Difference between revisions of "Recursion"
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'''Recursion''' is a method of defining something (usually a [[sequence]] or [[function]]) in terms of previously defined values. The most famous example of a recursive definition is that of the [[Fibonacci sequence]]. If we let <math>F_n</math> be the <math>n</math>th Fibonacci number, the sequence is defined recursively by the relations <math>F_0 = F_1 = 1</math> and <math>F_{n+1}=F_{n}+F_{n-1}</math>. (That is, each term is the sum of the previous two terms.) Then we can easily calculate early values of the sequence in terms of previous values: <math>F_0=1, F_1=1, F_2=2, F_3=3, F_4=5, F_5=8</math>, and so on. | '''Recursion''' is a method of defining something (usually a [[sequence]] or [[function]]) in terms of previously defined values. The most famous example of a recursive definition is that of the [[Fibonacci sequence]]. If we let <math>F_n</math> be the <math>n</math>th Fibonacci number, the sequence is defined recursively by the relations <math>F_0 = F_1 = 1</math> and <math>F_{n+1}=F_{n}+F_{n-1}</math>. (That is, each term is the sum of the previous two terms.) Then we can easily calculate early values of the sequence in terms of previous values: <math>F_0=1, F_1=1, F_2=2, F_3=3, F_4=5, F_5=8</math>, and so on. | ||
Revision as of 13:36, 17 January 2008
This is an AoPSWiki Word of the Week for Jan 17-23 |
Recursion is a method of defining something (usually a sequence or function) in terms of previously defined values. The most famous example of a recursive definition is that of the Fibonacci sequence. If we let be the th Fibonacci number, the sequence is defined recursively by the relations and . (That is, each term is the sum of the previous two terms.) Then we can easily calculate early values of the sequence in terms of previous values: , and so on.
Often, it is convenient to convert a recursive definition into a closed-form definition. For instance, the sequence defined recursively by and for also has the closed-form definition (where "!" represents the factorial function).
Examples
- Mock AIME 2 2006-2007 Problem 8 (number theory)
- A combinatorical use of recursion: 2006 AIME I Problem 11
- Use of recursion to compute an explicit formula: 2006 AIME I Problem 13