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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208
votes
23answers
18k views

Zero to the zero power - is $0^0=1$?

Could someone provide me with good explanation of why $0^0 = 1$? My train of thought: $x > 0$ $0^x = 0^{x-0} = 0^x/0^0$, so $0^0 = 0^x/0^x = ?$ Possible answers: $0^0 \cdot 0^x = 1 \cdot 0^x$...
62
votes
27answers
20k views

Prove that $\sum\limits_{k=1}^nk^2 = \frac{n(n+1)(2n+1)}{6}$?

I am just starting into calculus and I have a question about the following statement I encountered while learning about definite integrals: $$\sum_{k=1}^n k^2 = \frac{n(n+1)(2n+1)}{6}$$ I really ...
4
votes
8answers
876 views

How to compute the formula $\sum \limits_{r=1}^d r \cdot 2^r$?

Given $$1\cdot 2^1 + 2\cdot 2^2 + 3\cdot 2^3 + 4\cdot 2^4 + \cdots + d \cdot 2^d = \sum_{r=1}^d r \cdot 2^r,$$ how can we infer to the following solution? $$2 (d-1) \cdot 2^d + 2. $$ Thank you
4
votes
2answers
266 views

What are BesselJ functions?

I solved an integration on mathematica which gives BesselJ functions and some other terms. I explored mathematica help and google but could not understand the difference between different types of ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Showing that an equation holds true with a Fibonacci sequence: $F_{n+m} = F_{n-1}F_m + F_n F_{m+1}$

Question: Let $F_n$ the sequence of Fibonacci numbers, given by $F_0 = 0, F_1 = 1$ and $F_n = F_{n-1} + F_{n-2}$ for $n \geq 2$. Show for $n, m \in \mathbb{N}$: $$F_{n+m} = F_{n-1}F_m + F_n F_{m+1}$$ ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Why is mathematical induction a valid proof technique? [duplicate]

Context: I'm studying for my discrete mathematics exam and I keep running into this question that I've failed to solve. The question is as follows. Problem: The main form for normal induction over ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Questions on “All Horse are the Same Color” Proof by Complete Induction

The following has been bugging me, and I can't go to sleep until I resolve it. Here is a summary of the document on page 109 of http://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.042/spring12/mcs.pdf. False ...
19
votes
3answers
965 views

Can $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m$ are perfect squares?

Can the expression $\sqrt{n} + \sqrt{m}$ be rational if neither $n,m \in \mathbb{N}$ are perfect squares? It doesn't seem likely, the only way that could happen is if for example $\sqrt{m} = a-\sqrt{n}...
4
votes
3answers
948 views

Prove $f(S \cup T) = f(S) \cup f(T)$

$f(S \cup T) = f(S) \cup f(T)$ $f(S)$ encompasses all $x$ that is in $S$ $f(T)$ encompasses all $x$ that is in $T$ Thus the domain being the same, both the LHS and RHS map to the same $y$, since the ...
67
votes
4answers
25k views

Proof by contradiction vs Prove the contrapositive

What is the difference between a "proof by contradiction" and "proving the contrapositive"? Intuitive, it feels like doing the exact same thing. And when I compare an exercise, one person proves by ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Show that $n$ lines separate the plane into $\frac{(n^2+n+2)}{2}$ regions

Show that $n$ lines separate the plane into $\frac{(n^2+n+2)}{2}$ regions if no two of these lines are parallel and no three pass through a common point. I know we start with the base case, where, ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Counting number of moves on a grid

Imagine a two-dimensional grid consisting of 20 points along the x-axis and 10 points along the y-axis. Suppose the origin (0,0) is in the bottom-left corner and the point (20,10) is the top-right ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Prove that $\mathcal{P}(A)⊆ \mathcal{P}(B)$ if and only if $A⊆B$. [duplicate]

Here is my proof, I would appreciate it if someone could critique it for me: To prove this statement true, we must proof that the two conditional statements ("If $\mathcal{P}(A)⊆ \mathcal{P}(B)$, ...
33
votes
4answers
2k views

A stronger version of discrete “Liouville's theorem”

If a function $f : \mathbb Z\times \mathbb Z \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^{+} $ satisfies the following condition $$\forall x, y \in \mathbb{Z}, f(x,y) = \dfrac{f(x + 1, y)+f(x, y + 1) + f(x - 1, y) +f(x, ...
14
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Sum of cubes proof [duplicate]

Prove that for any natural number n the following equality holds: $$ (1+2+ \ldots + n)^2 = 1^3 + 2^3 + \ldots + n^3 $$ I think it has something to do with induction?
2
votes
5answers
187 views

Proving $ 1+\frac{1}{4}+\frac{1}{9}+\cdots+\frac{1}{n^2}\leq 2-\frac{1}{n}$ for all $n\geq 2$ by induction

Question: Let $P(n)$ be the statement that $1+\dfrac{1}{4}+\dfrac{1}{9}+\cdots +\dfrac{1}{n^2} <2- \dfrac{1}{n}$. Prove by mathematical induction. Use $P(2)$ for base case. Attempt at ...
5
votes
5answers
409 views

$A \oplus B = A \oplus C$ imply $B = C$?

