The study of discrete mathematical structures. Consider using a more specific tag instead, such as: (combinatorics), (graph-theory), (computer-science), (probability), (elementary-set-theory), (induction), (recurrence-relations), etc.

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Throwing balls into $b$ buckets: when does some bucket overflow size $s$?

Suppose you throw balls one-by-one into $b$ buckets, uniformly at random. At what time does the size of some (any) bucket exceed size $s$? That is, consider the following random process. At each of ...
8
votes
2answers
166 views

Given $N$, count $\{(m,n) \mid 0\leq m<N, 0\leq n<N, m\text{ and } n \text{ relatively prime}\}$

I'm confused at exercise 4.49 on page 149 from the book "Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science": Let $R(N)$ be the number of pairs of integers $(m,n)$ such that $0\leq m < N$, ...
8
votes
0answers
117 views

Algorithm to compute fastest method of collecting $k$ re-spawning items which spawn at $n$ specified points

Let $V = v_1, \dots, v_n$ be the locations the items can spawn at, and let $U = u_1, \dots, u_k$ be the current positions of the items. We will assume a new items spawns instantly every time we ...
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9answers
1k views

prove for all $n\geq 0$ that $3 \mid n^3+6n^2+11n+6$

I'm having some trouble with this question and can't really get how to prove this.. I have to prove $n^3+6n^2+11n+6$ is divisible by $3$ for all $n \geq 0$. I have tried doing $\dfrac{m}{3}=n$ and ...
7
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6answers
2k views

Number of 6-digit passwords, starting with even or ending with odd digit

My problem is A password consists of six digits, each in $\{0,\ldots,9\}$ How many passwords start with an even digit or end with an odd digit? the answer is $750,000.$ I would like to know ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What is a null set?

I am very confused with null sets. I get that a set which has no elements will be called a null set but I am not getting the examples given below. Please help me by explaining how $P,Q,R$ are all ...
7
votes
6answers
124 views

How am I supposed to know that $\frac{1}{(1-x)^2} = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty } \binom{n+1}{n}x^n$?

I'm currently reading through the solution to a problem that involves finding generating functions. In some of the intermediary steps, it is written that $$\frac{1}{(1-x)^2} = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty } ...
7
votes
10answers
4k views

Prove by induction that $5^n - 1$ is divisible by $4$.

Prove by induction that $5^n - 1$ is divisible by $4$. How should I use induction in this problem. Do you have any hints for solving this problem? Thank you so much.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Counting zero-digits between 1 and 1 million

I just remembered a problem I read years ago but never found an answer: Find how many 0-digits exist in natural numbers between 1 and 1 million. I am a programmer, so a quick brute-force would ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

How many bananas can a camel deliver without eating them all?

This is a fun puzzle I was assigned on the first day of highschool (over a decade ago). I just dug it up randomly from under my bed and thought I'd share it with the SE community. At the time, I ...
7
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5answers
541 views

How does one find a formula for the recurrence relation $a_{1}=1,a_{2}=3, a_{n+2}=a_{n+1}+a_{n}?$

I am self-studying Discrete Mathematics, and I have two exercises to solve. Find a formula for the following recurrence relation: (translated from Portuguese) a) $a_{1}=3,a_{2}=5, ...
7
votes
5answers
87 views

Show that if $g \circ f$ is injective, then so is $f$.

The Problem: Let $X, Y, Z$ be sets and $f: X \to Y, g:Y \to Z$ be functions. (a) Show that if $g \circ f$ is injective, then so is $f$. (b) If $g \circ f$ is surjective, must $g$ be surjective? ...
7
votes
4answers
276 views

Not understanding the concept of equivalence class

Let $U$ be a set defined: $U=\{(x,y)\in \Bbb R^2\mid x^2+y^2=1; xy\neq 0\}$, and let $R$ be relation defined: $(x_1,y_1)R(x_2,y_2) \iff (x_1 \cdot x_2>0∧y_1\cdot y_2>0)$. I was to prove it's ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions?

If $\quad p \implies q\quad $ ($p$ implies $q$), then $p$ is a sufficient condition for $q$. If $\quad \bar p \implies \bar q \quad$ (not $p$ implies not $q$), then $p$ is a necessary condition for ...
7
votes
2answers
505 views

Is the given relation transitive?

