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USA Mathematical Talent Search

Solutions to Problem 3/4/19


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3/4/19. Let 0 < < 1. Define a sequence {an } of real numbers by a1 = 1 and for all
integers k 1,

a2k = ak ,
a2k+1 = (1 )ak .

X
Find the value of the sum a2k a2k+1 in terms of .
k=1

Credit This problem was proposed by Sandor Lehoczky, and modified by Dave Patrick.
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Comments This following solution deftly finds the required sum by directly using the given
recursion relations. Solutions edited by Naoki Sato.

Solution by: Tony Jin (10/CA)


By the definition of {an },

X
X
X
a2k a2k+1 = [ak (1 )ak ] = (1 ) a2k .
k=1 k=1 k=1
P
We can split up the sum k=1 a2k as follows:

X
X
X
a2k = a21 + a22k + a22k+1
k=1 k=1 k=1

X X
= a21 + 2 a2k + (1 )2 a2k
k=1 k=1

X
X
= a21 + 2
a2k + (1 ) 2
a2k
k=1 k=1

X
= a21 + [2 + (1 )2 ] a2k .
k=1

Therefore,

X
[1 2 (1 )2 ] a2k = a21 ,
k=1
so
X a21 1
a2k = 2 2
= .
k=1
1 (1 ) 2(1 )
USA Mathematical Talent Search
Solutions to Problem 3/4/19
www.usamts.org

Finally, the sum we seek is



X X 1
a2k a2k+1 = (1 ) a2k = .
k=1 k=1
2

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