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Not sure to take Methods of Discrete Mathematics after Calculus 1

  1. Feb 22, 2014 #1
    I am a math major and I need to take Methods of Discrete Mathematics. What is methods of discrete mathematics? Should I take it after My calculus series( including linear/ diff. equations)? Is it easy enough to take with Calculus 2? Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Does your college's web site or printed catalog have a course description for it?
  4. Feb 22, 2014 #3
    Methods of Discrete Mathematics
    5 UNITS – (UC:CSU)
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 260 with a satisfactory grade or equivalent.
    This course stresses mathematical reasoning and the different ways problems are solved. Interwoven in this course are: mathematical reasoning (logic and mathematical proofs), algorithm (use of pseudocode), combinatorial analysis (ability to count), and discrete structures and their basic applications.

    this is the course description and Pre-Calculus is prerec.

    I am taking Calculus 1 currently and I am doing well.
  5. Feb 23, 2014 #4


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    I'm in a discrete structures class now and as far as I can tell it's not going to include any calculus. It's things like logic/truth tables, mathematical proofs (prove that an even number multiplied by and even number is an even number, etc). The methods can be used for calculus, but if the only prerequisite is precalc, it may not even cover any calculus.
  6. Feb 23, 2014 #5
    You will use exactly zero calculus in discrete mathematics. Discrete math is a whole different world. You should be fine as long as you are comfortable with basic proofs. Take a look at mathematical induction, it's one of the most important topics you learn in discrete math.
  7. Feb 23, 2014 #6


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    I've been to a few universities and every discrete course is slightly different. However, nearly every single one has a strong focus on truth table and basic logic. Some people find learning logic at first difficult and time consuming, other people find it intuitive and breeze by it. However, if you plan to be a math major, it would behoove you to take it sooner rather than later, since this type of thinking will allow you to appreciate the structure of theorems and method of proofs sooner. So when you come across necessary and sufficient conditions you can truly understand what those words mean and why one theorem may say such and such is necessary and why another one will say xyz is sufficient for abc. You'll also be at following proofs and appreciate the techniques.
  8. Feb 23, 2014 #7
    Would it be too hard to take with only Calculus 2? The instructor who teaches discreet math is one of the worst teachers there. A very good mathematician but cannot explain material at all.

    What are some elementary discreet books to look at? My precal covered proof by induction extremely well. N the only other proofs I saw where geometry proofs 2 years ago which were extremely fun.
  9. Feb 23, 2014 #8
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Feb 25, 2014 #9
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  11. Feb 25, 2014 #10


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    I'm using the book right now in my discrete structures class, and I have found it to give quite clear examples so far. I like it. We only just finished chapter one, though.
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