History of Discrete Mathematics

What is Discrete Mathematics?

Discrete is the study of a group of branches whose mathematical structures are fundamentally discrete rather than continuous. It includes topics such as integers, sets and logic.
The Hindus knew the formulas for the number of permutations of a set of n elements and the number of subsets of cardinality k in a set of n elements in the 6th century. In the 17th century Pascal and De Moivre’s work of combinatorics continued in the 18th century with the formative ideas of Euler in Graph Theory.


With the demand of breaking codes in World War II, computer science trigged an interest and the first programmable digital electrical computer was developed by Alan Turing. In 1950 the critical path method was developing advancing discrete mathematics in graph theory and information theory.


In 1900, David Hilberts list of open problems was aiming to prove that the axioms of arithmetic are consistent. In 1931 Godel’s second incompleteness theorem proved Hilberts problems was not possible. Hilbert’s tenth problem as to determine whether a given polynomial equation with integer coefficients has an integer solution, in 1970 Yuri Mativasevich proved that incorrect.


In attempt to prove the four color theorem in 1852 the graph theory was created but not proved until 1976 by Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken.