# Tagged Questions

For questions about mathematical induction, a method of mathematical proof. Mathematical induction generally proceeds by proving a statement for some integer, called the *base case*, and then proving that if it holds for one integer then it holds for the next integer. This tag is primarily meant ...

9k views

### Induction on Real Numbers

One of my Fellows asked me whether total induction is applicable to real numbers, too ( or at least all real numbers ≥ 0) . We only used that for natural numbers so far. Of course you have to change ...
12k views

I just remembered about a problem/paradox I read years ago in the fun section of the newspaper, which has had me wondering often times. The problem is as follows: A maths teacher says to the class ...
2k views

### Fake induction proofs

Question: Can you provide an example of a claim where the base case holds but there is a subtle flaw in the inductive step that leads to a fake proof of a clearly erroneous result? [Note: Please do ...
6k views

### All natural numbers are equal.

I saw the following "theorem" and its "proof". I can't explain well why the argument is wrong. Could you give me clear explanation so that kids can understand. Theorem: All natural numbers are equal....
4k views

### How can you prove that $1+ 5+ 9 + \cdots +(4n-3) = 2n^{2} - n$ without using induction?

Using mathematical induction, I have proved that $$1+ 5+ 9 + \cdots +(4n-3) = 2n^{2} - n$$ for every integer $n > 0$. I would like to know if there is another way of proving this result ...
3k views

5k views

### Dominoes and induction, or how does induction work?

I've never really understood why math induction is supposed to work. You have these 3 steps: Prove true for base case (n=0 or 1 or whatever) Assume true for n=k. Call this the induction hypothesis....
7k views

### Good examples of double induction

I'm looking for good examples where double induction is necessary. What I mean by double induction is induction on $\omega^2$. These are intended as examples in an "Automatas and Formal Languages" ...
4k views

954 views

### Examples where it is easier to prove more than less

Especially (but not only) in the case of induction proofs, it happens that a stronger claim $B$ is easier to prove than the intended claim $A$ (e.g. since the induction hypothesis gives you more ...
396 views

2k views

### Why is “mathematical induction” called “mathematical”?

One of my whims is that I never write "mathematical induction" but just "induction". We are doing maths, so what is the point about precising? We don't say "Let $f$ be a mathematical function from the ...
1k views

### IMO 1987 - function

Show that there is no function $f: \mathbb{N} \to \mathbb{N}$ such that $f(f(n))=n+1987, \ \forall n \in \mathbb{N}$.
3k views

### What makes induction a valid proof technique?

What makes induction (over natural numbers) a valid proof technique? Is $$\dfrac{ P(0) \quad \forall i \in \mathbb{N}. P(i) \Rightarrow P(i+1) }{ \forall n \in \mathbb{N}. P(n)}$$ just taken for ...
1k views

4k views

### Why doesn't induction extend to infinity? (re: Fourier series)

While reading some things about analytic functions earlier tonight it came to my attention that Fourier series are not necessarily analytic. I used to think one could prove that they are analytic ...
1k views

### What are some examples of induction where the base case is difficult but the inductive step is trivial?

According to Wikipedia: ...proofs by mathematical induction have two parts: the "base case" that shows that the theorem is true for a particular initial value such as n = 0 or n = 1 and ...
1k views

### Proof by induction that $n^3 + (n + 1)^3 + (n + 2)^3$ is a multiple of $9$. Please mark/grade.

What do you think about my first induction proof? Please mark/grade. Theorem The sum of the cubes of three consecutive natural numbers is a multiple of 9. Proof First, introducing a predicate $P$...
5k views

### Prove that $n < 2^{n}$ for all natural numbers $n$.

Prove that $n < 2^{n}$ for all natural numbers $n$. I tried this with induction: Inequality clearly holds when $n=1$. Supposing that when $n=k$, $k<2^{k}$. Considering $k+1 <2^{k}+1$, ...
2k views

### There are no bearded men in the world - What goes wrong in this proof?

Several years ago in a textbook I read this example as a faulty use of proof by induction. I never really realized why it fails. Here it goes: Theorem. There are no bearded men in the world. ...
406 views

### Cauchy induction: are there examples of cases where choosing an integer other than $2$ is a better strategy?

Cauchy induction, sometimes called backwards induction, works as follows: show that $p(1)$ is true show that $p(n)$ implies $p(2n)$ (which inductively implies $p(2^n)$ is true) show that $p(n)$ ...
889 views

### Fibonacci number identity.

How do I see that $f_{n+1}f_{n-1} = f_n^2 + (-1)^n$, $n \ge 2$, where $f_1 = 1$, $f_2 = 1$, and $f_{n+2} = f_{n+1} + f_n$ for $n \in \mathbb{N}$?
2k views

### 9 pirates have to divide 1000 coins…

A band of 9 pirates have just finished their latest conquest - looting, killing and sinking a ship. The loot amounts to 1000 gold coins. Arriving on a deserted island, they now have to split up the ...
### Proof that $n^3+2n$ is divisible by $3$
I'm trying to freshen up for school in another month, and I'm struggling with the simplest of proofs! Problem: For any natural number $n , n^3 + 2n$ is divisible by $3.$ This makes sense ...