Math 181: Discrete Structures

Spring 2024


Sam Hopkins (call me "Sam")
Office: Annex III (Graduate School) - #220


Mon-Wed-Fri, 3:10-4:00pm
Douglass Hall - #113/114

Office hours:

Wed 2-3pm (or by appointment)
Annex III (Graduate School) - #220

Course content:

In Discrete Structures, we will consider the basics of mathematical logic, set theory, and discrete mathematics (combinatorics and/or graph theory), and will learn to construct and write rigorous mathematical proofs.


Math 157 (Calculus II)


Discrete Mathematics, 8th edition, by R. Johnsonbaugh
Contact me if you need help accessing the textbook.


The grading for the course will be based on Homeworks, Midterm Exams, and the Final Exam. The grading scheme is:
  • Homeworks = 40% of grade
  • Each of 2 midterms = 20% of grade
  • Final exam = 20% of grade
Homework problems will be assigned each Wednesday and due the next Wednesday, except for midterm weeks. There will be 12 total homeworks and your lowest 2 scores will be dropped (so 10 of the 12 will count). Barring exceptional circumstances, you must turn in your homeworks during class on Wednesdays.
There will be two in-class midterms in the semester. They will take place on Wednesdays and be announced 1-2 weeks in advance. The final will happen after the end of classes, during finals week.
Collaboration on homework assignments is permitted, as long as each person writes their own solutions and writes with whom they collaborated. The use of calculators or tools from the Internet is not permitted. You may use your own notes and the textbook on the homework assignments, but the in-class tests are closed-book. Do not use your phone during class and especially not during tests.
Assignments and grades will be posted to the Canvas site. I may consider other factors, like class participation, when determining final letter grades, especially in borderline cases.


Click here for a pdf version of the syllabus (which also includes a more detailed course outline and information about the Code of Conduct, Grievance Procedure, Disability Accommodations, etc.)

Class notes:

The following notes are from the Spring 2023 iteration of the class, which we are closely following:
Batch 1; Batch 2; Batch 3; Batch 4; Batch 5; Batch 6; Batch 7
(Change "_bw.pdf" to "_gray.pdf" for grayscale versions.)

HWs / exams:

Due 1/17: Homework #1
Due 1/24: Homework #2
Due 1/31: Homework #3
Due 2/7: Homework #4
Due 2/14: Homework #5
2/21: Midterm #1; Study Guide
Due 2/28: Homework #6
Due 3/13: Homework #7
Due 3/20: Homework #8
Due 3/27: Homework #9
Due 4/3: Homework #10
4/10: Midterm #2; Study Guide
Due 4/17: Homework #11
Due 4/24: Homework #12
5/3, 5-7pm: Final Exam; Study Guide