Combinatorics Through Guided Discovery

Dublin Core


This book is an introduction to combinatorial mathematics, also known as combinatorics. The book focuses especially but not exclusively on the part of combinatorics that mathematicians refer to as "counting." The book consist almost entirely of problems. Some of the problems are designed to lead you to think about a concept, others are designed to help you figure out a concept and state a theorem about it, while still others ask you to prove the theorem. Other problems give you a chance to use a theorem you have proved. From time to time there is a discussion that pulls together some of the things you have learned or introduces a new idea for you to work with. Many of the problems are designed to build up your intuition for how combinatorial mathematics works. Above all, this book is dedicated to the principle that doing mathematics is fun. As long as you know that some of the problems are going to require more than one attempt before you hit on the main idea, you can relax and enjoy your successes, knowing that as you work more and more problems and share more and more ideas, problems that seemed intractable at first become a source of satisfaction later on.

There are six chapters as well as an appendix with three additional topics:

What is Combinatorics?
Applications of Induction and Recursion in Combinatorics and Graphy Theory
Distribution Problems
Generating Functions
The Principle of Inclusion and Exclusion
Groups Acting on Sets

The three supplmental sections deal with relations, mathematical induction, and exponential generating functions.


Kenneth P. Bogart


Cut Rita Zahara


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Combinatorics Through Guided Discovery.pdf



Kenneth P. Bogart, “Combinatorics Through Guided Discovery,” Open Educational Resource (OER) , accessed October 26, 2020,

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