Combinatorial identity

Revision as of 13:38, 3 August 2010 by Thomaslang (talk | contribs) (Hockey-Stick Identity)

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 $n$.

Another Identity

\[\sum_{i=0}^k \binom{k}{i}^2=\binom{2k}{k}\]

Hat Proof

We have $2k$ different hats. We split them into two groups, each with k hats: then we choose $i$ hats from the first group and $k-i$ hats from the second group. This may be done in $\binom{k}{i}^2$ ways. Evidently, to generate all possible choices of $k$ hats from the $2k$ hats, we must choose $i=0,1,\cdots,k$ hats from the first $k$ and the remaining $k-i$ hats from the second $k$; the sum over all such $i$ is the number of ways of choosing $k$ hats from $2k$. Therefore $\sum_{i=0}^k \binom{k}{i}^2=\binom{2k}{k}$, as desired.


See also

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