Probabilistic method in combinatorics and algorithmics
LV-Nr. MAT.511UF
M. Kang, P. Sprüssel
Institute of Discrete Mathematics
Winter term 2017/18

Course dates

The course takes place from October 4th, 2017, until January 16th, 2018, each Wednesday from 2:00PM to 4:00PM in the seminar room AE02, Steyrergasse 30, Thursday, October 5th, from 2:00PM to 4:00PM in the seminar room AE06, Steyrergasse 30, and, starting from October 10th, each Tuesday from 12:00 to 2:00PM in the seminar room BMT01038, Stremayrgasse 16.

In the weeks from October 16th to 20th, October 30th to November 3rd, and from December 11th to 15th, the course will not take place.

The course will always consist of two lectures followed by an exercise session.

See TUGonline for a complete list of dates. (The dates without a remark "Lecture", "Exercises", or "Exam" are backup dates and are only to be used if other dates have to be cancelled.)

Points and grades

This course will be graded based both on the participation in the exercise sessions and points gained in a written exam at the end of the course. The exam will take 90 minutes; there will be a makeup exam end of february/beginning of march for those who missed the original exam or did not gain enough points to pass. For those who take part in the makeup exam, the points from that exam will replace the points from the original exam.

Dates of the exams

Regular exam: January 23rd, 2018, 12:15PM - 1:45PM
Makeup exam: TBA

You can bring a sheet of paper (size DIN A4) with any handwritten notes (both sides of the sheet may be used for the notes). Any other resources are prohibited at the exam.

Points gained from exercise sessions

The exercise sheets will be available about a week before the respective exercise session. You can then use an online system (link provided below) to mark which exercises you solved. The deadline for marking is precisely one hour before the start of the session. After the deadline, no changes can be made. The choice who shall present their solution of which exercise in class is made by a random generator. If you mark an exercise, you need to be present at the respective exercise session.

Points will also be gained by presenting solutions of exercises. Everyone needs to present at least one exercise in order to pass.

You should present solutions in a way that enables the other participants to follow your arguments. If it becomes apparent that someone did not do an exercise they marked in the system (it is fine if the exercise has been done, but mistakes have been made), this can be penalised by scaling all points from the exercises by 0.5. The same holds if someone marks exercises and does not turn up to the exercise session.

Online system for marking exercises

Before you log in for the first time, enter your student ID number; the system will then automatically send a password to your student email address. The system will update the list of participants at 8AM each day. If you just registered for the course, it will take a day until the system recognises you.


The total number of points is the sum P of the points M gained by marking solved exercises in the online system, the points S for presenting solutions, and the points E from the exam. Depending on P, the grade will be

P < 16   nicht genügend (5),
16 P < 20   genügend (4),
20 P < 24   befriedigend (3),
24 P < 28   gut (2),
28 P

  sehr gut (1).

Points for the exam

Up to 20 points can be earned in the exam.

Points for solving exercises

Up to 10 points can be earned by marking exercises. For each sheet, the points awarded for marking the exercises on this sheet will be

2 • (marked exercises) / (exercises on this sheet).

Out of the six exercise sessions, the best five will be counted for the total points.

If you miss a session, you will not be awarded any points for that session. Points lost by missing several sessions cannot be compensated.

Points for presenting solutions

Depending on the quality of the solution and the presentation, between 0 and 3 points will be awarded. If a student presents N solutions with an average of A per presentation, this will be worth S = A + log2N points.

Exercise sheets

Exercise sheet 1 for October 10th
Exercise sheet 2 for October 25th
Exercise sheet 3 for November 15th
Exercise sheet 4 for November 28th
Exercise sheet 5 for December 6th
Exercise sheet 6 for January 16th

Last changed 12th December 2017