Probabilistic Method (Math 218A, Fall 2021)

Instructor: Igor Pak
(see email instructions on the bottom of the page).

CCLE Website: is here.

Class schedule: MWF 3:00 - 3:50 pm, BOELTER 5420
If/when necessary, Zoom meeting link and password will be sent by email from the course my.ucla site.

Office Hours: M 4-4:50, MS 6125.

Grading: The grade will be based on attendance, class participation (20%), and homeworks (80%) which will be posted below.

Difficulty: This is a graduate class in Combinatorics. Students are assumed to be fully familiar with undergraduate Combinatorics and Graph Theory (see Math 180 and Math 184 here). On top of that, I will assume fluency with undergraduate Probability and Linear Algebra.


Much of the course will be dedicated to the study of Probabilistic Method with many examples and applications. I will also discuss Linear Algebra Method. We will follow various sections from the textbooks below.



I will assume you own or have access to the Alon-Spencer textbook. Selected relevant chapters from Jukna and from other sources will be posted on CCLE. Open source reading will be listed here.

Home assignments

These will be posted here. The solutions will need to be uploaded to via Gradescope, which is also linked to the course CCLE website.

Collaboration policy:
For the home assignments, 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 HA.

Click here to return to Igor Pak Home Page.

To e-mail me, click here and delete .zzz
Put Math 218A in the Subject line.

You must begin your email with "Dear Professor Pak," and nothing else in the first line.
Any and all grade discussion must be done from your official UCLA email. Enclose your UCLA id number and full name as on the id on the bottom.

Last updated 9/23/2021.