Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications Eighth Edition
Book Preface
In writing this book, I was guided by my longstanding experience and interest in teaching discrete mathematics. For the student, my purpose was to present material in a precise, readable manner, with the concepts and techniques of discrete mathematics clearly presented and demonstrated. My goal was to show the relevance and practicality of discrete mathematics to students, who are often skeptical. I wanted to give students studying computer science all of the mathematical foundations they need for their future studies. I wanted to give mathematics students an understanding of important mathematical concepts together with a sense of why these concepts are important for applications. And most importantly, I wanted to accomplish these goals without watering down the material.
For the instructor, my purpose was to design a flexible, comprehensive teaching tool using proven pedagogical techniques in mathematics. I wanted to provide instructors with a package of materials that they could use to teach discrete mathematics effectively and efficiently in the most appropriate manner for their particular set of students. I hope that I have achieved these goals.
I have been extremely gratified by the tremendous success of this text, including its use by more than one million students around the world over the last 30 years and its translation into many different languages. The many improvements in the eighth edition have been made possible by the feedback and suggestions of a large number of instructors and students at many of the more than 600 North American schools, and at many universities in different parts of the world, where this book has been successfully used. I have been able to significantly improve the appeal and effectiveness of this book edition to edition because of the feedback I have received and the significant investments that have been made in the evolution of the book. This text is designed for a one or twoterm introductory discrete mathematics course taken by students in a wide variety of majors, including mathematics, computer science, and engineering. College algebra is the only explicit prerequisite, although a certain degree of mathematical maturity is needed to study discrete mathematics in a meaningful way. This book has been designed to meet the needs of almost all types of introductory discrete mathematics courses. It is highly flexible and extremely comprehensive. The book is designed not only to be a successful textbook, but also to serve as a valuable resource students can consult throughout their studies and professional life.
Goals of a Discrete Mathematics Course
A discrete mathematics course has more than one purpose. Students should learn a particular set of mathematical facts and how to apply them; more importantly, such a course should teach students how to think logically and mathematically. To achieve these goals, this text stresses mathematical reasoning and the different ways problems are solved. Five important themes are interwoven in this text: mathematical reasoning, combinatorial analysis, discrete structures, algorithmic thinking, and applications and modeling. A successful discrete mathematics course should carefully blend and balance all five themes.
1. Mathematical Reasoning: Students must understand mathematical reasoning in order to read, comprehend, and construct mathematical arguments. This text starts with a discussion of mathematical logic, which serves as the foundation for the subsequent discussions of methods of proof. Both the science and the art of constructing proofs are addressed. The technique of mathematical induction is stressed through many different types of examples of such proofs and a careful explanation of why mathematical induction is a valid proof technique.
2. Combinatorial Analysis: An important problemsolving skill is the ability to count or enumerate objects. The discussion of enumeration in this book begins with the basic techniques of counting. The stress is on performing combinatorial analysis to solve counting problems and analyze algorithms, not on applying formulae.
3. Discrete Structures: A course in discrete mathematics should teach students how to work with discrete structures, which are the abstract mathematical structures used to represent discrete objects and relationships between these objects. These discrete structures include sets, permutations, relations, graphs, trees, and finitestate machines.
4. Algorithmic Thinking: Certain classes of problems are solved by the specification of an algorithm. After an algorithm has been described, a computer program can be constructed implementing it. The mathematical portions of this activity, which include the specification of the algorithm, the verification that it works properly, and the analysis of the computer memory and time required to performit, are all covered in this text. Algorithms are described using both English and an easily understood form of pseudocode.
5. Applications and Modeling: Discrete mathematics has applications to almost every conceivable area of study. There are many applications to computer science and data networking in this text, as well as applications to such diverse areas as chemistry, biology, linguistics, geography, business, and the Internet. These applications are natural and important uses of discrete mathematics and are not contrived. Modeling with discrete mathematics is an extremely important problemsolving skill, which students have the opportunity to develop by constructing their own models in some of the exercises.
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February 23, 2019 
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