Math 104: Elementary Combinatorics and Probability, Fall 2008 

"There are three kinds of mathematicians: those who know how to count and those who don't" -Anonymous

Instructor: Dr. Michael Weingart.

Teaching Assistant: Michael Weingart. If you are shy about asking the instructor for help, please don't hesitate to ask the TA.

Email: weingart [at] math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu.

Office hours: W 5:30-7:30pm and Th 11:30am-1:30pm in Hill 209, F 9:50-11:10 in Hardenbergh B7, and by appointment.
These times may change in response to popular demand.

Required Text: Finite Mathematics: An Applied Approach, Tenth Edition, by Michael Sullivan.
We will cover chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9, beginning with a discussion of elementary combinatorics, the theory of counting, spending the bulk of the course on probability and some of its applications, and concluding with an introduction to statistics.

WileyPlus: This course uses WileyPlus, an integrated course management system designed by the textbook publisher. A registration code for WileyPlus is required, and it will be impossible to complete homework assignments without one. Such a registration code comes with the textbook at no additional cost if it is purchased at the bookstore, whether the hardcover edition (available at the RU bookstore in downtown new Brunswick) or the binder edition (available at the Livingston bookstore). Another possibility is to buy online only access (available at; this gives access to the textbook online as well as to all features of WileyPlus.

Lecture time and location: Tillett 207, TTh 3:20-4:40.

Final Exam: Monday December 22, 12-3pm.

Grading Scheme:
    15% Homework
    10% Quizzes
    20% First Midterm
    20% Second Midterm
    35% Final Exam
Every week (approximately) you will have a set of homework problems to complete online, through WileyPlus, as well as an in class quiz. The advantage of WileyPlus is that it offers instant feedback on whether your answer to each question is correct, as well as hints for how to approach each problem. If you have completed and understood the homework, you should not find the corresponding quiz terribly difficult. The lowest two quiz scores will be dropped, and there will be no makeup quizzes.

A few friendly words of advice: Never fall behind in a math course!!!!! The ideas we'll be discussing need time to sink in, and are very difficult to learn quickly right before an exam, so it is important to clear up your confusions sooner rather than later. An excellent way to improve your understanding of the subject is to study and work on homework together with classmates. Explaining mathematical ideas to others is often the most effective way to sort out your own confusions and clarify your understanding; you don't know just what it is that you don't know until you try explaining it to someone else.
You are also warmly invited to ask questions in class, which students are far too hesitant to do in math courses, or in office hours!

Some extra practice problems:
Chapter 6.1


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