Discrete Math

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The discrete mathematics as a branch of mathematics concerned with mathematical operations on finite or at most countably infinite quantities, ie with discrete mathematical questions. In contrast to areas like analysis , which deals with continuous functions or curves on uncountable, infinite sets, continuity does not play a role in discrete mathematics.

The areas represented in discrete mathematics (such as number theory or graph theory ) are partly quite old, but discrete mathematics has long been overshadowed by "continuous" mathematics, which has been used in the natural sciences since the development of infinitesimal calculus (especially physics) has become the focus of interest. It was not until the 20th century that a multitude of new applications of discrete mathematics emerged due to the possibility of rapid digital data processing by computers (which naturally work with discrete states). At the same time, there was a rapid development of discrete mathematics, which was largely driven by issues related to computers ( algorithms , theoretical computer science , etc.).

An example of a field that lies at the intersection of analysis and discrete mathematics is numerical mathematics , which deals with the approximation of continuous by discrete quantities and with the estimation (and minimization) of the errors that occur.

Core areas

The core areas of discrete mathematics include:

In addition, discrete mathematics has made additional contributions in the following areas:

Science award

The Department of Discrete Mathematics German Mathematical Society awarded the two-year cycle to after the German mathematician Richard Rado named Richard Rado Prize for the best dissertation in discrete mathematics.


Studying discrete mathematics is possible at various universities by setting a corresponding focus within the mathematics course. Among others the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich , the Technische Universität Berlin , the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen , the Philipps-Universität Marburg , the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen , the Hochschule Bremerhaven , the RWTH Aachen , the Technische Universität München , the Fachhochschule Münster , the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland , the Kempten University of Applied Sciences , the Hof University of Applied Sciences , the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Technical University of Cologne treat discrete mathematics as a compulsory module in the basic course in computer science . Among the universities of applied sciences, the Mittweida University of Applied Sciences offers this option as part of a specialized master's degree.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. How to find the shortest route in a road network: Richard Rado Prize for the best dissertation in discrete mathematics (Philipps University April 29, 2008)
  2. Computer science course: course plan (StuPO 2015). Retrieved December 14, 2018 .