What is Discrete Math?
Date: 10/8/95 at 17:1:12 From: Anonymous Subject: Discrete Math Question: I'm doing a project for school, and I need to know what discrete math is, an example of it, and what careers it is used in. I've searched everywhere, but this is the only place I've been able to find the term.
Date: 10/8/95 at 17:41:0 From: Doctor Sarah Subject: Re: Discrete Math Hi there - Here's some information from the DIMACS (Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science) Web site. http://dimacs.rutgers.edu . WHAT IS DISCRETE MATHEMATICS? Discrete mathematics is a rapidly growing and increasingly used area of mathematics with many practical and relevant applications. Because it is grounded in real world problems, discrete math lends itself easily to implementing the recommendations of the NCTM Standards. Discrete math will make mathematical concepts come alive for your students. It's an excellent tool for improving reasoning and problem-solving skills, and is appropriate for students at all levels and all abilities. Teachers have found that discrete mathematics offers a way of motivating unmotivated students and challenging honors students at the same time. Problems in discrete mathematics are often simply stated and accessible to students with little mathematical background, including those who have not mastered algebra. On the other hand, many problems are complex, leading students to new insights and knowledge. Questions that seem simple give rise to related questions that are quite challenging. As a result, the topics are accessible and interesting both to students that are accustomed to success and already may be contemplating scientific careers, as well as to students who are accustomed to failure and perhaps need a fresh start in mathematics. Because discrete mathematics deals with complex problem solving, it has widespread uses in a variety of fields. Many current applications to areas such as networking, telecommunications, computer design, cryptanalysis, robotics, social choice theory, and operations research involve discrete mathematics. Students specializing in discrete mathematics will find a wide range of career opportunities open to them. SOME SAMPLE PROBLEMS IN DISCRETE MATHEMATICS What is the quickest way to sort a list of names alphabetically? Which way of connecting a number of sites into a telephone network requires the least amount of cable? Which version of a lottery gives the best odds? If each voter ranks the candidates for Presidents in order of preference, how can a consensus ranking of the candidates be obtained? What is the best way for a robot to pick up items stored in an automated warehouse? How does a CD player interpret the codes on a CD correctly even if the CD is scratched? How can an estate be divided fairly? How can ice cream stands be placed at various street corners in a town so that at any corner there is a stand which is at most one block away? What is the most efficient way to make collections from MAC machines? How can representatives be apportioned fairly among the states using current census information? If you use this information in a paper you can refer to the Center and footnote the reference using the following address: http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/lp/workshops/ -Doctor Sarah, The Geometry Forum
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