CSCI 1311 Discrete Structures I (S20)

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All the prior details of the class persist, except for the following amendments to the syllabus

  1. Asynchronous Lectures: Lectures will be posted as videos on vimeo (see piazza for the password). It is the expectation that you keep up with viewing the videos as it relates to the course schedule.

  2. Prof. Aviv’s Office hours will replace lecture time via WebEx.

  3. Lab Time: Each of the TA’s will host an office hour during lab time. They will provide a secret question to a quiz that is release that day to encourage attendance. Lab will be hosted via WebEx.

  4. TA/LA Office Hours: Will be hosted via WebEx. Schedule provided on the main page

  5. Quizzes: Quizzes will post on Monday mornings (EDT) on piazza and on the course website. You will submit them via gradescope by Tuesday 259am (EDT) (or 1159pm PDT). For quiz submission to gradescope, you should handwrite your answers and upload images.

  6. Problem Sets: The due dates of the problem sets will stay the same. You will submit them via gradescope, and they must be typed.

  7. Exams: The exams will be done on the exam date on the schedule. For the midterm, the exam will be released on Piazza at 3pm (EDT) and will be due by 6pm (EDT) via gradescope. You should handwrite your answers and upload pictures. (For those with DSS, you can submit by 8pm). Similar procedures will be used for the final. Your exams will be open notes, but not open internet. We are trusting you to do the right thing.

Bulletin Course Description

Mathematics for computer science. Sets, functions, sequences. Propositional and predicate calculus, formal proofs, mathematical induction. Matrices, semigroups, groups, isomorphism. Relations, partitions, equivalence relations, trees, graphs. May be taken for graduate credit by students in fields other than computer science.


MATH 1220 or MATH 1231.

Required Text(s)

Time Expectation

Learning Outcomes

As a result of completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. See and analyze a problem from a mathematical perspective

  2. Convert informal English statements to formal logic statements

  3. Formulate problems in rigorous mathematical terms and concepts such as functions, relations, graphs, trees, and Boolean logic, which are conducive to methodical problem-solving.
  4. Prove a wide range of mathematical assertions using a variety of proof techniques, including direct and indirect proofs as well as proofs by induction
  5. Solve recursively defined functions and sequences, with applications to time complexity analysis of algorithms
  6. Count the numbers of various combinatorial entities, including permutations, arrangements, and combinations, which form a foundation for probability theory and algorithm analysis
  7. Design basic logical circuits and basic graph algorithms
  8. Grasp preliminarily certain applications of discrete math to computing such as: algorithmic complexity analysis, digital circuit design and optimization, relational databases, data types, cryptography, AI, etc.


Problem Sets (43%)

There will be 7 problem sets assigned throughout the semester, of which, your top 6 scores will count towards your final grade. Each is graded out of 100% and will count towards 42% of your final grade, or 7% for each of your top scoring problem set. There will be a problem set 0, worth 1% of your grade that you will use to get used to the submission system.

Problem Set Late Policy

Problem sets are due at 11:59pm on the due date. Problem set will not be accepted late. You may contact the professor for a grievous excuse under dire circumstances — for example, a death in the family, severe sickness, etc. — but consider that for most non-dire circumstances the expectation is that you can plan ahead accordingly and submit on time.

If you fail to submit a problem set, you will receive a 0% on that assignment. Keep in mind, though, that your top 6 of 7 problem sets will count towards your final grade. So you may miss one problem set without penalty.

Problem Set Submission Policy

All problem set submissions must be typed. We recommend you explore tools like latex for math formatting. Google docs and Word also have math formatting capabilities.

All problem sets must be submitted as a single PDF document to gradescope. You will be required to mark where your answers are to each of the questions (or questions parts) in gradescope to ensure proper grading. Failure to do so precisely may affect your grading timeline.

Quizzes (7%)

There will be quizzes administered during the lab period. There will be at least 10 quizzes, your top 7 quizzes will count toward your grade, 1% each for a total of 7% of your final grade.

You cannot makeup a missed quiz. Answers to quizzes will be revealed in class/lab. A missed quiz will count as zero; however, only your top 7 quiz scores will count towards your final grade. Please plan accordingly.

Exams (50%)

There will be three exams. Two midterms (25%) that will occur in-class on February 13th and April 2nd. The final will occur on the university prescribed final date during the finals period.

“Cheat Sheet” Policy

For all exams, you are allowed to bring in a “cheat sheet”. That is one page, 8.5x11in of double-sided handwritten notes that you can use as a reference on the exam. Abuse of this policy, e.g., bringing in typed noted or more than one page, will result in receiving a zero on that exam (and likely a failing grade in the class). You are required to turn in your cheat sheet with your exam for inspection.

Collaboration Policy

Problem Sets

The expectation is that for all problem sets, the fingers-to-keyboard,pen-to-paper work in completing the problem set is your own, and not that of others. You may discuss problem set questions with other students, including strategies for solving/answering problems. In fact, we encourage such discussion, but you should submit the answer that is your own work and not the work of others, that is, copying answers from others that you did not complete on your own is, simply put, cheating and a violation of academic integrity.


There is no allowed collaboration, communication or other forms assistance between students allowed for exams and quizzes. Doing so is a violation of academic integrity.

Academic Integrity

The George Washington University has a Code of Academic Integrity which we will follow in this class. Academic dishonesty is plainly defined as cheating of any kind, including misrepresenting one’s own work, taking credit for the work of others without crediting them and without appropriate authorization, and the fabrication of information.

Violations of the code, depending on severity, may lead to any (or all) of the following actions within this class:

Further action may occur, including referring the case to the Academic Integrity Council for further adjudication.

University Policy on Religious Holidays

  1. Students should notify faculty during the first week of the semester of their intention to be absent from class on their day(s) of religious observance.
  2. Faculty should extend to these students the courtesy of absence without penalty on such occasions, including permission to make up examinations.
  3. Faculty who intend to observe a religious holiday should arrange at the beginning of the semester to reschedule missed classes or to make other provisions for their course-related activities


If any issue arises that may limit your ability to participate in class, for example, personal illness, family emergency, etc., please be sure to discuss these matters with your instructor as soon as possible and accommodations will be made available to you as appropriate.

Feelings of being overwhelmed are unfortunately quite common in the University environment and something we have all dealt with. You are not alone, and there are a number of resources available to provide support in those moments. Learning to ask for help is an import part of the university of experience, and if you or anyone you know experiences any academic stress, difficult life events, or feelings of anxiety or depression, we strongly encourage you to seek support. GW offers counseling services, and also consider also reaching out to a friend, faculty or family member you trust for help getting connected to the support that can help.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or in danger of self-harm, call someone immediately, day or night: