Math 184 (Winter 2019)

Enumerative Combinatorics (Math 184, Winter 2019)

Instructor: Nina Otter
(lastname AT math dot ucla dot edu)

Class schedule: MWF 4:00 - 4:50 pm, MS 5137
Discussion: Tu 4:00 - 4:50 pm, MS 5137

Note: There will be a revision lecture on Thursday 14 March at 5-6 pm in MS 5128

Office Hours: W 5-6 pm and F 3-3.50 pm MS 5626 or by appointment.

Teaching Assistant: David Soukup
(lastname AT math dot ucla dot edu)
TA Office Hours: Th 10-11am and F 5-6pm, MS 3921

Textbook: Miklos Bona, Introduction to Enumerative and Analytic Combinatorics, Second Edition (MB), CRC Press, Second Edition
(see the CRC page)

Additional reading will be posted on this page if necessary.

Grading: Homework: 10% + 10%, Midterm: 20%, Final: 60%.

Difficulty: This is an advanced undergraduate course in Enumerative Combinatorics and its Application. The students are expected to learn the theory and solve problems on the homeworks. The exams and especially the homeworks will be challenging and require problem solving abilities.


We will cover selected book sections. Although much of the material will follow the textbook, I will change the style of presentation, as well as the order of sections. Some additional material will be presented in class, so class participation is very important.

Approximate course content by weeks:


There will be two different types of assignments, which will alternate on a weekly basis:

The exercise sheets will be posted here (on the course webpage) on Monday in week 2, 4, 6, 8, and will have to be handed in (in writing) on Tuesday of the following week at 4pm. These sheets will be graded and count towards 10% of the final grade.

About the SYOP sheets: A mathematics education will ideally enable you to build your mathematical skillset and pursue mathematical questions on an independent basis. For this I believe that it is crucial that you are given the opportunity to develop your own way of learning and doing mathematics. During the weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 you will therefore be asked to put in writing a discussion of some topic covered in the lecture, some additional topic that you might find interesting (but is still closely related to the lecture content), or a solution to an exercise of your choice (this does not need to be from the book, but needs to be related to the lecture content). For this assignment I would like you to pay particular attention to the quality of your (mathematical) writing. Of course, it goes without saying that mere transcription of parts of the book or other sources will not be accepted. Be creative!

You will have to hand in SYOP sheets on Tuesday at 4pm in week 2, 4, 6, 8. The SYOP sheets will be graded with a P/NP and count towards 10% of the final grade. All I ask you is to make a serious and honest attempt!

No late assignments will be accepted.

Exercise sheets:

Practice problems:

  • Practice 1
  • Practice 2
  • Practice 3

    Midterm and Final Exams

    Midterm: Monday 11 February 2019 in class

    Final: Thursday 21 March 2019, 11.30am - 2.30pm

    Last updated 10 Mar 2019