### Meta

### Categories

- algebra (47)
- arithmetic (86)
- books (35)
- calculus (7)
- challenges (59)
- combinatorics (29)
- complex numbers (6)
- computation (83)
- convergence (9)
- counting (38)
- famous numbers (49)
- fibonacci (18)
- fractals (13)
- games (34)
- geometry (73)
- golden ratio (8)
- group theory (28)
- humor (8)
- induction (8)
- infinity (19)
- iteration (24)
- links (77)
- logic (12)
- meta (43)
- modular arithmetic (30)
- number theory (108)
- open problems (11)
- paradox (1)
- pascal's triangle (8)
- pattern (106)
- people (23)
- pictures (74)
- posts without words (42)
- primes (57)
- probability (9)
- programming (20)
- proof (93)
- puzzles (18)
- recursion (16)
- review (25)
- sequences (28)
- solutions (31)
- teaching (16)
- trig (3)
- Uncategorized (6)
- video (19)

### Archives

- June 2021 (3)
- May 2021 (1)
- March 2020 (4)
- February 2020 (1)
- January 2020 (7)
- December 2019 (4)
- November 2019 (2)
- October 2019 (5)
- September 2019 (7)
- August 2019 (3)
- July 2019 (5)
- May 2019 (4)
- April 2019 (2)
- March 2019 (3)
- February 2019 (3)
- January 2019 (4)
- November 2018 (3)
- October 2018 (4)
- September 2018 (4)
- August 2018 (6)
- July 2018 (2)
- June 2018 (5)
- May 2018 (3)
- April 2018 (5)
- March 2018 (4)
- February 2018 (3)
- January 2018 (4)
- December 2017 (3)
- November 2017 (3)
- October 2017 (1)
- September 2017 (1)
- July 2017 (4)
- June 2017 (4)
- May 2017 (9)
- April 2017 (7)
- March 2017 (5)
- February 2017 (4)
- January 2017 (3)
- December 2016 (4)
- November 2016 (6)
- October 2016 (6)
- September 2016 (2)
- August 2016 (5)
- July 2016 (2)
- June 2016 (4)
- May 2016 (4)
- April 2016 (2)
- March 2016 (3)
- February 2016 (9)
- January 2016 (8)
- December 2015 (5)
- November 2015 (29)
- August 2015 (3)
- June 2015 (2)
- April 2015 (1)
- May 2014 (1)
- December 2013 (1)
- October 2013 (1)
- July 2013 (1)
- June 2013 (1)
- May 2013 (1)
- April 2013 (3)
- March 2013 (3)
- February 2013 (2)
- January 2013 (5)
- December 2012 (3)
- November 2012 (4)
- October 2012 (5)
- September 2012 (1)
- August 2012 (4)
- July 2012 (1)
- June 2012 (6)
- May 2012 (2)
- April 2012 (3)
- March 2012 (1)
- February 2012 (4)
- January 2012 (5)
- December 2011 (1)
- November 2011 (7)
- October 2011 (4)
- September 2011 (6)
- July 2011 (2)
- June 2011 (4)
- May 2011 (5)
- April 2011 (2)
- March 2011 (4)
- February 2011 (1)
- January 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (1)
- November 2010 (4)
- October 2010 (2)
- September 2010 (1)
- August 2010 (1)
- July 2010 (1)
- June 2010 (2)
- May 2010 (3)
- April 2010 (1)
- February 2010 (6)
- January 2010 (3)
- December 2009 (8)
- November 2009 (7)
- October 2009 (3)
- September 2009 (3)
- August 2009 (1)
- June 2009 (4)
- May 2009 (5)
- April 2009 (4)
- March 2009 (2)
- February 2009 (1)
- January 2009 (7)
- December 2008 (1)
- October 2008 (2)
- September 2008 (7)
- August 2008 (1)
- July 2008 (1)
- June 2008 (1)
- April 2008 (5)
- February 2008 (4)
- January 2008 (4)
- December 2007 (3)
- November 2007 (12)
- October 2007 (2)
- September 2007 (4)
- August 2007 (3)
- July 2007 (1)
- June 2007 (3)
- May 2007 (1)
- April 2007 (4)
- March 2007 (3)
- February 2007 (7)
- January 2007 (1)
- December 2006 (2)
- October 2006 (2)
- September 2006 (6)
- July 2006 (4)
- June 2006 (2)
- May 2006 (6)
- April 2006 (3)
- March 2006 (6)

# Category Archives: algebra

## A simple proof of the quadratic formula

If you’re reading this blog you have probably memorized (or used to have memorized) the quadratic formula, which can be used to solve quadratic equations of the form But do you know how to derive the formula? Usually the derivation … Continue reading

## Fibonacci’s Problem of the Birds

I have been enjoying reading Keith Devlin’s new book, Finding Fibonacci. I’ll write more about the book later. For now, I just wanted to share a nice problem I learned about which Leonardo Pisano, aka Fibonacci, included in his book … Continue reading

## Sigma notation ninja tricks 2: splitting sums

[Previous posts in this series: jumping constants] Trick 2: splitting sums I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth spelling it out for completeness’ sake. If you have a sum of something which is itself a sum, like this: you … Continue reading

## Sigma notation ninja tricks 1: jumping constants

Almost exactly ten years ago, I wrote a page on this blog explaining big-sigma notation. Since then it’s consistently been one of the highest-traffic posts on my blog, and still gets occasional comments and questions. A few days ago, a … Continue reading

## MaBloWriMo 30: Cyclic subgroups

Today, to wrap things up, we will use Lagrange’s Theorem to prove that if is an element of the group , the order of evenly divides the order of . So we have a group and an element . In … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, group theory, proof
Tagged cyclic, groups, Lagrange, MaBloWriMo, proof, subgroups
6 Comments

## MaBloWriMo 29: Equivalence classes are cosets

Today will conclude the proof of Lagrange’s Theorem! Recall that we defined subgroups and left cosets, and defined a certain equivalence relation on a group in terms of a subgroup . Today we’re going to show that the equivalence classes … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, group theory, proof
Tagged classes, cosets, equivalence, groups, Lagrange, MaBloWriMo, proof
Comments Off on MaBloWriMo 29: Equivalence classes are cosets

## MaBloWriMo 28: Equivalence relations are partitions

Today we’ll take a brief break from group theory to prove a fact about equivalence relations, namely, that they are the same as partitions. A partition is a pretty intuitive concept: you take a big set, and cut it up … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, group theory, proof
Tagged equivalence, groups, Lagrange, MaBloWriMo, partition, proof, relation
2 Comments

## MaBloWriMo 27: From subgroups to equivalence relations

Again, let be a group and a subgroup of . Then we can define a binary relation on elements of , called , as follows: if and only if there is some such that . That is, for any two … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, group theory, proof
Tagged equivalence, groups, Lagrange, MaBloWriMo, proof, relation, subgroups
Comments Off on MaBloWriMo 27: From subgroups to equivalence relations

## MaBloWriMo 26: Left cosets

Let be a group and a subgroup of . Then for each element we can define a left coset of by . That is, is the set we get by combining (on the left) with every element of . For … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, group theory, proof
Tagged cosets, groups, Lagrange, MaBloWriMo, proof, subgroups
1 Comment

## MaBloWriMo 25: Subgroups

So in the remainder of the month, we’ll prove that in any group , the order of each element must evenly divide the order (size) of the group. I said in an earlier post that this is called Lagrange’s Theorem; … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, group theory, proof
Tagged groups, Lagrange, MaBloWriMo, proof, subgroups
1 Comment