Welcome to Discrete Mathematics. If this is your first time encountering the subject, you will probably find discrete mathematics quite different from other math subjects. You might not even know what discrete math is! Hopefully this short introduction will shed some light on what the subject is about and what you can expect as you move forward in your studies.
- 0.1: What is Discrete Mathematics?
- Defining discrete mathematics is hard because defining mathematics is hard. What is mathematics? The study of numbers? In part, but you also study functions and lines and triangles and parallelepipeds and vectors and …. Or perhaps you want to say that mathematics is a collection of tools that allow you to solve problems. What sort of problems? Okay, those that involve numbers, functions, lines, triangles, ….
- 0.2: Mathematical Statements
- In order to do mathematics, we must be able to talk and write about mathematics. Perhaps your experience with mathematics so far has mostly involved finding answers to problems. As we embark towards more advanced and abstract mathematics, writing will play a more prominent role in the mathematical process. Communication in mathematics requires more precision than many other subjects, and thus we should take a few pages here to consider the basic building blocks: mathematical statements.
- 0.3: Sets
- The most fundamental objects we will use in our studies (and really in all of math) are sets. Much of what follows might be review, but it is very important that you are fluent in the language of set theory. Most of the notation we use below is standard, although some might be a little different than what you have seen before. For us, a set will simply be an unordered collection of objects.
- 0.4: Functions
- A function is a rule that assigns each input exactly one output. We call the output the image of the input. The set of all inputs for a function is called the domain. The set of all allowable outputs is called the codomain.