Is Discrete Math Hard? Everything You May Need to Know About the Subject

A discrete math course basically covers topics such as: theoretical computer science, functions and algorithms, logic, set theory, cryptography, combinatorics, graph theory, probability, and algebra. While some students are familiar with these discrete math terms and topics, others find them quite difficult.

When students realize they are expected to offer the course, the first question we hear is “is discrete math hard?”. The truth is, learning discrete math and solving discrete math problems is not quite difficult. All you need is basic analytical skills.

Fortunately, there are various platforms that offer discreet math help and discrete math tutorials to students. This article will provide you with information you may not already know about the course.

What is discrete math?

This type of math studies discreet values, not continuous ones. Generally speaking, a major characteristic of this course is sets (both finite and infinite sets).

The ideas and subject matters treated in the course can be used in solving science-related problems which might include digital algorithms, coding, software design, and validating specific theories.  

How can it be applied in real life?

Lots of students offering this course are unaware of its applications in real time. They often wonder why they even need to bother with learning the course. 

Why exactly do you need to create graphs and learn set and algebraic structures? What are the real-life applications of these topics? 

To better enjoy the learning process, you must first recognize its importance and the fascinating ways these topics can be used in society. Below are some everyday applications of the subject.

  • Web search

Discrete math allows you to search for anything in various languages and receive information about it in one application. Developers use their knowledge of linear algebra to create this multilingual search feature.

  • Google Maps

At one point or another, you may have used Google Maps to seek directions to unknown locations. By creating simple algorithms using discrete math, Google Maps helps to locate the easiest and quickest routes for you to follow.

  • Creating schedules

We use colouring graphs or optimized combination tools to create schedules, which help with planning and increase productivity. Whether you are scheduling work shifts, scheduling events, or scheduling meeting times, you can only do this through the application of discrete math topics such as graphing and combinatorics.

  • Encrypting and decrypting 

Discrete math is necessary when decrypting or encrypting. The topic of cryptography is used majorly for this purpose. An example of this is the ability to securely shop online. This is done using public-key cryptographic design.

  • COVID-19 testing

The ability to efficiently scale COVID-19 test results is possible through the application of linear algebra, which is a branch of discrete math.

How can I handle the course?

No matter what you have been told, or how difficult you might think discrete math is, with just a few tips, you can confidently gain expertise in the field. Below are a few ways to handle this course.  

  • Prepare ahead

You are most likely going to understand the topics better when you study and prepare ahead of time for your teacher. This way, when your teacher covers the topic, it will appear as a summary to help you better understand what you have previously studied. You can plan ahead by outsourcing materials on Google and YouTube.

  • Join a study group

Look out for students who understand the course and request to join their study group. This will help you improve your knowledge of the course.

  • Manage your study plan

Due to how complex the course might sometimes get; it is highly recommended that you divide a particular topic into sections. Creating these sections will help in your learning journey.


Discrete math has been around since the 1980s when it first appeared as a supporting course to computer science. Its original content was a bit random and disorganized. However, this was further developed and organized into a full course for the purpose of improving the mathematical abilities of students.

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