MATH 1090 3.00 M
Introduction to Logic
for Computer Science

Winter Term 2013

"You" in this outline refers to a student enrolled in the course. "I" and "me" refer to Richard Ganong, the instructor of this section.


See the York Calendar for the official prerequisite for this course. A new official prerequisite for this course was approved in September 2007. The current prerequisite for MATH 1090 is "either MATH 1190 or MATH 1019". This reflects the STRONG wishes of Computer Science and Engineering that students should take a SOLID course in discrete mathematics, such as MATH 1019 or MATH 1190, BEFORE taking this course.

Students should have a SOLID grasp of what a set is, what a function is, and what a (binary, say) relation is (hence, of what a Cartesian product of sets is, what ordered pairs, ordered n-tuples, etc., are). The Department of Computer Science wants its majors to acquire such a solid grasp in FIRST year (if not in high school), BEFORE coming to MATH 1090, and they are right to want this. If you try to take this course before getting that background, you are asking for trouble. As if there were not enough trouble already in a course as tough as this one seems to be....

Such students: "Please, Ganong, we want more trouble."

Ganong: "OK, then take 1090 without passing 1190 or 1019 first."

Instructors and Teaching Assistants:

Section M                 Richard Ganong is the instructor.
(Tues 7-9:47 p.m.         David Fernandez and Alessandro      
in Curtis K):             Vignati are the graders.

There will be weekly tutorials on Tuesdays, 6-6:50 p.m., starting the second week of classes. The tutorial leader is Vignati.

Tutorial location: Curtis Lecture Hall J

Contact information for Ganong:

Office:          S625 Ross
Phone:           (416) 736-2100  extn. 66088

                 E-mail Survival Guide for corresponding with

                 Put "MATH 1090 question" or "MATH 1090 request"
                 or some such thing in the Subject Heading of the
                 mail.  Do not send me attachments.  It is safest
                 to send mail from a account.  York 
                 sometimes blocks mail from other sources, or
                 slings it into a spam folder, where I may not
                 think to look for many days.

                 Send only
                 plain text messages.  Do your BEST to use correct
                 English (grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.).  I
                 get annoyed with people who make no effort in these
                 regards.  Sentences always end with punctuation, and
                 begin with capital letters.  "Your" is not spelled
                 "ur"; "you" is not spelled "u".  Learn how and when
                 to use semicolons.  

What to          "Ganong" is best.  "Chief" is ok.  "Sir" is ok, if you
call me:         don't mind being called "sir" or "madam" in reply.

Office hours:    No fixed hours.  

                 If you want to talk with me outside class, just
                 walk right up and talk to me, or e-mail or phone
                 me, and we will arrange a time.  It's easy, and it
                 works!  Try it.

Course Webpage for Section M:

Look there for information about the course not given here. Announcements will appear there periodically throughout the term.


G. Tourlakis, Mathematical Logic. Wiley, 2008.

Evaluation (how the grade will be determined):

There will be two class tests (50- or 55-minute), graded assignments (probably 4-8 of these), and a 3-hour final exam during the exam period in April. Test dates will be announced in class at least two weeks in advance (but maybe not on the Web -- a reason to attend class). The first test will occur probably on 12 or 19 Feb. I will firm up the date by 25 January, I hope.

15% of the student's course grade will be determined by assignments. The remaining 85% of the course grade will be arrived at by the following formula, which perhaps LOOKS ugly, but is really simple:

85% of grade  =  max { .3 T + .55 E,   .55 T + .3 E },  where

T  =  the sum (out of 100) of the student's two test grades
      (50 being the maximum possible score on each), and

E  =  the student's final exam grade (out of 100).

It is easy to see that this means that if a student does better on
the two tests collectively than on the exam, the tests count 55%
and the exam 30%, whereas these weights are reversed if the student
does better on the exam than on the tests.  I.e., each student's 
BEST performance is weighted highest.

The last day to drop this course without receiving a grade is Friday, 15 March.

It is imperative that you SERIOUSLY assess your standing in the course relative to the grade you hope to get in it, and take appropriate steps as necessary by 15 March. Roughly 95% of students do WORSE on the final exam than they do on the assignments and class tests in my courses. (There are various obvious reasons for this; perhaps the chief ones are that the exam tests knowledge of the ENTIRE course, and that a 3-hour testing period allows the instructor to ask more demanding questions than a 55-minute testing period.) The time to bear down in a mathematics course is at the beginning. Do not assume that you will magically do far better on the exam than you did during the term. ... If you want to talk with me near the drop date about whether you should stay in the course, I will be most happy to talk to you about that. But I cannot tell people what to do; the choice is ultimately yours.