I don't quite yet understand how $\oplus$ (xor) works yet. I know that fundamentally in terms of truth tables it means only 1 value(p or q) can be true, but not both. But when it comes to solving ...
47
votes
10answers
57k views

What is the best book for studying discrete mathematics?

As a programmer, mathematics is important basic knowledge to study some topics, especially Algorithms. Many websites, and my fellows suggest me to study Discrete Mathematics before going to Algorithms,...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Gay Speed Dating Problem

Here's an interesting problem that I came up with the other night. With straight speed dating, (assuming the number of men and women are equal) the number of iterations that need to be made before ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

Number of relations that are both symmetric and reflexive

Consider a non-empty set A containing n objects. How many relations on A are both symmetric and reflexive? The answer to this is $2^p$ where $p=$ $n \choose 2$. However, I dont understand why this is ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Proof of the Hockey-Stick Identity: $\sum_{t=0}^n \binom tk = \binom{n+1}{k+1}$

After reading this question, the most popular answer use the identity $$\sum_{t=0}^n \binom{t}{k} = \binom{n+1}{k+1}.$$ What's the name of this identity? Is it the identity of the Pascal's triangle ...
8
votes
2answers
405 views

recurrence relation $f(n)=5f(n/2)-6f(n/4) + n$

I've been trying to solve this recurrence relation for a week, but I haven't come up with a solution. $f(n)=5f(n/2)-6f(n/4) + n$ Solve this recurrence relation for $f(1)=2$ and $f(2)=1$ At first ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the solution to the following recurrence relation with square root: $T(n)=T (\sqrt{n}) + 1$?

This looks like a question asked earlier, but it isn't. $$T(n)=\begin{cases} T (\sqrt{n}) + 1 \quad & \text{ if } n>1 \\ 1 & \text{ if }n=1\end{cases}$$ My professor gave this to me in ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What exactly is the difference between weak and strong induction?

I am having trouble seeing the difference between weak and strong induction. There are a few examples in which we can see the difference, such as reaching the $k^{th}$ rung of a ladder and ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Using Euler's Totient Function, how do I find all values n such that $\phi(n)=12$?

How do I generalize the equation to be able to plug in any result for $\phi(n)=12$ and find any possible integer that works?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Choosing numbers without consecutive numbers.

In how many ways can we choose $r$ numbers from $\{1,2,3,...,n\}$, In a way where we have no consecutive numbers in the set? (like $1,2$)
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Cardinality of a set A is strictly less than the cardinality of the power set of A

I am trying to prove the following statement but have trouble comprehending/going forward with some parts! Here is the statement: If $A$ is any set, then $|A|$ $<$ $|P(A)|$ Here is what I ...
1
vote
2answers
320 views

Let $(a,b)$ and $(c,d)$ be intervals in $\Bbb R$, and find an injective and surjective function from $(a,b)$ to $(c,d)$

So here is this question I got stuck on: Let $(a,b)$, $(c,d)$ be intervals (not sure if that's the correct term) on $\Bbb R$, so that $a<b$, $c<d$. Find an injective and surjective function $f:(...
4
votes
4answers
967 views

Determine whether $F(x)= 5x+10$ is $O(x^2)$

Please, can someone here help me to understand the Big-O notation in discrete mathematics? Determine whether $F(x)= 5x+10$ is $O(x^2)$
1
vote
1answer
205 views

Element of, subset of and empty sets

I am trying to make sense of these. To me a is false because the set isn't empty. Is that correct? b is true because the empty set is an element of that set. c is false because the set the empty set ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Combinatorial interpretation of Binomial Inversion

It is known that if $f_n = \sum\limits_{i=0}^{n} g_i \binom{n}{i}$ for all $0 \le n \le m$, then $g_n = \sum_{i=0}^{n} (-1)^{i+n} f_i \binom{n}{i}$ for $0 \le n \le m$. This sort of inversion is ...
22
votes
3answers
695 views

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

So I'm a bit stuck on the following problem I'm attempting to solve. 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Strong Mathematical Induction: Why More than One Base Case?

