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## A big picture of discrete structure

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### #1warnexus  Prime Members

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 05:48 PM

I admit I did not do well in this class twice. I'm going to take this class for my 3rd time in the fall. I have two different instructors who are both researchers (strange I never done well in a class taught by a researcher.) I have done the homework but I cannot picture the big picture of what I am suppose to get out of the class. My strategies was trying to figure out patterns of the answer and well it did not do any good. And when I think I understand it, when I come to take the test, I'm blanked out.

Long story short: I need a big picture of what discrete structures is all about before I take it again. I feel this is my best motivation to doing well.

### #2swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 07:45 PM

Discrete maths (which I assume is the same course as your discrete structures) is a giant dumping ground for everything that doesn't quite fit in other maths classes. That said, it's possibly one of the most essential classes for a computer scientist. Basic set manipulations, Boolean logic, asymptotic notation, graphs and trees...

It also contains a bunch of stuff that you will probably skate by without: formal proofs, induction, etc. You should learn them, but plenty of students don't.

As for the big picture, that's kind of tricky, given the number of subjects covered. Set theory is essential if you ever land in a databases, you'll need boolean logic if you want to do much of anything in the hardware field, and I hope you've already encountered asymptotic notation, graphs and trees in a algorithms or data structures course...

You should be taking advantage of everything the university has to offer: tutoring sessions with the professor or a TA, the university's maths support center, and of course, read the damn textbook, thoroughly.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

### #3warnexus  Prime Members

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:49 AM

Thanks swiftcoder. I will just go with the textbook for now

### #4Pink Horror  Members

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:08 PM

For me, the big idea behind discrete math is just the theory for what you can do with bits, defining how anything based off of discrete values must work, and what you could theoretically do with them. I don't directly use it every day - I doubt I could just walk in off the street and pass your course's test right now - but I think it's useful to have some understanding of it.

### #5warnexus  Prime Members

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:09 PM

For me, the big idea behind discrete math is just the theory for what you can do with bits, defining how anything based off of discrete values must work, and what you could theoretically do with them. I don't directly use it every day - I doubt I could just walk in off the street and pass your course's test right now - but I think it's useful to have some understanding of it.

bits as in base 2 numbers 0 and 1. I never knew the discrete structure would be used for that. But I will bear in mind about this.

### #6King Mir  Members

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 02:53 PM

Bit are a special case of modular arithmetic, when the modulus is two. Algebra of higher modulus is used in cryptography and compression, but boolean algebra is used everywhere.

But yeah, discrete structures is a broad collection of semi-related topics, so there's not much of a big picture.

### #7warnexus  Prime Members

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:54 PM

Bit are a special case of modular arithmetic, when the modulus is two. Algebra of higher modulus is used in cryptography and compression, but boolean algebra is used everywhere.

But yeah, discrete structures is a broad collection of semi-related topics, so there's not much of a big picture.

thanks king!

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