# Discrete Mathematics

### Description

Discrete mathematics forms the mathematical foundation of computer and information science. It is also a fascinating subject in itself.

Learners will become familiar with a broad range of mathematical objects like sets, functions, relations, graphs, that are omnipresent in computer science. Perhaps more importantly, they will reach a certain level of mathematical maturity – being able to understand formal statements and their proofs; coming up with rigorous proofs themselves; and coming up with interesting results.
This course attempts to be rigorous without being overly formal. This means, for every concept we introduce we will show at least one interesting and non-trivial result and give a full proof. However, we will do so without too much formal notation, employing examples and figures whenever possible.
The main topics of this course are (1) sets, functions, relations, (2) enumerative combinatorics, (3) graph theory, (4) network flow and matchings. It does not cover modular arithmetic, algebra, and logic, since these topics have a slightly different flavor and because there are already several courses on Coursera specifically on these topics.

### What you will learn

Introduction – Basic Objects in Discrete Mathematics

This module gives the learner a first impression of what discrete mathematics is about, and in which ways its “flavor” differs from other fields of mathematics. It introduces basic objects like sets, relations, functions, which form the foundation of discrete mathematics.

Partial Orders

Even without knowing, the learner has seen some orderings in the past. Numbers are ordered by

Enumerative Combinatorics

A big part of discrete mathematics is about counting things. A classic example asks how many different words can be obtained by re-ordering the letters in the word Mississippi. Counting problems of this flavor abound in discrete mathematics discrete probability and also in the analysis of algorithms.

The Binomial Coefficient

The binomial coefficient (n choose k) counts the number of ways to select k elements from a set of size n. It appears all the time in enumerative combinatorics. A good understanding of (n choose k) is also extremely helpful for analysis of algorithms.