Elementary symmetric sum

A symmetric sum is a type of summation.

Definition

The $k$-th symmetric sum of a set of $n$ numbers is the sum of all products of $k$ of those numbers ($1 \leq k \leq n$). For example, if $n = 4$, and our set of numbers is $\{a, b, c, d\}$, then:

1st Symmetric Sum = $a+b+c+d$

2nd Symmetric Sum = $ab+ac+ad+bc+bd+cd$

3rd Symmetric Sum = $abc+abd+acd+bcd$

4th Symmetric Sum = $abcd$

Notation

The first symmetric sum of $f(x)$ is often written $\sum_{sym}f(x)$. The $n$th can be written $\sum_{sym}^{n}f(x)$

Uses

Symmetric sums show up in Vieta's formulas