I am trying to understand this example of strong induction. I know normal induction. In normal induction, if base case is true then we assume some number $n$ to be true. Afterwards, we prove $n+1$ is ...
4
votes
2answers
418 views

Fermat's 2 Square-Like Results from Minkowski Lattice Proofs

Minkowski's Convex Body Theorem for lattices in the plane: Suppose $\mathfrak{L}$ is a lattice in $\mathbf{R}^2$ defined as $\mathfrak{L}=\{m\vec{v_1}+n\vec{v_2}:m,n\in\mathbf{Z}\}$, where $\vec{v_1}$ ...
6
votes
1answer
649 views

convoluted recurrence: $f(2n)=f(n)+f(n+1)+n, f(2n+1)=f(n)+f(n-1)+1$

For the recurrence relation: $f(0)=1$ $f(1)=1$ $f(2)=2$ $f(2n)=f(n)+f(n+1)+n\ \ \ (\forall n>1)$ $f(2n+1)=f(n)+f(n-1)+1\ \ \ (\forall n\ge 1)$ (the first numbers of the sequence are: 1, 1, 2, ...
9
votes
4answers
23k views

How many distinct functions can be defined from set A to B?

In my discrete mathematics class our notes say that between set A (having 6 elements) and set b (having 8 elements), there are $8^6$ distinct functions that can be formed, in other words: $|b|^{|a|}$ ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Prove by Mathematical Induction: $1(1!) + 2(2!) + \cdot \cdot \cdot +n(n!) = (n+1)!-1$

Prove by Mathematical Induction . . . $1(1!) + 2(2!) + \cdot \cdot \cdot +n(n!) = (n+1)!-1$ I tried solving it, but I got stuck near the end . . . a. Basis Step: $(1)(1!) = (1+1)!-1$ $1 = ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Number of combinations with repetitions (Constrained)

I would like to calculate the number of integral solutions to the equation $$x_1 + x_2 + \cdots + x_n = k$$ where $$a_1 \le x_1 \le b_1, a_2 \le x_2 \le b_2, a_3 \le x_3 \le b_3$$ and so on. ...
2
votes
3answers
508 views

Show that $f_0 - f_1 + f_2 - \cdots - f_{2n-1} + f_{2n} = f_{2n-1} - 1$ when $n$ is a positive integer

Letting $f_n$ be the Fibonacci numbers, show that $f_0 - f_1 + f_2 - \cdots - f_{2n-1} + f_{2n} = f_{2n-1} - 1$ when $n$ is a positive integer. Just some homework help. Need to prove. Thank you in ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
139 views

How to prove this statement: $\binom{r}{r}+\binom{r+1}{r}+\cdots+\binom{n}{r}=\binom{n+1}{r+1}$

Let $n$ and $r$ be positive integers with $n \ge r$. Prove that Still a beginner here. Need to learn formatting. I am guessing by induction? Not sure what or how to go forward with this. Need help ...
19
votes
6answers
679 views

How to prove $\sum\limits_{k=0}^n{n \choose k}(k-1)^k(n-k+1)^{n-k-1}= n^n$?

How do I prove the following identity directly? $$\sum_{k=0}^n{n \choose k}(k-1)^k(n-k+1)^{n-k-1}= n^n$$ I thought about using the binomial theorem for $(x+a)^n$, but got stuck, because I realized ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Asymptotics for a partial sum of binomial coefficients

Good afternoon, I would like to ask, if anyone knows how to evaluate a sum $$\sum_{k=0}^{\lambda n}{n \choose k}$$ for fixed $\lambda < 1/2$ with absolute error $O(n^{-1})$, or better. In ...
5
votes
4answers
331 views

Prove $\binom{n}{a}\binom{n-a}{b-a} = \binom{n}{b}\binom{b}{a}$

I want to prove this equation, $$ \binom{n}{a}\binom{n-a}{b-a} = \binom{n}{b}\binom{b}{a} $$ I thought of proving this equation by prove that you are using different ways to count the same set of ...
5
votes
4answers
272 views

Combinatorial Proof for Binomial Identity: $\sum_{k = 0}^n \binom{k}{p} = \binom{n+1}{p+1}$ [duplicate]

I am studying combinatorics and I came across the identity $$\sum\limits_{k=0}^n \binom kp =\binom {n+1}{p+1}.$$ I have read the algebraic proof and it does not appeal to me. Is there an elegant ...
4
votes
2answers
830 views

Number of permutations of a specific cycle decomposition

Let $X(n)$ denote number of all permutations of $\left\{1,\ldots,n \right\}$ that have only cycles of even length. Let $Y(n)$ denote number of all permutations of the same set that have only cycles of ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Let $A$ be any uncountable set, and let $B$ be a countable subset of $A$. Prove that the cardinality of $A = A - B $

I am going over my professors answer to the following problem and to be honest I am quite confused :/ Help would be greatly appreciated! Let $A$ be any uncountable set, and let $B$ be a countable ...
2
votes
2answers
591 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

(Counting problem) very interesting Modular N algebraic eqs - for combinatorics-permutation experts

Experts in algebra please help: we would like to know the number of solutions for this set of six of modular N algebraic equations: $$ (1) \quad x_1 y_2 \equiv x_2 y_1 \pmod{N}\\ (2) \quad x_1 y_3 \...