Consider the relation: $$R = \{(a,b), (a,c), (c,c), (b,b), (c,b), (b,c)\}$$ on the set $A = \{a,b,c\}$. Is $R$ transitive? I said no because $$[(c, c) \wedge (a, c)] \Longrightarrow (c,a)$$ is a ...
7
votes
3answers
708 views

Getting exactly one pair in a poker hand

I am not understanding this problem: In a deck of 52 cards, of 13 ranks, and 4 suits, how many different 5 card hand can we get such that, there is always exactly one pair. There is a similar ...
7
votes
3answers
581 views

Fibonacci numbers divisible by $9$

The $n$th Fibonacci number $F_n$ is defined as follows,$$F_1=F_2=1\mbox{ and } F_{n+2}=F_{n+1}+F_{n}\mbox{ for } n\geq 1$$ I want to know how many of the first $1000$ Fibonacci numbers are divisible ...
7
votes
4answers
668 views

Closed-form expressions for sums

I've got a problem with deducing closed-form expressions for sums: $1) \ \sum_{k=0}^{m}(-1)^k {n \choose k} {n \choose m-k}$ $2) \ \sum_{A,B\subseteq X} |A\cup B|$ where $|X|=n$ Can anyone help me? ...
7
votes
2answers
375 views

Given three integers in $\{0,\ldots,100\}$ which sum up to $100$. What is the probabilty that two of them are the same?

We pick $3$ numbers (one by one) from set $\{0,1,...,100\}$. What is probabilty that two numbers are the same if sum of those $3$ numbers is $100$? My solution: Which two are the same we can pick in ...
7
votes
2answers
623 views

Visualizing Concepts in Mathematical Logic

If you were forced to speculate or offer anecdotal evidence, how would you say excellent practicioners of mathematical logic coneptually grasp statements like: $$ \vdash ((P \rightarrow Q) ...
7
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3answers
22k views

Is my understanding of antisymmetric and symmetric relations correct?

So I'm having a hard time grasping how a relation can be both antisymmetric and symmetric, or neither. Are my examples correct? symmetric & antisymmetric ...
7
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1answer
308 views

Spectrum of a real number

Whilst reading Concrete Mathematics, the authors mention something which they refer to as the "spectrum" of a real number (pg. 77): We define the spectrum of a real number $\alpha$ to be an ...
7
votes
2answers
354 views

Watchdog Problem

I just came up with this problem yesterday. Problem: Assume there is an important segment of straight line AB that needs to be watched at all time. A watchdog can ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

If a plane is divided by $n$ lines, then it is possible to color the regions formed with only two colors.

I am self-studying Discrete Mathematics, and there is the following exercise. (in Portuguese) A plane is divided by many lines. Show that it is possible to color the regions formed with only two ...
7
votes
2answers
144 views

Every 33-length subsequence of $1,2,\dotsc,122$ contains a three term arithmetic progression

Is it possible to prove that every 33-length subsequence of the sequence $1,2,3,\dotsc,122$ contains a three term arithmetic progression? Maybe I should post it on mathoverflow
7
votes
2answers
307 views

Existence of infinitely many integers $n$ such that $2^n$ ends with $n$

Can anyone please help me on the following proof: Prove that there exist infinitely many positive integers $n$ such that $2^n$ ends with $n$ in decimal notation, i.e. $2n = \ldots n$.
7
votes
2answers
221 views

maximum number of edges to be removed to possess a property

I am working on a problem. We know that on squaring a cycle, degree of every vertex is 4. For squares of cycles, we know if we delete any arbitrary edge then still eccentricity is same for all ...
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votes
3answers
3k views

What's the difference between a contrapositive statement and a contradiction? [duplicate]

I keep mixing them up, because they are very similar. Some contrapositives resemble some contradictions.
7
votes
6answers
114 views

Solve $\lfloor \sqrt x \rfloor = \lfloor x/2 \rfloor$ for real $x$

I'm trying to solve $$\lfloor \sqrt x \rfloor = \left\lfloor \frac{x}{2} \right\rfloor$$ for real $x$. Obviously this can't be true for any negative reals, since the root isn't defined for such. My ...
7
votes
4answers
207 views

Let $a_n$ be the $nth$ term of the sequence $1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, \dots$

Question:Let $a_n$ be the $nth$ term of the sequence $1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6\dots$, constructed by including the integer $k$ exactly $k$ times. Show that $a_n = ...
7
votes
2answers
580 views

If we have $m$ indistinguishable objects how many ways is it possible to put them in $n$ indistinguihable positions?

if we have $m$ indistinguishable objects, how many ways is it possible to put them in $n$ indistinguishable positions? (for 2 cases 1: without empty position allowed 2: empty positions are allowed.) ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Big-O notation Basics, is it related to derivatives?

I am having the hardest time with Big-O notation (I am using this Rosen book for the class I am in). On the surface, Big-O reminds me of derivatives, rate of change and what not; is this proper ...
7
votes
3answers
761 views

Decomposing a discrete signal into a sum of rectangle functions

Hello math@stackexchange community ! I have a simple question that seems to have a non trivial answer. Given a discrete one dimensional signal $w(x)$ defined in a finite range, and the boxcar ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Proof of clockwise towers of Hanoi variant recursive solution

This is from one of the exercises in "Concrete Mathematics", and is something I'm doing privately, not homework. This is a variant on the classic towers of Hanoi, where all moves must be made ...
7
votes
2answers
430 views

Symbolic coordinates for a hyperbolic grid?

