ESTR 2004: Discrete Mathematics for Engineers (ELITE Stream)

2017-18 First Term


General Information

  • Instructor: Anthony Man-Cho So (manchoso at
  • Office Hours: Thursdays 3:30pm - 5:00pm or by appointment, in ERB 604
  • Lecture Time/Location:
    • Mondays 10:30am - 12:15pm, in ERB 804
    • Wednesdays 1:30pm - 2:15pm, in LHC 106
    • Thursdays 10:30am - 12:15pm, in ERB 804
  • Teaching Assistants:
    • Zengde Deng (zddeng at
      • Office Hours: Wednesdays 3:30pm - 4:30pm, in ERB 810C
    • Sen Huang (hsen at
      • Office Hours: Fridays 11:00am - 12:00pm, in ERB 905
    • Yuen Man Pun (ympun at
      • Office Hours: Wednesdays 9:30am - 10:30am, in ERB 905
    • Peng Wang (wangpeng at
      • Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30pm - 4:30pm, in ERB 810A
    • Xiaolu Wang (xlwang at
      • Office Hours: Tuesdays 10:30am - 11:30am, in ERB 905
  • Online Q&A Forum: Follow this link.

Course Description

Just as calculus is the mathematical foundation for natural sciences, discrete mathematics is the mathematical foundation for computing sciences. In this course, we will cover the basic techniques of discrete mathematics, which are essential for manipulating and reasoning about finite or countable sets of objects. Applications from various disciplines, such as computer science, operations research, and probability, will be used to illustrate the theory.

Course Requirements

  • Homework Sets (35%)
  • Midterm Examination (20%)
  • Final Examination (30%)
  • Essay (15%)

Primary Text

The primary text for this course is Eric Lehman, F. Thomson Leighton, Albert R. Meyer (LLM), Mathematics for Computer Science, 2010.

General References

  • Richard A. Brualdi, Introductory Combinatorics (5th Edition), Pearson Education, Inc., 2010.
  • Susanna S. Epp , Discrete Mathematics with Applications (4th Edition), Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2011.
  • Ronald L. Graham, Donald E. Knuth, Oren Patashnik (GKP), Concrete Mathematics (2nd Edition), Addison-Wesley, 1994.
  • Kenneth H. Rosen, Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications (7th Edition), McGraw-Hill, 2012.

Schedule and Reading

  • Week 1: Sep 6 Information Sheet, Notes. Familiarize yourselves with the material in LLM Chapters 1 and 2. Sep 7 Notes. Read LLM Chapter 3.1-3.2.
  • Week 2: Sep 11 Notes. Read LLM Chapters 3.3-3.4 and (optional) 3.5. Sep 13 Notes. Read LLM Chapters 9.1-9.2. Sep 14 Notes. Read LLM Chapter 9.5.

About the Essay

Towards the end of the course, you will need to write a short (4-5 pages), complete account of a result in discrete mathematics. The essay should include the background, statement, proof, and applications of the result. More details will be announced later in the course.

Homework Sets

Last Updated: September 18, 2017