Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Course Overview

6.042J covers applications of Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science. The only prerequisite is 18.01. If you have already taken 18.310, you should not be taking 6.042J. There are 90-minute lectures two times per week. There are also mandatory 1-hour recitations twice per week focused on solving problems in small groups.


The lecture notes for each class are available in the lecture notes section. The notes and lectures will be similar, but not identical. You are responsible for all content of both.

Problem Sets

There is a problem set each week. Problem sets are generally released on Tuesday, due the following Monday evening at 9 PM, and returned in recitation on Wednesday. Be neat! Graders may deduct for sloppiness. Late homework is generally not accepted, but talk to your recitation instructor if a special circumstance arises. Please do not refer to course materials from previous terms. You may work with other students, but your writeup must be entirely your own. On the top of your homework, list:

  • All collaborators, other than course staff
  • All written sources that you consulted, other than course handouts from this term

If you had no collaborators and consulted no written sources, then write, "I worked alone." Homework without a collaboration statement will not be graded.


There are two 2-hour quizzes and a final exam. You may bring one 8.5" x 11" sheet with notes handwritten on both sides to each quiz. The final exam is open notes.


We compute a percentage score based on your coursework and then assign a letter grade as follows:

Grades Percentages
A 88.0 - 100%
B 78.0 - 87.9%
C 65.0 - 77.9%
D 50.0 - 64.9%
F Below 50%

Your percentage score is the weighted average of your scores in five areas: homework, recitation, quiz 1, quiz 2, and the final exam. Scores in the five individual areas are determined as follows:

Activities Percentages
Homework 25%
Recitation 20%
Quiz 1 20%
Quiz 2 20%
Final Exam 25%

Homework: We drop your lowest score. We may normalize an entire recitation section upward, if necessary to compensate for variations in grading standards.

Recitation: Each recitation is worth 0, 1, or 2 points. If you attend for the full period and work constructively with your team, then you get 2 points. If you skip part of recitation or glaringly fail to work constructively with your team, then you get 1 point. If you are absent, you get 0 points. We drop your two lowest recitation scores.

Quiz 1, Quiz 2, Final Exam: We'll cut 10% off the weight of your weakest exam.

Despite our best efforts, we sometimes make errors in grading. If you think your work on homework or exam was misgraded, please let us know! Requests for regrades must be submitted within a week after the return date and before the final exam.

We reserve the right to assign a better grade than the one determined by your scores.