Rephrasing     (one year later)    (original question is below) Apparently the original question wasn't clear, or nobody knows an answer (or both). So I will try to rephrase it. Look at your ...
7
votes
2answers
480 views

For all $n>2$: there exists $p$ prime: $n<p<n!$

The question is: For all $n>2$, where $n \in \mathbb Z$: there exists $p$ prime such that $n<p<n!$ Here is my Proof: $\forall$ $p<n: p|n!$, or $p$ divides $n!$ Since $n!$ and $n!-1$ ...
7
votes
1answer
52 views

Partitioning $n$ naturals summing $2N$ into two sets summing $N$

I'm trying to solve this problem: Let $a_1, \ldots , a_n$ be natural numbers such that $a_k \le k$ for every $k = 1,\ldots,n$, and $\sum_{k=1}^{n} a_k=2N$. Show that there exists a partition of ...
7
votes
1answer
165 views

Occupying seats in a classroom

Here's a nice probability puzzle I have thought about for a class I'm TAing, I'm curious to see different solutions :) It goes like this: We have a classroom with $n$ seats available and $m \leq n$ ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

A finite sum involving the binomial coefficients and the harmonic numbers

Wikipedia has a proof of the identity $$ H_{n} =\sum_{k=1}^{n} (-1)^{k-1} \binom{n}{k} \frac{1}{k}$$ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_number#Calculation Curiously, there is also the identity ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Number of permutations $\langle a_1,\ldots,a_n\rangle$ of $\{ 1,\ldots ,n \}$ with $a_{i+1} - a_i \ne 1$

Prove that for $n>0$, the number of permutations $\langle a_1,\ldots,a_n\rangle$ of the set $\{ 1,\ldots ,n \}$, where $a_{i+1} - a_i \ne 1$ for $ i = 1, \ldots, n-1$ is equal to: $$D_n + ...
7
votes
1answer
162 views

Graph, two colors, no path length 3

I've just begun studying graph theory and I have some difficulty with this problem. Could you tell me how to go about solving it? In a graph $G$ all vertices have degrees $\le 3$. Show that we can ...
7
votes
3answers
659 views

Proving statements by its contrapositive

Prove the following statement by proving its contrapositive: “If $n^3 + 2n + 1$ is odd then n is even” Therefore: $\lnot q \rightarrow \lnot p =$ "if $n^3 + 2n + 1$ is even then $n$ is odd. So ...
7
votes
3answers
343 views

Changing Summation Index Question

I'm sorry if this seems like a very novice question, but I am still relatively new to the world of discrete math ( still in 9th grade). I've been reviewing some of the concepts I learned in a ...
7
votes
2answers
754 views

Looking for a bijective, discrete function that behaves as chaotically as possible

I need to write a coupon code system but I do not want to save each coupon code in the database. (For performance and design reasons.) Rather I would like to generate codes subsequent that are ...
7
votes
2answers
446 views

A magic trick with synchronizing words

See the following magic trick. http://www.speedyadverts.com/SAEntertainment/html/realmagic4.html Spoiler Alert Believe it or not, the lady didn't really read your mind; she is not even a real lady ...
7
votes
2answers
367 views

Combinatorial proof for identity $\left(\!\!\binom{n\vphantom{1}}{k}\!\!\right)=\left(\!\!\binom{k+1}{n-1}\!\!\right)$ (multiset coefficients)

In class we have recently started using combinatorial proofs. I have tried this problem that our teacher has assigned as a "challenge". I understand how to receive the left hand side, but am ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Equation $\displaystyle\sum_{k=0}^{n-1}(-1)^{n-k-1}\dfrac{(n+k)!}{(k!)^2(n-k-1)!}=n^2$

I think this equality is very inters prove that: $\displaystyle\sum_{k=0}^{n-1}(-1)^{n-k-1}\dfrac{(n+k)!}{(k!)^2(n-k-1)!}=n^2$
7
votes
1answer
160 views

Connecting cells by line and column permutations in a finite grid

I'd like to know whether the following simple problem has been studied before and if any solution is known. Let G be a finite (MxN) grid, S a subset of G's cells (the "crumbs"). Two crumbs are said ...
7
votes
1answer
108 views

$n$ points in the plane: show there are at least $\lceil \frac{n}{3} \rceil $ different distances between pairs of points

How can I prove that in each group of $n$ points in the plane, such that there are not $3$ points on the same line, there are at least $\left\lceil \frac{n}{3} \right\rceil $ different distances ...
7
votes
0answers
75 views

Showing that poset of set of supports of a vector space is semimodular

Let $W$ be a subspace of the vector space $\mathbb{K}^n$, where $\mathbb{K}$ is a field of characteristic $0$. The support of a vector $v = (v_1,\ldots, v_n) \in \mathbb{K}^n$ is given by ...