CSE 20: Discrete Math for CS --- SPRING 2019 ARCHIVED SITE: DEPRECATED


Course grades will be computed using the following weights.

55% of overall score
15% midterm + 40% final exam. The final exam will be divided into two unequal parts: midterm content and post-midterm content. The midterm component of the overall score will be the highest between the original midterm score and the score on midterm content in the final exam.
40% of overall score
Weekly homework has three parts: warmup assignments (5% of overall score), main assignments (25% of overall score), and follow up assignments (10% of overall score). The warmup assignments are open to collaboration with other students in CSE 20 this quarter; they are autograded and may be submitted as many times as you'd like up to the deadline. The main HW assignments may be completed individually or with a partner. The followup assignment must be completed individually and independently. The lowest score in each category is dropped before calculating the average for that category.
5% of overall score
Earn full credit by attending and participating in at least ten classes, as well as completing surveys and the introduction and notation assignment.

Minimum letter grade cutoffs

After your weighted average is calculated, letter grades will be assigned based on the following grading scale:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D, F
  >97    93-96.99     90-92.99    87-89.99    83-86.99    80-82.99    77-79.99    73-76.99    65-72.99    Below 64.99 

We may adjust the above scale to be more lenient (depending on the overall class performance), but we guarantee that we will not adjust the scale to make it harder to get a better grade. In addition, you must pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Regrade policy

Regrades need to be requested within three days of announcement of grades. The regrade window will be set in Gradescope. In the regrade request, include a brief but detailed explanation of why you think there was an error in the grading. A regrade request may lead to us reviewing the entire assignment and may lead to the score being adjusted up or down depending on any errors found in the original grading.

Exam policy

There will be one midterm exam (outside of class) and one final exam (outside of class). No makeup tests will be given. In the event of a missed midterm exam, the final exam score on the corresponding content will be used to replace the exam score.

The final exam will be cumulative and will cover all material from the whole term.

You may not use calculators on any exams but you may use handwritten notes, double-sided on half a sheet of letter-sized paper (or smaller sized index card).

You must have a passing score on the final exam in order to pass the course.

Homework policy

Each week, assignments will help you work towards mastery of the course concepts and techniques. There are three parts to each week's assignments.

  • Warmup assignments will help guide your explorations of the content. They are submitted individually through Gradescope. You may collaborate with any student in the class while working on the warmup assignment. You can post public questions about the warmup assignment to Piazza, discuss the questions and their answers with other students, and ask questions in office hours. You cannot use online resources other than the text book: this is primarily to ensure that we all use consistent notation and definitions through this quarter.
  • Main Homework assignments may be done individually or in pairs. Partners may be from either section of CSE 20 this quarter. You may find it useful to change partners between assignments. Problems should be solved together, not divided up between the partners. You may not collaborate on homework with anyone other than your partner. Homework will be graded for correctness, including clear and precise explanations and justifications of all answers.
  • Followup assignments must be completed individually and independently, with no collaboration with other students in the class or external resources. Homework will be graded for correctness, including clear and precise explanations and justifications of all answers.

All homework submissions must be typed and your name(s) and PID(s) must be clearly visible on the first page of the submission. Resources for mathematical typesetting language LaTeXare available; alternatively, you may use word processing software with equation editors. All assignments are turned in through Gradescope by 11pm on the day they are due. Illegible assignments or submissions with upload errors will not be graded. If working with a partner, submit only one submission per pair: one partner uploads the submission through their Gradescope account and then adds the other partner to the Gradescope submission by selecting their name in the "Add Group Members" dialog box; it's not enough to just list their names on the page. For step-by-step instructions on scanning and uploading your homework, see this handout.

Late homeworks will not be accepted. Submit early drafts well before the deadline to make sure partial work is graded.

For homework help, consult your textbook, class notes and podcast, lecture slides, instructors, TAs, and tutors. It is considered a violation of the policy on academic integrity to:

  • look or ask for answers to any assigned problems in other texts or sources, including the internet or other versions of this class, or to
  • discuss the main homework problems with anyone except your partner (unless you are in office hours with someone from the instructional team), or to
  • discuss the followup homework problems with anyone.

Homework solutions will be available online after the submission deadline.

