Course Information

Boolean Algebra and Logic

Winter 2015

Course staff and office hours


Prof. Sandy Irani
Office: DBH 4042
Office Hours: Tues 2:00PM-2:50PM, Friday 10:00AM=10:50AM

Teaching Assistants

Zachary Destefano
Office: DBH 4059
Office Hours: Tues 1:00-2:00PM

Mengfan Tang
Office: DBH 3211
Office Hours: Tues 3-4:00PM


Xikui Wang
Office: DBH 2069
Office Hours: Thurs 2-3:00PM

Primal Pappachan
Office: DBH 2061
Office Hours: Mon 3-4:00PM

Prolok Sundaresan
Office: TBA
Office Hours: Wed 10:30AM-11:30AM

Meeting Places and Times

Lecture will be held MWF 2:00-2:50 in BS3 1200. You are responsible for anything said in class, including class announcements. If you have to miss lecture for any reason, please ask one of your classmates to fill you in on what you missed.

There are four discussion sections for this class. Each section meets two hours per week. This is an important time to get questions answered about homework problems. No new content will be given in discussion and we do not take attendance, but you are highly encouraged to attend as it will give valuable practice on problems.


We will use an online question and answer service called Piazza. You will all have an account. The link to the to the course page on Piazza is: If you have a question about course content, you can go to see if it has already been asked by another students. If not, you can post the question yourself. The course staff will be checking Piazza several times a day to update answers to questions posted there. There is also a way for students to collectively edit a response to a question and for instructors to indicate whether the answer is a good/correct answer.

Piazza is also a good place to post general adnministrative questions about the class. If you send me an email with a technical question about the class, I am likely to refer you to Piazza.

Important class announcements will also be posted on Piazza. You are responsible for checking for course announcements at least twice a week. Only time ciritical announcements will generate an email.

Before posting a question on Piazza, you should look through the course materials or previous Piazza posts to see if you can find the answer to your question. If your question is about the technical content of the course, check the text. If you have an administrative question, check the course web page (either the home page with the schedule or this course information page).

Piazza provides a way for you to post anonymously. However, your posts will only be anonymous to other students. The instructors will be able to see the name and uciNetID of any individual who posts to Piazza.

Obtaining assistance

Tbe best way to get your questions answered is by coming to lecture, office hours or discussion and asking them there. In particular, office hours and discussion are the best place to ask questions that require a longer answer or some diaglog to get resolved.

The table below shows where to go to for different kinds of questions. Please try to follow the directions there. I really do want to be available for significant problems or issues that may arise. I also really enjoy meeting students in my office hours. However, with a class this size, the amount of email generated from smaller, routine questions can be overwhelming, so I would like you to try and find that answer through other sources first.

Question type Example Where to go
Questions about course content What's the difference between (x,y) and {x,y}? Try and find the answer to your question through the course materials.
If your question is not answered, then
Post on Piazza
General administrative questions What topics does quiz 1 cover? Check the course web page (schedule and course information) first.
If your question is not answered, then
Post on Piazza
Questions on how your quiz was graded. I don't understand why I didn't get full credit on the first question. Office hours of the TA who graded that quiz
(TAs will post on Piazza who graded which quiz.
Office hours are listed here.)
Questions on how your homework was graded. I don't understand why I didn't get full credit on the first question. Office hours of the reader who graded that quiz
(Readers will post on Piazza who graded which homework.
Office hours are listed here.)
Minor bug in the text. Shouldn't the last line of this animation be x2 instead of x1? Use the feedback button in the text.
Technical problem you are having with the text. Why doesn't the text show 100% progress for Section 1.2?
I think I did all the activities in the section.
Major issue reading the text. None of the mathematical formulas are showing up in Section 1.4.
and cc
Mistake in HW or HW solutions. I think the answer to question 3 on HW 2 should be 56 and not 57.


The grading criteria for the course is:

I am frequently asked whether I curve the grades. The answer to this question will always be "I don't know". First of all, no letter grades are assigned to scores until I calculate a final course percentage for each student. I generally do aim to have the A's fall in the 90-100 range and the B's in the 80-90 range, etc. Sometimes I am a bit more generous that that, depending on the distribution of scores. Occasionally I give a quiz or final that is harder than I expect. In those circumstances, I will sometimes make a problem count as extra credit. The best strategy for success is not to think too much about your grade but to continually do your best to understand the material in the class.


A quiz will be given every week, starting in week 3. Quizzes will typically be given on Monday. However, there are two Monday holidays this quarter. In those weeks, the quiz will be given on Wednesday instead. The quizzes will be given at the end of lecture and will last approximately 20 minutes. In calculating your grade, I use only the top six scores from the eight quizzes. In exchnage for this, I give absolutely no make up quizzes, regardless of the reason. It is understandable that there are sometimes circumstances beyond your control that make it necessary to miss a quiz. The dropped quizzes are designed to cover such occasions.

