# MAS334 Combinatorics

Lecturer: Neil Strickland

## Module information

The official course information page is

here. Notes, problem sheets, solutions,
past papers and so on can be found on this page. There is also a

Blackboard page for the course,
with a discussion board and links for uploading homework.

## Exam information

The format of the exam and the arrangements for taking it will
be as in 2020-21. You can find the 2020-21 exam and solutions
below. There will be 7 questions of varying lengths, all
compulsory. Some questions will ask you to state definitions
or results from the notes, or reproduce proofs from the notes.
However, most questions will instead ask you to solve problems,
which will often require some creative modification of the
methods explained in the notes. There is a
separate document with
more details.

## Lecture notes

Both versions of the notes contain links to various interactive
demonstrations (described below) and videos.

The HTML version is new. It should be better than the PDF for
viewing on a phone, or for reading with a screen reader. I would
welcome any comments on either of these use cases.

I strongly recommend that you should attend lectures in person if
possible. If you cannot do that, I primarily recommend that you
work from the notes and embedded videos and demonstrations, but
you may also want to look at the
2020-21 lecture recordings. There is also
a lecture progress page where you can see
which sections of the notes have been covered in lectures.

## Interactive demonstrations

There is a set of

interactive demonstrations
explaining many of the ideas in the course. I will talk through these
in lectures, there are attached YouTube videos, and you can try them
yourself at other times. These are experimental and under development. I
welcome comments about the extent to which they are comprehensible, useful
or interesting.

## Recommended books

The main recommended book is

*Aspects of Combinatorics* by
Victor Bryant

(

Amazon,

Google Books).

The author taught combinatorics in Sheffield for many years.

Another possibility is

*A First Course in Combinatorial
Mathematics * by Ian Anderson

(

Amazon,

Google Books).

## Homework schedule

In Weeks 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10 there will be

online tests.
These will use the same system that was used for MAS220 and MAS221
last year, so it should be familiar for most students.

In weeks 2, 4, 6, 9 and 11 I will issue offline problem sheets.
Each of these will specify one or two problems that you can
submit via

Blackboard; I will
then mark your work and return it the following week. These problem
sheets, and subsequently the solutions, will appear on this page.

Formal assessment will be based solely on the final exam.

## Past exam papers

The 2020-21 exam was online and open book. For 2021-22 we will
revert to having a closed book exam in the exam hall.

## Office hours

Official office hours are 11:00-12:00 on Fridays. I will expect people
to come to my office (Hicks J26) by default, but you can email me to
arrange an online meeting if you prefer. If you find me in my
office at some other time, then I may well be able to talk to you, but
I do not guarantee it.

## Contact details

Neil Strickland

N.P.Strickland@sheffield.ac.uk

Hicks Building, Room J26

0114 2223852