Enumerative Combinatorics (Math 184, Spring 2022)

Instructor: Igor Pak
See email instructions below.

Class schedule: MWF 3:00 - 3:50, Bunche Hall 2160
Discussion: Th, MS 3:00-3:50, MS 5118

Office Hours: M 4-4:50 pm, MS 6125 or by appointment.

Teaching Assistant: David Soukup (soukup AT math.ucla.edu)
TA Office Hours: Tu and Th 4-5pm, in MS 3921 (out of the elevators, turn right twice).

Textbooks: 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: Homeworks: 20%, Midterm: 20%, Final: 60%.

Difficulty: This is an advanced undergraduate course in Enumerative Combinatorics and it 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.

Other expectations: I would guess that the average student should spend about 8-10 hours per week outside of class to get a decent grade. Much of this time should be spent on the homeworks, but some should be spent on reading the book and absorbing the class material.


We will cover selected book sections concentrating on Enumerative Combinatorics portions of the book, but less Analytic Combinatorics. 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 is here (click Math 184, weekly schedule).

Selected Zoom recordings and lecture notes are available on Canvas pages: here.

UPDATE: from Bona's book we covered the following sections and subsections:
1, 2.1, 2.3,, 3.1-3.4, 4.2-4.4, 4.5.1, 5.1.3 (no proofs), 5.2.2, 5.3, 5.5.1,,, 5.5.3, 7.1.1 (no proofs).
See also some background material from MN book and external links below.

Additional Reading

Home Assignments

The assignments will be posted here (on the course web page) in .pdf format. Unless announced otherwise, you need to upload solution to Gradescope (linked here). No late assignments will be accepted. Worst HA is dropped.

Midterm and Final Exams

Midterm: Mon May 9, 2022; in class: here.
Answers to 5: TFTFF TFFFF

See also practice midterm and practice final (from some previous year).

Final: Fri June 10, 2022, 11:30am-2:30pm, MS 5147.

Collaboration Policy

For the homeworks, you can form discussion groups of up to 3 people each. In fact, I would like to encourage you to do that. You can discuss problems but have to write your own separate solutions. You should write the list of people in you group on top of each HW.

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Last updated 6/3/2022