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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course provides a basic-level introduction to some areas of Discrete Mathematics that are of particular relevance to Computing. The course starts with a simple introduction to formal languages (starting from Regular Expressions and Finite-State Automata); it continues with an introduction to Predicate Logic (assuming basic familiarity with Propositional Logic); it concludes with an introduction to probability, focussing on Bayesian reasoning.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Wamberto Vasconcelos
  • Dr Frank Guerin

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2
  • One of CS1014 Foundations of Computing Science 1 (Passed) or CS1016 Foundations of Computing Science 1 (Passed) or CS1022 Computer Programming and Principles (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Three main topics will be covered: 1. Introduction to formal languages: finite-state machines, regular expressions, Kleene's theorem, pushdown automata, context-free languages. 2. Introductory statistics for computing: Probability, Combinations, Permutations, Bayes' rule; the noisy channel model; principles of descriptive and inferential statistics; principles of hypothesis testing (null hypothesis, type-1 and type-2 errors, etc). 3. Topics in logic and set theory, including and introduction to predicate logic; the cardinality of Infinite sets; Cantor's diagonal argument; simple abstract applications to computability. Throughout the course, there will be an emphasis on proof methods, including methods such as proof by mathematical induction, and proof by contradiction.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 2-hour written exam (75%). Continuous assessment, consisting of maths problems (25%) Resit: 2-hour written exam (75%). The continuous assessment mark will be carried forward. (25%)

Formative Assessment

Marked coursework will be returned to students within 2 weeks of submission. Consequently, this will play a role as formative (as well as summative) asessment.


Marked coursework will be returned to students. Further explanations will be offered in class.

Course Learning Outcomes


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