- algorithm
- approximation
- bar
- binary
- binomial coefficients
- book
- cards
- carnival
- Carnival of Mathematics
- chocolate
- circle
- coins
- combinatorics
- complex
- conjecture
- convolution
- counting
- decadic
- decimal
- diagrams
- Dirichlet
- Euler
- factorization
- Fermat
- fibonacci
- game
- games
- gcd
- graph
- groups
- Haskell
- integers
- irrational
- Ivan Niven
- Lagrange
- lehmer
- little
- lucas
- MaBloWriMo
- making
- Mersenne
- moebius
- mu
- nim
- number
- numbers
- objects
- omega
- order
- pi
- powers
- prime
- primes
- primitive
- programming
- proof
- puzzle
- review
- roots
- sequence
- square
- strategy
- sum
- symmetry
- test
- theorem
- tree
- triangular
- two-player
- unit
- unity
- video
- visualization
- X
- zero-sum

### Blogroll

### Fun

### Reference

### Categories

- algebra (46)
- arithmetic (63)
- books (29)
- calculus (7)
- challenges (53)
- combinatorics (13)
- complex numbers (6)
- computation (46)
- convergence (9)
- counting (32)
- famous numbers (48)
- fibonacci (18)
- fractals (13)
- games (34)
- geometry (56)
- golden ratio (8)
- group theory (26)
- humor (6)
- induction (7)
- infinity (19)
- iteration (24)
- links (74)
- logic (6)
- meta (42)
- modular arithmetic (24)
- number theory (82)
- open problems (11)
- paradox (1)
- pascal's triangle (8)
- pattern (92)
- people (21)
- pictures (70)
- posts without words (25)
- primes (41)
- probability (6)
- programming (17)
- proof (73)
- puzzles (15)
- recursion (16)
- review (20)
- sequences (28)
- solutions (28)
- teaching (14)
- trig (3)
- Uncategorized (6)
- video (19)

### Archives

- December 2017 (1)
- 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)

### Meta

# Category Archives: combinatorics

## Fermat’s Little Theorem: proof by necklaces

It’s time for our second proof of Fermat’s Little Theorem, this time using a proof by necklaces. As you know, proof by necklaces is a very standard technique for… wait, what do you mean, you’ve never heard of proof by … Continue reading

Posted in combinatorics, number theory, primes, proof
Tagged combinatorics, counting, Fermat, little, necklace, proof, theorem
1 Comment

## Möbius inversion

In my last post we saw that , that is, the Möbius function is the inverse of with respect to Dirichlet convolution. This directly leads to an interesting principle called Möbius inversion. Möbius inversion. Suppose is defined for as the … Continue reading

## Dirichlet convolution and the Möbius function

Recall from last time that the Dirichlet convolution of two functions and is written and defined by: where the sum is taken over all possible factorizations of into a product of positive integers. Last time we saw that is commutative … Continue reading

## Dirichlet convolution

Let and be two functions defined on the positive integers. Then the Dirichlet convolution of and , written , is another function on the positive integers, defined as follows: The sum is taken over all possible factorizations of into a … Continue reading

## The Möbius function proof, part 2 (the subset parity lemma)

Continuing from my previous post, we are in the middle of proving that satisfies the same equation as , that is, and that therefore for all , that is, is the sum of all the th primitive roots of unity. … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, combinatorics, complex numbers, primes, proof
Tagged circle, complex, moebius, mu, primitive, proof, roots, sum, unit, unity
3 Comments

## The birthday candle problem: solution

Recall the birthday candle problem I wrote about in a previous post: A birthday cake has lit candles. At each step you pick a number uniformly at random and blow out candles. If any candles remain lit, the process repeats … Continue reading

Posted in combinatorics, probability, solutions
Tagged birthday, candles, expectation, problem
5 Comments

## The birthday candle problem

After a 1.5-month epic journey1, I am finally settling into my new position at Hendrix College. Here’s a fun problem I just heard from my new colleage Mark Goadrich: A birthday cake has lit candles. At each step you pick … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, combinatorics, probability
Tagged birthday, candles, expectation, problem
5 Comments