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Discrete and Combinatorial Mathematics: An Applied Introduction, Fifth Edition Hardcover – July 27, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0201726343 ISBN-10: 0201726343 Edition: 5th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 5 edition (July 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201726343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201726343
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 8.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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The level of rigor is very high, but the simple explanations to go with it are not present.
Judah
I also don't like that a lot of the harder problems at the end of the sections are even numbered, so that you don't have a way to see how they are worked.
D. Barker
While I think discrete sucks, I think this book does a good job for the discrete courses I did.
another reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I will once again be teaching discrete mathematics this summer, so I am searching through the mathematical publishing pathways looking for a suitable textbook. Therefore, that is the context within which I examined this book.

It certainly is the largest discrete book that I have encountered; including the appendices and problem solutions, there are over one thousand pages. Grimaldi has tried to include every topic that falls under the discrete mathematics tent. Therefore, this is a book that could be used for a two semester sequence in discrete mathematics.

When examining discrete books for possible adoption I start with the simple premise that logic, set theory and functions and relations must be covered very early. In my ideal world, they are the first three chapters. Set theory and relations are so fundamental a part of other areas that I am surprised when authors don't cover them first. The first chapter in this book covers basic counting principles. While this doesn't break too much from my ideal sequence, I see no overpowering reason why fundamental counting should be before set theory. Given that the rules of counting for sums and products can easily be related to sets, there is a strong justification for putting set theory first.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tomas Selnekovic on January 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book, carefully chosen examples, ideal for self study. I like it very much. My advice is not to skip any section or solved examples or you might be lost.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judah on February 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a bad book if you are not already familiar with the basic concepts of the material. The author was more interested in showing worked examples than explaining concepts, and the more difficult problems in the exercise sections do not have solutions in the back of the book, so even 'self-learning' is extremely hard.

Unless you have a very good teacher, you will not benefit from the way the material is presented inside this book. 'Solutions' and 'examples' are presented 'as is' without explanations. One of my friends into math did mention it's not a bad reference guide for proofs, but he was as unimpressed with this book as a learning tool as I was. The level of rigor is very high, but the simple explanations to go with it are not present. I advise finding a good source on the subject instead of this unfriendly text, which has a target audience of math professionals.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By avgvstvs VINE VOICE on November 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a supplement to a summer course in Discrete Math, and since this was my first ever exposure to mathematical proof and dialog, I first thought this book mostly alien, with occaisional sections of brevity; it did help me fill in some gaps left behind in Rosen's book, especially on some basic proofs dealing with integers and with combinatorial reasoning--something this book is REALLY good at...
I'm in my first course of Combinatorics with a teacher that assumes we know alot more calculus than we do. We use Tucker's Applied combinatorics 5th, and I was cruising along just fine until we hit Generating Functions. Brick wall. Rosen's book didn't cover it (well; there's a great page of known identities, but not an intro-level version), neither did Epp, so I dusted this tome off my shelf and cracked it open... section 9.1 presents Generating functions on such an easy to use language and analytic explanation that I went from getting every problem wrong in Tucker's book to getting them all right; all due to the clarity of exposition.

I've also found that as my 'mathematical maturity' has grown in the last year, so has the comprehensibility of this text. It may be too deep for a beginner--I would agree that it would be too much for all but your brightest minus an excellent teacher--but this book teaches 'real math' and does so *very* well.

In conclusion, if you have the available student loan $$ and want a very good supplementary book that you really can take with you to higher classes, put this at the top of your list.

I also own Epp and Rosen's discrete math texts, and have to say that for me ultimately I needed all three as a beginner; plus a few extra books from the library for special topics. But what I learned stayed with me and all three have their positives and negatives, but if I were to choose only one to stay on my shelf, THIS would be the one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By avgvstvs VINE VOICE on December 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Out of the three main discrete math texts, Rosen, Epp, and this one--Grimaldi--this text unites the best parts of both; Epp has some really great explanations, but suffers from not having enough solutions and lacks depth. Rosen's book manages to write hundreds of words per concept while completely confusing new students in dense mathematical jargon.

I used this book as a supplement to my discrete math class in summer and as a supplement for a combinatorics class this past fall.

My mathematical 'maturity' when approaching discrete math was business calculus. (Yeah, I know that sucks, and all you mathematicians and engineers can laugh your hind off about it. Don't remind me.) So basically, I was behind the class in both this and in the combinatorics class this fall.

This book is best approached if you take the explanations it uses *while trying to solve the problems.* It seemed pitched high to me because Epp is focused on giving you concepts and Rosen is concerned with making sure you learn theory.

Grimaldi is interested in teaching you to solve problems.

This book also has the one of the *best* sections on recurrence relations. I thought Chen's book was king here, but this book, when working through gobs of problems, helps you learn them inside and out. It has two charts detailing what happens in a non-homegeneous recurrence relation, one that states general solutions, another that gives you a relation, its homogeneous counterpart, and changes the NH part and shows you how the general form changes.

Brilliant, and blows Tucker's "Applied Combinatorics" out of the water in clarity when solving recurrence relations.

Best book in its class.

(Got an A- and a B in those classes, for the results-minded.)

This is where this book became the holy grail.
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