# Portal:Discrete mathematics

**Discrete mathematics** is the study of mathematical structures that are fundamentally discrete in the sense of not supporting or requiring the notion of continuity. Discrete objects can be enumerated by integers. Topics in discrete mathematics include number theory (which deals mainly with the properties of integers), combinatorics, logic, graphs, algorithms, and formal languages.

Discrete mathematics has become popular in recent decades because of its applications to computer science. Discrete mathematics is the mathematical language of computer science. Concepts and notations from discrete mathematics are useful in studying and describing objects and problems in all branches of computer science, such as computer algorithms, programming languages, cryptography, automated theorem proving, and software development. Conversely, computer implementations are tremendously significant in applying ideas from discrete mathematics to real-world applications, such as in operations research.

The set of objects studied in discrete mathematics can be finite or infinite. In real-world applications, the set of objects of interest are mainly finite, the study of which is often called **finite mathematics**. In some mathematics curricula, the term "finite mathematics" refers to courses that cover discrete mathematical concepts for business, while "discrete mathematics" courses emphasize discrete mathematical concepts for computer science majors.

## Selected article

A labeled graph on 6 vertices and 7 edges |

**graph**is a set of objects called

*points*,

*nodes*, or

*vertices*connected by links called

*lines*or

*edges*. In a proper graph, which is by default

*undirected*, a line from point

*A*to point

*B*is considered to be the same thing as a line from point

*B*to point

*A*. In a

*digraph*, short for

*directed graph*, the two directions are counted as being distinct

*arcs*or

*directed edges*. Typically, a graph is depicted in diagrammatic form as a set of dots (for the points, vertices, or nodes), joined by curves (for the lines or edges). Graphs have applications in both mathematics and computer science, and form the basic object of study in graph theory.

Applications of graph theory are generally concerned with labeled graphs and various specializations of these. Many problems of practical interest can be represented by graphs. The link structure of a website could be represented by a directed graph: the vertices are the web pages available at the website and a directed edge from page *A* to page *B* exists if and only if *A* contains a link to *B*. A graph structure can be extended by assigning a weight to each edge of the graph. Graphs with weights, or weighted graphs, are used to represent structures in which pairwise connections have some numerical values. For example if a graph represents a road network, the weights could represent the length of each road. A digraph with weighted edges in the context of graph theory is called a network. Networks have many uses in the practical side of graph theory, network analysis (for example, to model and analyze traffic networks).

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## Selected picture

**Penrose tiling**, an example of a tiling that can completely cover an infinite plane, but only in a pattern which is non-repeating (aperiodic).

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## Did you know?

- ...that there are precisely six convex regular polytopes in four dimensions? These are analogs of the five Platonic solids known to the ancient Greeks.
- ...that the Catalan numbers solve a number of problems in combinatorics such as the number of ways to completely parenthesize an algebraic expression with
*n*+1 factors?

## Categories

*Topics in Discrete mathematics*

Major areas | Combinatorics | Graph Theory | Game theory |
---|---|---|---|

## Related portals

Algebra |
Analysis |
Categorytheory |
Computerscience |
Cryptography |
Discretemathematics |
Geometry |

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Mathematics |
Numbertheory |
Physics |
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Set theory |
Statistics |
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