A New Kind of Math: Discrete with Beck Hasti


For most students, telling them to take a math class “for fun” would be like telling them to drink vodka “for the taste.” But I’m here to argue some unpopular opinions: vodka is delicious, and Math 240 with Beck Hasti should be your next elective. Here’s my pitch:

  1. Do the phrases “trigonometry,” “limit,” “derivative,” “integral,” or “solve for x” invoke uncontrollable anxiety? Worry not, because none of these appear in Math 240! In fact, Discrete Math will be completely different from any math class you’ve ever taken, which means you don’t need to be “good at math” to do well in it!
  2. It’s easy! Beck teaches all the concepts from the ground up, and does so at a slow pace with lots of fun examples. I’ve been in many, many math classes where lectures are a confusing mess of bad handwriting and unexplained jargon, but Math 240 is not one of them.
  3. By deepening your math background, you’ll realize that math isn’t a narrow set of procedures to regurgitate, but an expansive field of beautiful, diverse ideas built on intuitive proofs, not rote memorizations.
  4. You’ll get to make lots of cute drawings. Take a look at the delicious diagram above. It looks like something you’d doodle while bored in math class, but it’s also an example of graph coloring, an important topic in Discrete Math!
  5. In the words of Molly Laas, “I enjoy vodka’s pure, alcoholic wallop, the way condensation freezes to the glass and the way it produces numbness, then warmth in the mouth and throat.”

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