Difference between revisions of "Combinatorial identity"

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== Examples ==
 
== Examples ==
 
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* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?p=394407#394407 1986 AIME Problem 15]
* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/resources.php?c=182&cid=45&year=2000&p=385891 AIME 2000II/7]
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* [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/resources.php?c=182&cid=45&year=2000&p=385891 2000 AIME II Problem 7]
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Revision as of 08:17, 10 March 2009

Hockey-Stick Identity

For $n,r\in\mathbb{N}, n>r,\sum^n_{i=r}{i\choose r}={n+1\choose r+1}$.

This identity is known as the hockey-stick identity because, on Pascal's triangle, when the addends represented in the summation and the sum itself are highlighted, a hockey-stick shape is revealed.


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Proof

Inductive Proof

This identity can be proven by induction on $n$.

Base Case Let $n=r$.

$\sum^n_{i=r}{i\choose r}=\sum^r_{i=r}{i\choose r}={r\choose r}=1={r+1\choose r+1}$.

Inductive Step Suppose, for some $k\in\mathbb{N}, k>r$, $\sum^k_{i=r}{i\choose r}={k+1\choose r+1}$. Then $\sum^{k+1}_{i=r}{i\choose r}=\left(\sum^k_{i=r}{i\choose r}\right)+{k+1\choose r}={k+1\choose r+1}+{k+1\choose r}={k+2\choose r+1}$.

Algebraic Proof

It can also be proven algebraically with Pascal's Identity, ${n \choose k}={n-1\choose k-1}+{n-1\choose k}$. Note that

${r \choose r}+{r+1 \choose r}+{r+2 \choose r}+\cdots+{r+a \choose r}$ $={r+1 \choose r+1}+{r+1 \choose r}+{r+2 \choose r}+\cdots+{r+a \choose r}$ $={r+2 \choose r+1}+{r+2 \choose r}+\cdots+{r+a \choose r}=\cdots={r+a \choose r-1}+{r+a \choose r}={r+a+1 \choose r+1}$, which is equivalent to the desired result.

Combinatorial Proof

Imagine that we are distributing $n$ indistinguishable candies to $k$ distinguishable children. By a direct application of Balls and Urns, there are ${n+k-1\choose k-1}$ ways to do this. Alternatively, we can first give $0\le i\le n$ candies to the oldest child so that we are essentially giving $n-i$ candies to $k-1$ kids and again, with Balls and Urns, ${n+k-1\choose k-1}=\sum_{i=0}^n{n+k-2-i\choose k-2}$, which simplifies to the desired result.

Vandermonde's Identity

Vandermonde's Identity states that $\sum_{k=0}^r\binom mk\binom n{r-k}=\binom{m+n}r$, which can be proven combinatorially by noting that any combination of $r$ objects from a group of $m+n$ objects must have some $0\le k\le r$ objects from group $m$ and the remaining from group $n$.

Examples

See also

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