Typesetting (LaTeX) Resources

All submitted homework for this class must be typed. You can use a word processing editor if you like (Microsoft Word, Open Office, Notepad, Vim, Google Docs, etc.) but you might find it useful to take this opportunity to learn LaTeX. LaTeX is a markup language used widely in computer science and mathematics. The homework assignments are typed using LaTeX and you can use the source files as templates for typesetting your solutions.

If you have never used LaTeX, we recommend cloud resources (e.g. Overleaf) that don't require you to download and install LaTeX on your local machine.

Alternatively, you can install a version of LaTeX on your computer e.g. TeXworks.

An open source LaTeX reference is here, and you can Google for many templates and examples to get you started.

Participation policy

The class portion of CSE 20 is built around collaborative problem solving. Your contributions to the class conversation are important. In recognition of the role of class, you must attend at least 10 lectures to earn full credit for participation. You can attend either lecture each day; you can get credit for at most one lecture each day.

In lectures, attendance will be recorded by Clicker participation. Clicker questions will be graded for participation only and not correctness of the response. Full credit for clicker points for a given day will be awarded for clicking in at least 80% of the time that day. Forgetting your clicker counts as missing a class, so please remember to bring it; register your clicker here. Sign in on the class roster when you enter the discussion section room to record your attendance.

Do not attempt to falsify iClicker or discussion participation or review quiz submissions. This would be considered a violation of academic integrity.

To help understand your background in math and CS as well as to get feedback on your class experience, there will be three surveys during the quarter. There is also an introduction and notation assignment. Your responses to these form part of the Participation component of your grade in this class.

Getting help

We want you to do well in the class and also to get excited about the material. Outside the class and discussion time, we encourage you to attend office hours to ask questions and talk about the class.

Drop-in group office hours: Each of the instructors, the TAs, and the tutors will hold office hours each week where you can drop by and ask questions about the homework, key concepts, or the class in general. See the Google calendar on the main page for times and locations of these office hours.

One-on-one tutoring sessions: TAs and tutors will be available for one-on-one sessions to catch up or dig deeper on tough concepts. These half-hour sessions must be booked in advance (booking procedure TBA) and cannot focus on the current HW assignment.

Accommodations for students with disabilities

Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) which is located in University Center 202 behind Center Hall. Students are required to present their AFA letters to Faculty (please make arrangements to contact me privately) and to the OSD Liaison in the department in advance (by the end of week 2, if possible) so that accommodations may be arranged. For more information, see here.

Academic Integrity

The Jacobs School of Engineering code of Academic Integrity is here. Academic integrity violations will be taken seriously and reported to the campus-wide Academic Integrity Office. Ignorance of the rules will not excuse you from any violations. Key facts about academic integrity related to CSE 20:

  • Solve each assignment in accordance with its allowed collaboration policy. Never search online references for solutions to graded work.
  • Do not share written solutions or partial solutions with other students in the class.
  • Prepare your final written solution without consulting any written or video material except class notes and the class text.
  • Do not use any external resources (other than the allowed index card of notes) during the in-class exams.
  • Before taking an exam or quiz, do not attempt to obtain information about the contents of the exam from students who have already taken it.
  • After taking an exam or quiz, do not discuss its contents with anyone in the class who has not yet taken it. Do not post information about it or share information about it with other who haven't taken it.


The IDEA Engineering Student Center, located just off the lobby of Jacobs Hall, is a hub for student engagement, academic enrichment, personal/professional development, leadership, community involvement, and a respectful learning environment for all. The Center offers a variety of programs, listed in the IDEA Center Facebook page and the Center web site. The IDEA Center programs support both undergraduate students and graduate students.

Educational Research

This class is participating in research to understand an array of specific classroom and learning experience that students have in response to the pedagogical and curricular decisions instructors make and to address the following research questions:

  • What pedagogies lead to better learning outcomes, and for which students?
  • What educational practices increase the persistence and success of students, particularly those from underrepresented groups?
  • What student practices lead to increased learning and success in real-world settings?
Answers to these questions will inform teaching practice at UC San Diego, and also have the potential to contribute to the global knowledge base of how to improve student learning in a large university setting.

For details on this research and to understand the consent process, please see this document. In particular, if you consent to participate in this study, no action is needed. If you DO NOT consent to participate in this study, or you choose to opt-out at any time during the quarter, please submit this form online. Your instructor will not have access to the list of students who opted out until after grades are posted. Note that you must separately opt-out of the study for each course involved in this study.