Alexander Knop
S.E. Warschawski Assistant Professor
Research interests:
Proof complexity, structural complexity, differential privacy.
En Ru

For UCSD students
Math 184A (Combinatorics)

Winter, 2018 Spring, 2019



The textbook for this course is: Miklòs Bòna, A Walk Through Combinatorics, Third Edition, 2011
Grading policy:
Student's cumulative average will be computed by taking the maximum of these two grading schemes:
  • 10% Homework, 25% Midterm I, 25% Midterm II, 40% Final Exam
  • 10% Homework, 30% maximum of Midterm I and Midterm II, 60% Final Exam
Homework is a very important part of the course and in order to fully master the topics it is essential that you work carefully on every assignment and try your best to complete every problem.
Your total homework score will be based on the total possible homework points available. After each homework you can complete an optional online HW review highlighting key concepts. If you complete the questionnaire for an assignment and that assignment is your lowest homework score, that score will be dropped from your homework average.
Homework may be done alone or in a group of at most 5 people. Partners may be in any of the sections of the class. You are free to change partners between assignments. Problems should be solved together, not divided up between partners. For homework help, consult your textbook, class notes, lecturer, and TAs. It is considered a violation of the policy on academic integrity to:
  • look or ask for answers to homework problems in other texts or sources, including the internet, or to
  • discuss the homework problems with anyone outside of your group (unless you are in office hours with someone from the instructional team).
Homework solutions should be neatly written or typed and turned in through Gradescope by 11pm on Friday. Illegible assignments will not be graded. For step-by-step instructions on scanning and uploading your homework, see this handout. Late homeworks will not be accepted. Submit early drafts well before the deadline to make sure partial work is graded.
Quizzes are another significant part of the course. We will have them in the last ten minutes of each Friday lectures and they will cover the material covered in the previous three lectures.
Peer-review sessions:
One of the most important parts of being a mathematician is being able to find flaws in your own and other's proofs. In order to help you learn this skill you will have short peer-review sessions during your discussions.
Discussion Board:
The Piazza forum for our class where questions can be posted and answered. It is a very helpful resource!

Office Hours

  • 5880A, AP&M building,
    • Monday: 11 AM - 12 PM
    • Wednesday: 3 - 3:50 PM

Teaching assistants

  • Renee Mirka,
    6436, AP&M building:
    • Wednesday: 2-3 PM
    • Fridays: 10-12 AM


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
March 31 April 01
2 Mathematical Induction
April 02 April 03
1 Pigeonhole Principle
April 04 April 05
4 Binomial coefficient identities
April 06
April 07 April 08
4 Binomial coefficient identities
April 09 April 10
5 Partitions
April 11 April 12
5 Partitions
April 13
April 14 April 15
6.1 Cycles in permutations
April 16 April 17
Catch up Review
April 18 April 19
Midterm I
April 20
April 21 April 22
6.1 Cycles in permutations
April 23 April 24
6.1 Cycles in permutations
April 25 April 26
6.1 Cycles in permutations
April 27
April 28 April 29
6.1 Cycles in permutations
April 30 May 01
6.1 Cycles in permutations
May 02 May 03
8.1 Ordinary Generating Functions
May 04
May 05 May 06
8.1 Ordinary Generating Functions
May 07 May 08
8.1 Ordinary Generating Functions
May 09 May 10
9.1-9.3 Graph Theory
May 11
May 12 May 13
9.1-9.3 Graph Theory
May 14 May 15
Catch up Review
May 16 May 17
Midterm II
May 18
May 19 May 20
9.1-9.3 Graph Theory
May 21 May 22
10.1 Trees
May 23 May 24
10.1 Trees
May 25
May 26 May 27
Memorial Day observance
May 28 May 29
10.1 Trees
May 30 May 31
10.3 Counting walks using powers of the adjacency matrix
June 01
June 02 June 03
11 Coloring and Matching
June 04 June 05
11 Coloring and Matching
June 06 June 07
Catch up Review
June 08
June 09 June 10 June 11 June 12 June 13
Final Exam
June 14 June 15