Course Overview:

The Probabilistic Method is a powerful tool in tackling many problems in discrete mathematics. It belongs to those areas of mathematics which have experienced a most impressive growth in the past few decades. Roughly speaking, its basic idea can be described as follows. In order to prove existence of a combinatorial structure with certain properties, we construct an appropriate probability space, and show that a randomly chosen element of this space has the desired property, with positive probability. This course provides a gentle introduction to the Probabilistic Method, with emphasis on methodology. We will try to illustrate the main ideas by showing the application of probabilistic reasoning to various combinatorial problems. 


  • The Probabilistic Method, Third Edition, 2008, by N. Alon and J.H. Spencer

Class time and Location:
Saturday and Monday 10:00-12:00 AM (Fall 2018), Room 204/1. 

General mathematical sophistication; and a solid understanding of Algorithms, Linear Algebra, and Probability Theory, at the advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level, or equivalent.


  • Homework – 10%
  • Midterm – 40%
  • Endterm – 50%

Midterm Examination 1: Monday, 95/02/06,  10:00-12:00 AM
Midterm Examination 2: Saturday, 95/03/01, 10:00-12:00  AM
Final Examination: Monday, 95/03/10, 08:00-12:00  AM

I’ll be having office hours for this course on Saturday and Monday 08:30–10:00 AM. If this isn’t convenient, email me at or talk to me after class.

Stu. Num.      Midterm 1     Midterm 2   Homework   Final

94422052      26.3/30         26/30            3.9/5              9.9/12  
93422001      3.8/50           18.5/30          2/5                 4/12
94420000     19.2/30         17.5/30          2/5                 6.9/12     
M. M.             26.7/30          28.5/30         5/5                 9/12