CSCI 170: A Theoretical Grab-Bag

calvin-2016 Calvin, Computer Science, Electrical, Viterbi Class 0 Comments

One of the cool things about studying engineering is coming away with practical skills that can be applied quickly, but I’ve also always had a soft spot for rigorous proofs where the application is less clear. CSCI 170 (Discrete Mathematics), is a refreshing dose of theory and an abstract mathematical exploration that complements the more implementation-focused classes I am taking. One cool aspect of the class is that it is designed to coincide with more tangible topics in my other classes. While we learn how to implement certain data structures in my CSCI 104 Class (Data Structures and Object-Oriented Programming), we are concurrently learning about the fundamental building blocks of algorithms that make these structures efficient in CSCI 104. In EE 101 (Introduction to Digital Design), there is a direct relationship to first order logic and the design of complex electrical systems, and this connection is explored in CSCI 170.

The last thing CSCI 170 gets right is pace –– we’re never on the same topic for more than a few lectures, and are always investigating a new corner of mathematics and how it creates the foundation for different engineering concepts. In just the first few weeks, we have already started to explore Set Theory, Algorithm Complexity and Analysis, Propositional and First Order Logic. It really is just building up a toolkit of problem solving tactics that can be applied to a wide range of challenges, and its fun to never quite know what’s next. If you’re especially inclined to mathematics you are in for a treat, and this class is definitely one to look forward to.

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