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Discrete Mathematics: Puzzles, Patterns, and Proof

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Dates: June 12 – June 16, 2006

Location: Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA

Abstract. We all know that Discrete Math includes the underlying principles for the sorts of puzzles, patterns, and games that appeal to students in quantitative disciplines. This fact can be exploited to design engaging problems and activities for the introduction of topics in a traditional discrete math or “transitions” course. This workshop will present a series of examples along these lines and provide participants with the resources to design even more. Since many schools use one discrete math course to serve students with interests in computer science, mathematics, or teaching, special emphasis will be placed on how the topics and activities relate to the NCTM Standards, MAA CUPM guidelines, and the ACM curriculum recommendations. Activities developed will range from “paper and pencil” to manipulative to computer based.

Workshop topics will follow the new textbook, Discrete Mathematics: Mathematical Reasoning and Proof with Puzzles, Patterns and Games, by Doug Ensley and Winston Crawley, published by John Wiley and Sons. The workshop’s goal is for participants to leave with a wealth of material that can be used to stimulate their students’ interest in the topics of a traditional discrete math course, including logic and proof, functions and relations, counting and probability, and graph theory.

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The site http://www.ship.edu/~deensl/ is maintained by Doug Ensley, who is solely responsible for its content.