Introductory courses in discrete mathematics cover a variety of distinctive but interconnected topics, from the underpinnings of logic and set theory through overviews of combinatorics and graph theory, which lend themselves to equally diverse presentation styles. In Discrete Mathematics with Ducks
(Second Edition; CRC Press, 2018), dr. sarah-marie belcastro
has reimagined both course and text. The book is written in an accessible and lighthearted style yet covers the full breadth of conventional topics and several more besides: Early chapters include much valuable advice on how to read, do, and write mathematics—essential points of reference for the mathematically inexperienced or disinclined. Meanwhile, the book includes an introductory chapter on algorithms and several bonus chapters, for example on number theory and on complexity, which instructors and interested students can subset as they please. Each chapter is arranged to support a week of gentle prep reading and discovery-based classroom activity. This makes the book a solid resource for active learning in the mathematics curriculum as well as for independent and group study.
Suggested companion work: Daniel Pinkwater, Ducks!
Cory Brunson (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Quantitative Medicine at UConn Health.