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Computer Science - Theoretical Computer Science | Sets, Logic and Maths for Computing

Sets, Logic and Maths for Computing

Makinson, David

2008, XV, 302 p.


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  • Only minimal background in mathematics necessary
  • Careful selection of material that is really needed by students in the first two years of their university life in Computer Science and Information Sciences
  • Brings out the interplay between qualitative thinking and calculation
  • Teaches the material as a language for thinking in, as much as knowledge to be gained

University studies in computing require the ability to pass from a concrete problem to an abstract representation, reason with the abstract structure, and return with useful solutions to the specific situation.

The tools for developing these skills are in part qualitative – concepts such as set, relation, function, and structures such as trees and well-founded orders. They are also in part quantitative – notably elementary combinatorics and finite probability. Recurring in all of these are instruments of proof, both purely logical ones (such as proof by contradiction) and mathematical (the various forms of induction).


• Explains the basic mathematical tools required by students as they set out in their studies of Computer or Information Science

• Explores the interplay between qualitative thinking and calculation

• Teaches the material as a language for thinking, as much as knowledge to be acquired

• Uses an intuitive approach with a focus on examples for all general concepts

• Provides numerous exercises, solutions and proofs to deepen and test the reader’s understanding

• Includes highlight boxes that raise common queries and clear away confusions

• Tandems with additional electronic resources including slides on author's website


This easy-to-follow text allows readers to carry out their computing studies with a clear understanding of the basic finite mathematics and logic that they will need. Written explicitly for undergraduates, it requires only a minimal mathematical background and is ideal for self-study as well as classroom use.

Content Level » Lower undergraduate

Keywords » Computer - Computer Science - Computing - Discrete Mathematics - Information Science - combinatorics - logic - sets

Related subjects » Computational Science & Engineering - Theoretical Computer Science

Table of contents 

Collecting Things Together: Sets.- Comparing Things: Relations.- Associating One Item with Another: Functions.- Recycling Outputs as Inputs: Induction and Recursion.- Counting Things: Combinatorics.- Weighing the Odds: Probability.- Squirrel Math: Trees.- Yea and Nay: Propositional Logic.- Something about Everything: Quantificational Logic.

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