Somewhat broad category of mathematical
subjects that concern discrete, rather than continuous objects. A good example of this distinction is the kind of function
s you study in discrete math. Where as calculus
differentiates and integrates functions defined for every value in some interval of real number
s, the kind of function examined in discrete math is often called a 'mapping', a rule that associates each members in one set
with one in another. Often, these sets are finite, and so the elements are discrete, rather than continuous.
The topics addressed in a discrete math class vary, but it seems every curriculum has mathematical logic
, set theory
, formal proof
techniques, number theory
. Other topics you might run into are abstract algebra
(e.g., group theory
), graph theory
, linear programming
, game theory
and algorithmic complexity
In addition to teaching students very important methods of proof and logic, discrete mathematics also gives a fun rundown of topics with a lot of practical applications.
(In the US, the median income
of the few people who have the attention span and maturity to learn about things like discrete math is $81,240. True fact
This definition was routed to the Urban Dictionary server with an algorithm
based on graph theory, which is a part of discrete math. Even if you don't like it, you have to admit it's useful.