# Not sure to take Methods of Discrete Mathematics after Calculus 1

• TitoSmooth
In summary, the conversation discusses the course Methods of Discrete Mathematics and whether it is necessary to take it after completing the Calculus series. The course focuses on mathematical reasoning, algorithms, combinatorial analysis, and discrete structures. It does not require any calculus knowledge and is recommended to be taken sooner rather than later for math majors. The recommended textbook is "Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications" with mixed reviews.
TitoSmooth
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

TitoSmooth said:
What is methods of discrete mathematics?

Does your college's website or printed catalog have a course description for it?

IMATHEMATICS 272
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hercuflea said:

Looked at the reviews and most are bad. Can be people who don't like math in general so I take the reviews wirh a grain of salt. What is ur oppion on this book if u have used it?

Last edited by a moderator:
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.

## 1. Should I take Methods of Discrete Mathematics after Calculus 1?

It ultimately depends on your academic goals and interests. If you plan on pursuing a degree in a field that heavily relies on discrete mathematics, such as computer science or engineering, then it would be beneficial to take the course. However, if your degree does not require a strong foundation in discrete mathematics, you may want to consider other elective courses.

## 2. Is Methods of Discrete Mathematics more difficult than Calculus 1?

This is subjective and can vary from person to person. Some students may find discrete mathematics more challenging because it involves more abstract concepts and problem-solving strategies. However, others may find it easier because it does not involve as many complex calculations as calculus.

## 3. Will taking Methods of Discrete Mathematics help me in other courses?

Yes, it can be beneficial in other courses that involve problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as courses in computer science and engineering. Discrete mathematics also has applications in fields such as economics, biology, and linguistics.

## 4. Do I need to have a strong background in mathematics to succeed in Methods of Discrete Mathematics?

While a strong foundation in mathematics can be helpful, it is not necessarily required. Discrete mathematics involves a different set of concepts and problem-solving strategies than traditional calculus courses, so having a fresh perspective can actually be beneficial.

## 5. What are the benefits of taking Methods of Discrete Mathematics?

Discrete mathematics is a fundamental course that teaches problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, and critical thinking, which are valuable skills in many fields. It also lays the foundation for more advanced courses in computer science, engineering, and mathematics. Additionally, it can help improve your overall math skills and broaden your understanding of mathematical concepts.

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