The topics covered in each quiz are tied to a particular homework. For example, quiz 1 will cover the topics covered in homework 1. Each homework will indicate which sections in the book are covered by that homework. The topics covered on the homework are a good guide to the topics that will be covered on the quiz. However, the problems on the quizzes will not exactly match a question on the homework. In particular, I will also draw on examples covered in class to use for the quizzes.

I generally do not post the solutions to quizzes online. You are expected to get clarification on quiz solutions by attending discussion or office hours and asking questions. Towards the end of the quarter, I will post the quizzes (without solutions) so that you can use them to study for the final exam.

Some of the quzzes will be multiple choice and some will be written short answer. I will not announce the format in advance. You just need to be prepared to take a quiz on the topics covered.

The only thing you need to have for quizzes and the final exam is a pen or pencil for writing. All scantron forms and/or paper will be provided. No electronic devices (inclusing calculators) are allowed in quizzes or exams. There should be no visible screens during a quiz or exam. Laptops should be closed and tablets should be in a closed folder or stowed in a bag. Phones should be stowed in a bag or pocket so that they are not visible at all.


Homework is due every Wednesday, starting in week 2. There will be a dropbox labeled "ICS 6B" on the third floor of Bren Hall 3013 where you should drop it off. You must hand it in before the start of lecture because one of the readers will pick it up during lecture. Absolutely no late homework assignments will be accepted.

You will notice that the homework counts very little towards your grade. It is important to do the homework because it enables you to learn the material but a missed homework will not have a big effect on your grade.

Grades for the assignements and quizzes will be posted through EEE. If you have questions regarding grading, please see the reader or TA who graded that assignment. The readers and TAs will be posting on Piazza when quiz grades and homework scores are ready so you will know who graded which assignments.

I will post solutions to the homework so that you can use them to study for the quiz.


This quarter you will be using a web-based interactive, animated offering as your "textbook". You are required to have an account for the course. The material includes interactive exercises which will count towards your grade. The directions for subscribing can be found at:

  1. Go to Bookmark this site - this is your site for the entire quarter.
You will need a credit card or Paypal account to pay the subscription price of $40. Note: a Paypal account is not required. If you don't have a credit card or a Paypal account, contact Contact for help or with any questions regarding obtaining a subscription.

Your reading for this class is associated with your subscription for the winter offering of ICS 6B, so you will need a new subscription even if you have had a previous subscription to the Discrete Math zyBook for some other class. However, if your subscription to the Discrete Math zyBook occurred in the last year (or currently for another class), you can contact to get a discount code which will allow you to get your subscription at a 50% rate. You will need to provide the zyBook code for the previous subscription and for this class. The zyBook code for this class is UCIICS6BWinter2015.

If you drop the class in the first two weeks, you can contact to get a full refund for the text.

Credit for reading

Each reading assignment is due at 2PM the day it is assigned. Every action through your zyBook is automatically timestamped. When I compile grades for reading, I determine how much of your reading was completed by a particular day and time, so the deadlines are automatically enforced.

You can determine how much of the reading has been completed by looking at your zyBook dashboard. Please familiarize yourself with this interface and make sure that you have 100% completion by 2PM for the sections assigned each lecture day.

I do make an exception to the due dates for the first two weeks of classes while course enrollment is fluctuating. The reading assignments for the first two weeks are all due by 2PM on Monday January 19. However, I strongly advise you to do the reading assigned before each lecture since the lectures are designed for students who already have some familiarity with the topics in the reading.

Board notes

After lecture, I will post the board notes generated during lecture. The purpose of posting the notes is to the reduce the amount of note taking you need to be doing in class. The best way to learn this material is to attend class and concentrate on what is being said. Having the board notes provided means that you can spend more time thinking about the content of the lectures and less time copying down what is being written.

The board notes are not intended to be a perfectly readable transcript for everyting that took place in class. You will still have to take some additional notes based on the discussion in class. The board notes are definitely not a substitute for attending class. They merely serve to reduce the amount of writing you need to do while you are in class. If you are sitting in lecture and you can not read something I have written, please raise your hand and ask for clarification.

If you are unable to attend class for some reason, you should not expect the board notes to be sufficient to decipher the material I covered. You need to contact a fellow classmate to get his or her notes and possibly follow up in discussion with questions.

Missed Final Exam Policy

The final exam will be held on Friday March 20, 1:30PM-3:30PM.

Academic Honesty

The Bren School of ICS and the University have already established an academic honesty policy. Read it.

Violators of academic honesty policies are subject to the penalties described in the Bren School of ICS policy. They are also subject to an immediate course grade of F, and you will not be allowed to drop the course to avoid the grade. Also be aware that a single documented case of academic dishonesty may preclude you from switching into computing majors, registering for computing minors, joining the ICS Honors Program, and graduating from a computing major with honors.

Guidelines to avoid plagarism:

We expect that: