classes. Failure to abide by this policy may result in the removal of your lab privileges which likely will result in a failing grade.

Food, drinks, and tobacco products: Food, drinks, and the use of tobacco products of any type are never permitted in any of the labs. In addition, no tobacco products of any type may be used inside ETSU campus buildings.

Please make sure to see the syllabus attachment provided by the Office of the Registrar regarding key dates and other information.

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