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To anyone who has, or is earning, a degree in computer science:
What do you think is the bare minimum of topics that should be covered in a first course on discrete math or discrete mathematical structures?
Please list 3-10 topics, as specific or as as general as you like.

In other news: Today is the two-year anniversary of my GreatestJournal and the three-year anniversary of my LiveJournal.

Highlights, 27 Feb 2003 - 26 Feb 2004
(When I have more time, I will put 2004 and 2005 highlights here.)



Mar. 4th, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)
Hmmm ... I'm not sure that specific topics should be covered, as much as general approaches to solving discrete math problems.
Mar. 7th, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC)
Proof, problem solving, and programming techniques - YES!
Oh, yes. At Hopkins we had a course 600.140 (Programming Techniques) between 600.108 (Intro to Programming in Pascal, later C++) and 600.327 (Data Structures, later 600.227). It was taught using Abelson, Sussman, and Sussman (first edition at the time), and often taken concurrently with 600.118 (Intermediate Programming in a Unix Environment).

So you see, we had two programming-intensive courses between CS1 and Data Structures. IMO this is a good thing. I actually took a third one (600.119 IIRC, Intermediate Programming in C++) as senior, because I didn't know C++. My advisor, Steve Salzberg (who later became Ventner's hire as bioinformatics director of TIGR and one of the HGP principals), said I'd be bored. I got together with three of my classmates - two seniors and one sophomore (Jeremy Elson, author of CircleMUD) - and we made it our capstone project in software engineering (we didn't have an official one at the time, so it was craft-your-own-program in a sort of liberal arts style after 2 years). I wasn't the least bit bored.

Here is an explanation for why I asked. At K-State we go from CS1 (CIS 200) to Data Structures (CIS 300) and Logic for Computer Science (CIS 301). The theoretical foundation is firm, or would be, if there was a programming-inetnsive foundation to go with it.

I'll follow up in a couple of days.

Thanks for your cogent comment,

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