CIS/CSE 607 home page

 Mathematical Basis of Computing 

Tuesday/Thursday 0800 -- 0920 4-201 CST

Prof. Howard A. BLAIR

Rainbow Line

  • assessmentWithAnswers.pdf

  • Office: 4-189 Center for Science and Technology
    Office Hours :
    By Appointment
    and Monday & Wednesday 09.30 - 11.00
    Syracuse University
    Syracuse, New York 13244-4100 USA
    Phone: 315.443.3565
    Fax: 315.443.2583
    Email: blair at


    • The Cantor-Schroeder-Bernstein Theorem material is posted in the Workbook. (See the link below.)
    • The course will concentrate on "discrete" mathematics for computer science and engineering. The term "discrete" signifies areas of mathematics normally thought of as not involving calculus. Such a veiwpoint is fundamentally misguided, but servicable for the purposes of the course. The topics are generally more advanced than calculus. The goal of the course is not to learn about topics in discrete math. The goal is to see clearly in a certain kind of rational cognitive sense. One learns how to see clearly in this sense by fine-tuning a rationally skeptical attitude relentlessly devoted to it, that is, to seeing clearly.


  • WorkBook.pdf

  • Course Objective and Purpose

    • The Objective of this course is to equip participants with a way of seeing based upon mathematics and the fundamental building blocks of mathematics: sets, relations, and functions.
    • The Purpose of this way of seeing is to empower one to engineer anything in the design space that is the mathematical universe, the only limits being those imposed by logical consistency.

    Course Rationale

    • The mathematical universe displays extreme consilience; in particular, the structure and function of any part of it impacts the structure and function of every other part.
    • Artifacts of technology as well as the the virtual worlds of computing are realizations of structures in the mathematical universe.
    • Therefore, the greater one's powers to roam at will through the design space that is the mathematical universe, the greater will be one's powers to create and to wield artefacts of technology and the virtual worlds of computing.

    Course Outcomes

    To realize the course's purpose, upon completion of the course participants will be able to:

    • Begin to read mathematical research papers in computer science and engineering.
    • Recognize rigorous mathematical reasoning.
    • To use mathematical reasoning to facilitate deep learning of new technical concepts on one's own.

    • To formalize rigorous reasoning and appreciate the issues involved in formally modeling natural reasoning.
    • To apply mathematical logic to showing that hardware and software conform to desired specifications.



    • (Helpful review of undergraduate discrete mathematics for computer science. An edition is currently used in CIS 275. Consult the SU Bookstore. Earlier editions are OK.): Rosen, Kenneth H.: Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications with MathZone, McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math; 6 edition (July 27, 2006) Eariler editions are OK. ISBN 0073312711. 910 pages!!

    Grading: max(AVG(Exam1,Exam2,Labs,Final), Final). All parts of all questions on exams are graded on a scale of 0.0 to 4.0 i.e. F through A. Exam scores are then obtained by weighted averaging.