Discrete mathematics is the study of mathematical structures that are fundamentally discrete rather than continuous.

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How much weight is on each person in a human pyramid?

After participating in a human pyramid and learning that it's very uncomfortable to have a lot of weight on your back, I figured I'd try to write out a recurrence relation for the total amount of ...
17
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2answers
859 views

Is there a discrete version of de l'Hôpital's rule?

When considering asymptotics of runtime functions, you often have to find limits of quotients of discrete functions, e.g. $\displaystyle\qquad \lim\limits_{n \to \infty} ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Lights out game on hexagonal grid

I greatly enjoyed the Lights Out game described here (I am sorry I had to link to an older page because some wikidiot keeps deleting most of the page). Its mathematical analysis is here (it's just ...
15
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4answers
602 views

Decreasing integers on the blackboard

There are $n\geq 2$ copies of an integer $k>0$ written on the blackboard. A move consists of choosing an integer $m>0$ on the blackboard, and replacing it as well as one other integer on the ...
10
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7answers
10k views

Are there any good Discrete Mathematics video online?

I want to learn discrete mathematics by reading book by myself but I find sometime it's very hard to understand what author trying to say. I want to know, are there any good online video that teach ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views

What is $\gcd(0,0)$?

What is the greatest common divisor of $0$ and $0$? On the one hand, Wolfram Alpha says that it is $0$; on the other hand, it also claims that $100$ divides $0$, so $100$ should be a greater common ...
12
votes
3answers
686 views

Twenty questions against a liar

Here's one that popped into my mind when I was thinking about binary search. I'm thinking of an integer between 1 and n. You have to guess my number. You win as soon as you guess the correct number. ...
16
votes
3answers
505 views

A (probably trivial) Induction Problem: $\sum_2^nk^{-2}\lt1$

So I'm a bit stuck on the following problem I'm attempting. Essentially, I'm required to prove that $\frac{1}{2^2}+\frac{1}{3^2}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n^2} < 1$ for all $n$. I've been toiling with some ...
14
votes
4answers
303 views

Solve recursion $a_{n}=ba_{n-1}+cd^{n-1}$

Let $b,c,d\in\mathbb{R}$ be constants with $b\neq d$. Let $$\begin{eqnarray} a_{n} &=& ba_{n-1}+cd^{n-1} \end{eqnarray}$$ be a sequence for $n \geq 1$ with $a_{0}=0$. I want to find a closed ...
7
votes
2answers
135 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
5
votes
2answers
92 views

Does $K_{12,12}$ decompose into $K_{4,4}-I$ subgraphs?

Q: Does the complete bipartite graph $K_{12,12}$ decompose into $K_{4,4}-I$ subgraphs, where $I$ is a $1$-factor (i.e., a perfect matching)? The obvious necessary conditions work: $K_{12,12}$ ...
4
votes
2answers
208 views

Combinatorics Pigeonhole problem

Hello to all! So i have to do this problem: In the course of an year of 365 days Peter solves combinatorics problems. Each day he solves at least 1 problem, but no more than 500 for the year. Prove ...
4
votes
4answers
252 views

Closed form for $\sum_{k=0}^{n} \binom{n}{k}\frac{(-1)^k}{(k+1)^2}$

How can I calculate the following sum involving binomial terms: $$\sum_{k=0}^{n} \binom{n}{k}\frac{(-1)^k}{(k+1)^2}$$ Where the value of n can get very big (thus calculating the binomial ...
4
votes
0answers
6k views

Relationship Between The Z-Transform And The Laplace Transform

Below I've quoted Wikipedia's entry that relates the Z-Transform to the Laplace Transform. The part I don't understand is $z \ \stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}\ e^{s T}$; I thought $z$ was actually an ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

Catalan Numbers Staircase bijection

I need to give a bijective proof for the following problem (via R. Stanley Catalan Addendum). ($k^8$) tilings of the staircase shape $(n, n − 1, \dots , 1)$ with $n$ rectangles. For example, when $n ...
3
votes
3answers
179 views

