MATH 61

## Introduction to Discrete Structures

*Description:*Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Requisites: courses 31A, 31B. Not open for credit to students with credit for course 180 or 184. Discrete structures commonly used in computer science and mathematics, including sets and relations, permutations and combinations, graphs and trees, induction. P/NP or letter grading.

*Units:*4.0

**Most Helpful Review**

Winter 2022 - Disclaimer: I don't consider myself good at math. Hazel's teaching is pretty good. She's clear at showing what format she wants proofs to be in and makes sure to go over many examples that pop up in the homework, so as long as you look at her examples, it won't be too bad. I found it a lot easier to listen to lecture than try to understand the textbook for this class, while the opposite was true for my other math classes. She also recorded her lectures. She "assigns" many homework problems, but you only have to turn in three or four per section, so most of them are extra practice. The problems themself aren't hard, but because this was my first proof-based class, I didn't find them easy, either. I would definitely do the extra problems because similar ones appear on tests. The lowest homework is dropped. Her tests were pretty straightforward in terms of difficulty; there were only one or two problems where I was like "bruh". For Midterm 1 and the Final, she had a combination of open-ended questions and multiple-choice, while Midterm 2 was all open-ended. The lowest midterm is dropped. Attending discussions is mandatory because there are weekly worksheets you complete with other people. However, she drops the lowest four worksheets, so you only have to go half the quarter. Overall, I think this class was pretty good, though that might be because I took it while most things were still online. I would take Hazel's class again if given the choice.

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**Most Helpful Review**

Spring 2020 - Dr. Huang is an excellent teacher. Her lectures are hard to follow if and only if the students don't give her any indication whether they understood what she meant. Whenever any student asks any questions, she is patient enough to answer the questions in details. Also, do not neglect the office hours! She is willing to answer any questions you have regarding the course material, and she can even guide you through if you have any troubling about learning math in general. She has been getting feedback from her students consistently throughout time and is making progress that everyone can see. Maybe she is not the best lecturer yet, but she has been improving a lot even in the same quarter, so I believe she will become a famously excellent teacher very soon. Also, for a non-math major, math 61 deserves one's time. As most people know, math-61 is not intended for only math majors (it is a CS major requirement), and the course difficulty has been decreased astonishingly from what one should expect from a course in discrete math, which is math-180. Math-61 covers a lot of basic concepts that were usually assumed knowledge of in a math course intended for math majors only and cannot be more friendly to non-math people. What is difficult is NOT what the professor covers but what the concepts are actually are. One should not blame an instructor simply because a course that is intrinsically difficult was taught.

**Most Helpful Review**

Spring 2024 - My god, what a beautifully brilliant class. Everyone I talked to said he was one of the best lecturers they've ever had, and I definitely agreed. The way he broke down what could have been very difficult concepts (discrete math is hard), I genuinely think you could drop middle schoolers in the class and they would get it. HW is pretty fun (can't believe I'm saying that) and easy, never taking more than a couple hours. All you need to do to succeed in this class is to understand what he covers in lecture. Grading is very chill, with 6 grading schemes our quarter. The midterm was easy and the final was hard, but if you understand lecture and his practice exams, you'll probably be fine. This class felt like a fun IQ puzzle, and was overall an amazing experience and a light workload. Kannan is 100% the best 61 teacher anyone could ever hope for, it literally can't get any better than him.

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**Most Helpful Review**

Fall 2019 - This class was harder than I expected. I learned that I hate proof-based math lol. The lectures were fine. Manning is an alright lecturer but there were often times when he'd stumble over his words or he'd ask a question to the class and no one would respond leaving an awkward silence for like a minute. The homeworks every week were honestly pretty time consuming and were graded pretty harshly. I'd recommend doing/attempting the homework honestly to make sure you secure that HW grade and prepare yourself for the tests. The tests were pretty hard and I often didn't have enough time to really finish at least for me (although the class averages seemed pretty decent). I think the class/final was curved significantly which ended up giving me a B (i'm not complaining tho). Don't be fooled into thinking this is an easy math class because its not calc or something. You'll have to put time in studying and doing hw for sure.

**Most Helpful Review**

Spring 2018 - It might just be me but I really struggled in this class. The professor is honestly really good and I felt like I understood the material more than my grade reflects (not to say a B is bad by any means). The homework was graded really harshly but hw isn't worth much so it doesn't really matter. However, it's the tests that really got me. He offers to drop the lower midterm but that couldn't even save me. I got 10% below average on the first one (yikes). 100% on the second (idk how that happened) and dead average on the final. Got a B so not bad at all. The problems with the tests though is that it isn't structured like a normal math test I've taken in my other math classes here. There are a good amount of long response and proof questions but the weird thing is that there is a good amount of multiple choice and true/false questions. So on those it's all credit or nothing which can really mess you up. Hope you get a good TA because I'm sure that would really help. In my case my TA wasn't helpful. If I asked him to explain something, he would be like "well the answer is obviously 12 raised to 4 factorial divided by n choose 7 summed to infinity" and was just unable to explain how he got there.