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Rearranging Summation Problems

Compiled by Nathan Pflueger


5 October 2008
pflueger@stanford.edu
n X n   
X n j
1. Compute . Also give a combinatorial explanation for the result you find.
i=0 j=i
j i

2. (Putnam 2006-A4) A deck of n cards, labeled with the numbers 1, 2, . . . , n, is shuffled ran-
domly. Call a card a “local maximum” if its number is greater than the cards above and
below it (the top card need only be greater than the one card below it, and the bottom
card need only be greater than the one above). Find the expected number of local maxima
in the deck.

3. For any square matrix M , the trace tr(M ) is the sum of the entries on the main diagonal
of the matrix. Prove that if A and B are matrices such that AB and BA are well-defined,
then tr(AB) = tr(BA). Note A, B need not be square matrices.


X n
4. Compute n
.
n=1
2

X n2
5. Compute .
n=1
2n

∞ X
X 1
6. Compute .
n=0 m=1
(n + m)2n+m
∞ X

X 1
7. Compute .
n=0 m=0
2m+n 3|m−n|

1024
X
8. (AHSME 1986-25) Compute blog2 nc.
n=1

9. (AIME 1994-4) Find the positive integer n such that


blog2 1c + blog2 2c + blog2 3c + · · · + blog2 nc = 1994.

10. (AIME 1996-2) For how many integers n with n < 1000 is it true that blog2 nc is a positive
even integer?

11. Each square 25 × 25 grid contains either 1 or −1. Obtain 25 “row products” by multiplying
all entries in a given row. Similarly obtain 25 “column products.” Prove that the sum of
these 50 numbers cannot be a multiple of 4 (in particular, it cannot be 0).

2n 2n 2n 2n
   
12. Compute 0 + 2 + 4 + ··· + 2n .

3n 3n 3n
  
13. Compute 0 + 3 + ··· + 3n .

1
14. Let Fn be the nth Fibonacci number (recall that F0 = 1, F1 = 1, and then each term is
the sum of the
 two previous  terms, giving the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, . . . ). Compute
F0 n0 + F1 n1 + · · · + Fn nn .


15. Call a number d square-free if 1 is the only perfect square that divides n. Let f (n) be the
100
X
largest square-free number which divides n. Compute f (n).
n=1


√ X 2hni + 2−hni
16. (Putnam 2001-B3) Define hni to be the integer closest to n. Compute .
n=1
2n

1995
1 √ X
17. (AIME 1995-13) Let f (n) be the integer closest to 4
n. Find
. Show also, without
f (k)
k=1
explicitly evaluating the sum, that it is an integer, and give general conditions for this to
hold for partial sums other than the 1995th (hint: 1995 ≡ 1785 mod 7).

18. (Abel Summation; also called Partial Summation) Let An = a1 + a2 + · · · + an , and


Bn = b1 + b2 + · · · + bn . Show the following two (equivalent) statements:
N
X N
X −1
an Bn = AN BN − An bn+1
n=1 n=1

N
X N
X −1
an bn = AN bn − An (bn+1 − bn )
n=1 n=1

19. (Uses Calculus) Show that if f is a differentiable function, its integral can approximate its
sum in the following sense:
N
X Z N Z N
f (n) = f (x)dx + {x}f 0 (x)dx
n=1 0 0

Note here that {x} is the fractional part of x; it can also be written x − bxc.

Rx
20. (Euler-Maclaurin formula; Uses Calculus) Define {{x}} = 0 ({u} − 21 )du. Use partial inte-
gration to derive the following stronger form of the previous problem for twice-differentiable
functions:
N Z N Z N
X 1
f (n) = f (x)dx − {{x}}f 00 (x)dx + (f (N ) − f (0))
n=1 0 0 2

21. (Stirling’s Formula, weak version) Using partial summation, show that

(n − 1)! ≤ nn /en−1 ≤ n!

22. (Stirling’s Formula, stronger version) Using the Euler-Maclaurin formula, derive a more
precise estimate for n!.

2
23. This problems establishes in an elementary manner the fact (used in the lecture) that the
area under the curve y = 1/x between x = a and x = b is equal to ln ab , without appeal to
Calculus.
– Define l(a) to be the area under the curve y = 1/x between x = 1 and x = a. Show
that the area under this curve from x = a to x = ab is equal to the area between
x = 1 and x = b. Conlude from this that l(ab) = l(a) + l(b).

1
– Show that l(e) = 1 (see the previous notation). (Hint: first show n+1 ≤ l(n + 1) −
1 n
l(n) ≤ n . From this conclude that as n becomes large, l((1 + 1/n) ) becomes vanish-
ingly close to 1.

– Conclude from the previous two problems that l(a) = ln a, the logarithm base e of a.

24. (Putnam 1985-B3) For all pairs positive integers (m, n), some positive integer am,n is as-
signed. Suppose this is done is such a way that each positive integer occurs precisely eight
times among all values am,n . Prove that for some m, n, am,n > mn.

25. (Putnam 1993-A3) Define c(m, n) to be the number of functions f mapping subsets of the
set {1, 2, . . . , n} to numbers in {1, 2, . . . , m} with the property that for any two subsets
A, B, f (A ∪ B) = min(f (A), f (B)). Compute c(m, n).

26. Consider a convex polyhedron with V vertices, F faces, and E edges. The edges are col-
ored red and blue. Call two adjacent edges a corner, and call a corner whose edges are
different colors a red-blue corner. Prove that the number of red-blue corners is less than
4V . You will need Euler’s formula, which states that in a convex polyhedron, V +F = E+2.

27. Given two sequences of real numbers a1 , a2 , . . . , an and b1 , b2 , . . . bn , prove that the following
two statements are equivalent.
– For any numbers x1 ≤ x2 ≤ · · · ≤ xn ,

a1 x1 + a2 x2 + · · · + an xn ≤ b1 x1 + b2 x2 + · · · + bn xn .

– For each k from 1 to n inclusive,

a1 + a2 + · · · + ak ≥ b1 + b2 + · · · + bk ,

with equality for k = n.