Terminology re: continuity of discrete $a\sin(t)$

This question is specifically about the terminology used to explain a particular problem and its solution, not the math itself. I am a programmer, I am not really a math person, but I have at least an ...
2
votes
3answers
188 views

Wheel of Fortune Problem

The Summation formula is $$\sum_{i=1}^ni =\frac{n(n+1)}2$$ How is it that we know the integers $1,2,...36$ appear exactly $3$ times. And why do we multiply the sum by $3$ in the last part of the ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

an “alternate derivation” of Poisson summation formula and discrete Fourier transformation

Inspired by this post, I am trying to do a derivation of a Poisson summation formula. My starting point is this: $$ \frac{1}{2\pi} \int^{\infty}_{-\infty} e^{i k x} dx=\delta(k) $$ I simply wish ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the proof that the total number of subsets of a set is $2^n$?

What is the proof that given a set of $n$ elements there are $2^n$ possible subsets (including the empty-set and the original set).
9
votes
7answers
894 views

If $xy$ and $x+y$ are both even integers (with $x,y$ integers), then $x$ and $y$ are both even integers

The title statement can be proven using the contrapositive, note that $x$ odd or $y$ odd means that at least one of $x\cdot y,x+y$ is odd. Is there a way to prove the statement directly? To ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Coin problem with 6 and 10

I am doing a coin problem where: In a city where you only have denominations in 6 and 10. What is the largest value that this city cannot pay? In another problem that my teacher showed me, where ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Minimum degree of a graph and existence of perfect matching

I was reading a result where the following proposition appears as a preliminary step (and left as exercise): Claim: Suppose $G$ is a graph on $n$ vertices ($n$ even and $n \geqslant 3$) with ...
7
votes
3answers
213 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
3answers
618 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
794 views

Relation between different ways of accessing bernoulli numbers with matrices

First Variant: Bernoulli numbers can easily be expressed by linear algebra equations. For example just using the recursion formula $$\sum_{k=0}^{n-1}{n\choose k}B_k=0$$ which is equation (34) from ...
5
votes
3answers
334 views

What does the notation $\binom{n}{i}$ mean?

What do the parentheses next to the summation involving the binomial coefficients mean? Like this: $$\sum _{i=0}^{n} \binom{n}{i}a^{(n-i)}b^i=\left(a+b\right)^n $$
4
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the history of this theorem about the finite sum of a polynomial?

I discovered and proved the following theorem back in high school, and have waited patiently to hear something about throughout my college career (which is nearing it's end, hope to have finished my ...
4
votes
3answers
219 views

Number of binary strings with $n$ ones and $m$ zeros

$f(n,m)$ is the number of binary strings with up to $n$ ones and up to $m$ zeros. Prove that the number of possible strings is: $${n+m+2 \choose n+1} -1$$ I got to the point that: $$\sum_{a=0}^n ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Using generating functions find the sum $1^3 + 2^3 + 3^3 +\dotsb+ n^3$

I am quite new to generating functions concept and I am really finding it difficult to know how to approach problems like this. I need to find the sum of $1^3 + 2^3 + 3^3 +\dotsb+ n^3$ using ...
4
votes
1answer
629 views

Adapted Towers of Hanoi from Concrete Mathematics - number of arrangements

I have a doubt concerning an exercise from Chapter 1 of "Concrete Mathematics". Actually, my doubt is in one exercise (exercise 3), but, since it depends on the previous exercise (2), I'm including it ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Number of ways of choosing $m$ objects with replacement from $n$ objects

There is a set of $n$ distinct objects. How many possible multisets can we get when choosing $m$ objects with replacement? Note that the elements in a set are unordered and distinct, and the elements ...
4
votes
3answers
417 views

Stirling numbers of the second kind on Multiset

Stirling numbers of the second kind S(n, k) count the number of ways to partition a set of n elements into k nonempty subsets.What if there were duplicate elements in the set?That is,the set is a ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Exponentiation in terms of Summation

For positive integers, $a \times b=\sum\limits^{b}{a}$, correct? So therefore exponentiation where n is also a positive integer should be something like $a^n=\sum\limits^n{\sum\limits^a{a}}$ This is ...
2
votes
8answers
229 views

