Handout 1

# Handout 1 - Mehran Sahami CS103B Handout#1 January 7 2009...

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Mehran Sahami Handout #1 CS103B January 7, 2009 Administrivia Professor: Mehran Sahami Email: Office: Gates 180 Office Phone: 723-6059 Office Hours: Tuesday 10am-12noon and Thursday 2pm-4pm TA: Brian Eggleston Email: TA: Bear Travis Email: TA: Honglei Zeng Email: Class web page: http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs103b/ CS103B staff helpline: Prerequisites The prerequisites for this course are CS103A and prior or concurrent enrollment in CS106B. If you have not taken CS103A, you really might want to rethink taking CS103B. If you still insist on taking CS103B without having completed CS103A, we sincerely regret the pain that this class may cause you – but don’t say you weren’t warned. I mean, after all, we just warned you. What are CS103B and Discrete Mathematics all about? CS103B is the continuation of CS103A. That’s not very surprising now, is it? Both courses together constitute an in-depth course in discrete mathematics. This is the area of mathematics that deals with the study of discrete objects, where “discrete” means distinct . This is also in contrast to “continuous” math, which more generally applies to sub-fields of mathematics having to do with real numbers, such as calculus. Luckily for us, we won’t be doing any calculus in CS103B. Bonus. Discrete math is used, for example, whenever objects are counted, when relationships between finite sets are studied, and when processes involving a finite number of steps are analyzed. This area of math has become increasingly important because information is stored and manipulated in a computer in a discrete fashion. Discrete math provides the mathematical foundations for many computer science courses including data structures and algorithms, compilers, automata theory and formal languages, operating systems, and

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2 database theory, to name a few. You will find these courses much more difficult if you attempt them without the foundations of discrete math. Our goal in this course is to build skills and give you experience in the following areas: 1. Mathematical Reasoning: The ability to construct a sound logical argument is essential for computer scientists, not only because proofs are important in certain
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Handout 1 - Mehran Sahami CS103B Handout#1 January 7 2009...

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