More advice:

It is a serious error to get a slow start in this course. You go away for one class (i.e., three classes...) and return, and find yourself lost. Or arrive a week late. I have NO sympathy for people who miss class for reasons other than MANDATORY religious holiday or sufficiently serious illness or family "trouble" (illness, death and such).

At York, the typical attendance in mathematics classes is around 60% or less. This, to me, says that at least 40% of the "students" in those classes get the mark they deserve (and it is not a pretty mark). If you have a part-time job, you should be a part-time student. The more you work, the less time you have to be a student, and the more years it should take to get a meaningful degree. Simple.

One MATH 1090 student one year came to my office at some point, saying that he missed something I handed out/ handed back. Which is fine. Attendance is up to you. This person said something like, "I have a job, so I can't always come to class." BULL ROAR. UTTER NONSENSE. Here is the correct statement:

"I have a job, so I enrol in a class that meets when I do NOT work. I attend EVERY class."

It is ASTONISHING to me that people actually say such things publicly and think they somehow make sense. They DON'T.

Another student recently told me "I have come to ALMOST every class this term in MATH 1090 when I was not sick." This was said as if it were something of which to be proud. It isn't. The person's reason for missing class on a particular day was NOT good. ("I had to study for a big test." Ridiculous.)

The prize-winner was just this week: This bozo comes up to me and says right out that he is taking another class at the same time as MATH 1090. Wants to know when the test dates are, and which part of Tuesday night the tests will happen. Just astonishing.

The DEFAULT is that one attends EVERY class. If you are one of the "best" students in a course I teach, you MAY be able to skip classes and photocopy all the notes and handouts from another student, and just read the text. (But I very much doubt it. I have been teaching for over 30 years, and essentially no one has ever taken a course with me, skipped classes and "gotten away with it".)

Unfortunately, I am not the world's most inspiring or entertaining lecturer (I have to use notes all the time, for one thing.) But basing the course on WHAT IS DONE IN CLASS, and NOT on what is in the textbook, is the only way I have every known to run a course. A live teacher is always potentially superior to a text. I have taught from many texts, and have NEVER found a text I liked enough to keep me from diverging from it significantly in class.

We may prove statements, solve problems, use notation and make definitions DIFFERENTLY from the way the text proves, solves, uses or makes them. In all such cases you are responsible for knowing the proofs, methods, notation and definitions FROM CLASS, not those in the text. Therefore:

It is extreme folly to skip classes and just study the text.

If you miss a lecture, find someone who takes SUPERB notes and borrow hers/his, to discover what you missed. ("Superb" means: (S)he writes down not only everything written on the board but everything I say in class.)

Picking up handouts, graded work, etc.:

I rarely bring handouts or graded tests or assignments to class twice. You'll have to come to my office to get such things if you missed getting them when they were returned.

Missing Tests:

There are two acceptable reasons for missing a test, basically: Religious reason, and medical excuse. The second reason is by far the more common one. (OK, maybe death in the family is another reason.)

If a religious holiday interferes with a test date in this course, you will know about that MANY days in advance, and it is your responsibility to come to me and point this out. To be excused from the test you will have to supply me with a detailed letter from your spiritual guru about the missed test.

If you miss a test because of illness, telephone or e-mail me WITHIN TWO DAYS of missing it, or have a relative or friend call or e-mail me within two days of missing it. If you wait longer than two days, I will not be pleased, and may just give you a 0. After you notify me:

You will normally have to supply me with a detailed, legible letter, signed by a doctor, explaining clearly whether the doctor feels that you were unable to write the missed test, and WHY. A tiny scrawled note that says nothing about inability to write the missed test is not good enough.

I will telephone doctors to verify that they have written these letters, and to clarify them, if necessary. WHEN YOU ARE IN THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE getting the letter, you must

give the doctor written permission, THEN,

allowing her to discuss your case with me on the phone, LATER, when I call her. Doctors will not discuss a case with me, without such written permission from the patient (you).

If you have a legitimately missed test, your course mark will be computed not according to the original marking scheme but in a "fair" way that bases it on certain parts of the final exam instead of on the missed test. York does not require instructors to give make-up tests, and I never give them.