Discrete math is a branch of mathematics that involves structures that are separate and not continuous. This type of mathematics focuses on objects that include graphs, statements in logic, and integers.
In this case, the objects have different separate values. Most students find it difficult because discrete math uses tools such as invariants, induction, optimality, and logic.
Reasons Why Some Students Think Discrete Math Is Hard
If you intend to take a class in discrete mathematics, you may have doubts about whether it is an easy or difficult subject.
In general, most students will find discrete mathematics to be difficult when compared to ordinary math classes. Normal math classes of the same level such as linear algebra and calculus will be easier for most students.
However, when it comes to discrete mathematics, students have the first exposure to mathematical structures that need proof.
In most cases, students take discrete mathematics concurrently with linear algebra and calculus.
However, discrete mathematics is completely different from the two because it involves students proving mathematical concepts.
The need for this proof of concept is the reason why most students find it to be difficult.
In mathematics, finding proof is not easy. There is no obvious solution to mathematical problems.
Lest you forget, getting the proofs has no clear-cut steps, unlike the ordinary computational classes.
This is a clear indication that if you have not been in a previous class that involves proofs, discrete mathematics will not be an easy class for you.
Nonetheless, this does not mean that you will not perform well in discrete mathematics. With a lot of available resources online, you can still get tips and ways of making this class easy for you.
Even though it is hard for some students, this type of mathematics is essential in your academic journey. If you intend to proceed with higher-level math classes in the future, you have to take discrete math seriously.
Advanced levels of mathematics will always be proof-based.
Is discrete math easy?
Even though many students find discrete math to be difficult, a good understanding and a helpful professor can make it a simple class.
As much as it gives students their first exposure to proofs, several measures can limit the perceived difficulty of this subject.
The proof that you are asked for in this type of mathematics is not different from the other proofs you encounter in class subjects.
Rightly so, it should not be a hard task to find the right solutions as long as you understand all chapters in the textbooks. Discrete math can be easy if you look at many examples from textbooks and the internet.
Moreover, most of the concepts covered in discrete math are not difficult. Apart from basic probability, other concepts include inverse functions, basic combinatory, sets, and logic.
With the help of your professor, you can understand these concepts one at a time.
As mentioned earlier, the professor you choose will play a big part in ensuring that this subject becomes as easier as possible.
Discrete mathematics can also be an easy class for you if you have an early mathematics background that is good. If you previously took classes that involve proofs, you are likely to find discrete math easier to study.
In most learning institutions, expect to spend at least 15 hours a week in the class. However, this depends on other factors that can determine the simplicity of this subject.
How To Make Discrete Mathematics Simpler
1. Plan your schedule for the class earlier
When your classes begin, have an early plan of schedule for the entire semester. This makes it easy to identify weeks that are difficult and have plans to seek help from your professor.
Ensure you meet all the due dates so that you do not remain behind.
2. Take homework seriously
Taking your homework seriously is one of the key steps that will make you successful in discrete math classes.
Do your homework and seek clarifications from your professor in areas where you do not understand. In this way, you stand the chance to get good grades and correct mistakes that gave you bad exam results previously.
In your homework, use available resources such as Google, YouTube, and additional books to understand solving discrete math problems.
This is how you can get clues on how to solve study parts that you find difficult to comprehend.
When using the internet, learn and understand the material if you want to get ahead.
Avoid copying answers that you do not understand because you will struggle when doing discrete mathematics tests.
3. Prepare early
Preparing ahead is very important if you want to improve your chances of succeeding in this field of study. Do not start preparing for exams when they are around the corner.
For instance, you can watch YouTube playlists that feature discrete mathematics problem-solving. Go through all textbooks and seek help in areas where you do not understand.
4. Pick a good professor
If you are taking discrete mathematics in college, the difficulty of this subject will largely depend on the professor. As such, be sure to pick a professor that you can have a good rapport with.
Professors who cover materials one by one are the best. This is how students can understand and have time to ask questions about concepts that they do not understand.
The professor should know students cannot understand everything from the book. A good professor will give you ideas on how discrete math questions are framed in exams.
It is good to opt for professors who ask for simple proof or can give detailed explanations. All in all, check the recommendations of other students on a particular professor before making your choice.
5. Understand all chapters
To make discrete mathematics simpler, it is good to read books before attempting to solve any problem.
As a student, do not make the mistake of attempting to solve discrete mathematics problems before reading and understanding the relevant chapter.
As much as it may save you time, you will end up finding this class to be difficult. Most of the problems you solve are based on what you find in the books.
Without a doubt, you are likely to find discrete mathematics simpler if you read all chapters of your book.
Tips To Pass Discrete Mathematics If You Have Difficulties
- Take free online courses from credible websites. These are courses that will give you the basic foundation of discrete mathematics.
- With a recommendation from your professor, use good textbooks to get reference material for your studies. This is the perfect way to augment your online learning. Text-based studying is very significant in discrete mathematics.
- Seek advice from free online tutors who can help to simplify specific topics that you find difficult to understand. There are reliable organizations that offer free tutorial support that can boost your learning.
- Watch mathematical videos that can boost your understanding. Videos are a good way of supplementing your hard copy text learning. Look for sites where you can register for free videos.
- Get the services of a dedicated instructor so that you can have educational discussions on areas you find difficult to understand.
Discrete mathematics is vital not only for the understanding of college-level math but also the daily living. As an important technical skill especially in computer programming, it is good to understand it as early as high school.
Effective learning of discrete mathematics needs patience and time if you want to overcome the challenges that come with it. If you want to advance your skills, you can enroll in a local college course.
Joseph is a freelance journalist and a part-time writer with a particular interest in the gig economy. He writes about schooling, college life, and changing trends in education. When not writing, Joseph is hiking or playing chess.