Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


Do you love math but get bored in math class? Then this is the course for you!  Combinatorics is a fascinating branch of mathematics that applies to problems ranging from card games to quantum physics to the Internet.


The only prerequisite is basic algebra, however we will be covering a lot of material. A mathematically agile mind will be helpful. This course will be especially useful for students preparing for contests, such as the American Mathematics Competition, American Invitational Mathematics Examination, and USA Mathematical Talent Search

Topics will include:

  • Combinations and permutations
  • Discrete probability
  • Sequences and recurrences
  • Graph theory, with a focus on problem solving


The emphasis in this course is on exploration of new topics in math for students in high school. No grades are given for this course.

The Program

This course was offered through the High School Studies Program (HSSP), a project of the MIT Educational Studies Program. HSSP offers non-credit, enrichment courses to 7th–12th grade students on Sundays at MIT. This program is designed to give these students a chance to take courses in a wide variety of topics. Courses cover both academic and non-academic subjects. The classes are designed to be fun and interesting for students and to offer them an opportunity to learn about something in which they're interested.