Monthly Archives: April 2009

Monday Math Madness #31

This week’s Monday Math Madness is a nice little problem involving complex exponentiation. Go check it out, and maybe win a prize!

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Idempotent endofunctions

Via Topological Musings comes another neat little counting problem. A function is idempotent if applying it twice gives the same result as applying it once: that is, for any input x. Endofunction is just a fancy way of talking about … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, counting | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Distributing cookies: solutions

And now for some solutions to the cookie distribution problem. I’m actually going to describe four different methods of solution, and thereby (re)discover some nice combinatorial identities along the way. This is what I love about combinatorics—you discover all this … Continue reading

Posted in counting, proof, solutions | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Distributing cookies

Here’s a neat problem I saw in a recent post by Steven Miller on the Williams College math department blog. The problem comes from an old Putnam competition, one of the most prestigious college mathematics competitions. (It’s also one of … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, counting | Tagged , , | 23 Comments