Proving for every odd number $x$, $x^2$ is always congruent to $1$ or $9$ modulo $24$

A problem I have been presented with asks the following: Prove for every odd number $x$, $ x^2$ is always congruent to $1$ or $9$ modulo $24$. This seems odd and non-intuitive to me. Of course, it ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Stirling numbers with $k=n-2$

Is there a more general method of calculating: $$ \genfrac\{\}{0pt}{}{n}{n-2} $$ Like for :$$ \genfrac\{\}{0pt}{}{n}{n-1} $$ we can use $nC_2 $
2
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Where can I learn about solving Big-Oh problems that are written in algebra? [duplicate]

Where can I learn about solving Big-Oh problems that are written in algebra? Such as this $$\sum_{i=1}^{n} (3i + 2n) = O(n^2)$$
0
votes
1answer
357 views

Coupon Collector Problem with Batched Selections

I am trying to solve a variation on the coupon collector's problem. In this scenario, someone is selecting coupons at random with replacement from n different possible coupons. However, the person is ...
-1
votes
2answers
456 views

Showing that ${2n \choose 2} = 2 {n \choose 2} + n^2$ by combinatorial and algebraic arguments [closed]

Show that if $n$ is a positive integer, then ${2n \choose 2} = 2 {n \choose 2} + n^2$ a) using a combinatorial argument. b) by algebraic manipulation. How should I solve this problem ...
15
votes
9answers
1k views

What is the purpose of the first test in an inductive proof?

Learning about proof by induction, I take it that the first step is always something like "test if the proposition holds for $n = \textrm{[the minimum value]}$" Like this: Prove that ...
11
votes
3answers
524 views

Combinatorial proof of $\sum^{n}_{i=1}\binom{n}{i}i=n2^{n-1}$.

Prove that $$\sum^{n}_{i=1}\binom{n}{i}i=n2^{n-1}$$ I can't find counting interpretations for either of the sides. A hint of "if $S$ is a subset of $\{1, . . . , n\}$ and $S^\prime$ is its ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Good upper bound for $\sum\limits_{i=1}^{k}{n \choose i}$?

I want an upper bound on $$\sum_{i=1}^k \binom{n}{i}.$$ $O(n^k)$ seems to be an overkill -- could you suggest a tighter bound ?
8
votes
1answer
371 views

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
1answer
1k views

Number of ways to put $n$ unlabeled balls in $k$ bins with a max of $m$ balls in each bin

The number of ways to put $n$ unlabeled balls in $k$ distinct bins is $$\binom{n+k-1}{k-1} .$$ Which makes sense to me, but what I can't figure out is how to modify this formula if each bucket has a ...
7
votes
2answers
446 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) ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

A group acting on colourings of a set

Suppose I have a set $L$ with some permutation group $G$ defined upon it, which I think of as a symmetry group. I want to consider the set $F$ of functions $f: L \to C$, for some set $C$. It seems ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Shortest solution to order 26 alphabet letters, no two vowels occurring consecutively

What is the shortest solution to the following problem? What is the number of ways to order the 26 letters of alphabet so that no two of the vowels a,e,i,o,u occur consecutively? What I ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Prove that if $2^n - 1$ is prime, then $n$ is prime for $n$ being a natural number

Prove that if $2^n - 1$ is prime, then $n$ is prime for $n$ being a natural number I've looked at http://math.stackexchange.com/a/19998 It is known that $2^n-1$ can only be prime if $n$ is ...
6
votes
1answer
311 views

Recurrence relation satisfied by $\lfloor(1+\sqrt{5})^n\rfloor$

Let $L(n)=\lfloor(1+\sqrt{5})^n\rfloor$. What kind of a linear recurrence is satisfied by $L(n)$? I have no idea how to go about this, because of the presence of the greatest integer function. ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Number of combinations such that each pair of combinations has at most x elements in common?

I am doing research on the sense of smell and have a combinatorics problem: I have 128 different odors (n) and I mix them in mixtures of 10 (r). There are 2.26846154e+14 different mixtures. What I ...