Resources for Teaching Discrete Mathematics
A resource for discrete mathematics teachers at all levels. Resources for Teaching Discrete Mathematics presents nineteen classroom tested projects complete with student handouts, solutions, and notes to the instructor. Topics range from a first day activity that motivates proofs to applications of discrete mathematics to chemistry, biology, and data storage. Other projects provide: supplementary material on classic topics such as the towers of Hanoi and the Josephus problem, how to use a calculator to explore various course topics, how to employ Cuisenaire rods to examine the Fibonacci numbers and other sequences, and how you can use plastic pipes to create a geodesic dome. The book contains eleven history modules that allow students to explore topics in their original context. Sources range from eleventh century Chinese figures that prompted Leibniz to write on binary arithmetic, to a 1959 article on automata theory. Excerpts include: Pascal's 'Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle,' Hamilton's 'Account of the Icosian Game,' and Cantor's (translated) 'Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers.' Five articles complete the book. Three address extensions of standard discrete mathematics content: an exploration of historical counting problems with attention to discovering formulas, a discussion of how computers store graphs, and a survey connecting the principle of inclusion-exclusion to Möbius inversion. Finally, there are two articles on pedagogy specifically related to discrete mathematics courses: a summary of adapting a group discovery method to larger classes, and a discussion of using logic in encouraging students to construct proofs.