Category Archives: induction

PIE: proof by algebra

In my previous post I stated a very formal, general form of the Principle of Inclusion-Exclusion, or PIE.1 In this post I am going to outline one proof of PIE. I’m not going to give a completely formal proof, because … Continue reading

Posted in combinatorics, induction, pattern, proof | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book review: Roads to Infinity

What is infinity? What is proof? These are two of the biggest questions mathematicians have grappled with over the years. In this well-written and fascinating book, John Stillwell takes us on a tour through some of the answers to these … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, books, computation, induction, infinity, logic, proof, review | Tagged , , ,

Cassini’s identity

My previous post asked you to take any Fibonacci number, square it, and also multiply the two adjacent Fibonacci numbers, and see if a pattern emerged. Here’s a table I made for the first 6 Fibonacci numbers: (Hmm, the numbers … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, fibonacci, induction, pattern, proof, solutions | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The hyperbinary sequence and the Calkin-Wilf tree

And now, the amazing conclusion to this series of posts on Neil Calkin and Herbert Wilf’s paper, Recounting the Rationals, and the answers to all the questions about the hyperbinary sequence. Hold on to your hats! The Calkin-Wilf Tree First, … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, computation, induction, iteration, number theory, pattern, proof, recursion, sequences, solutions | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

More hyperbinary fun

When I originally posed Challenge #12, a certain Dave posted a series of comments with some explorations and partial solutions to part II (the hyperbinary sequence). Although I gave the “solution” in my last post, no solution to any problem … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, induction, pattern, proof, recursion, sequences, solutions | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Challenge #12 solution, part II

Yes, that’s right, that Challenge #12, posted one year, five months, and a day ago. You see, I have this nasty habit of starting things and not finishing them… well, better late than never! Question two of the aforementioned challenge … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, counting, induction, pattern, sequences, solutions | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Recounting the Rationals, part IV

Continuing a series about the Calkin-Wilf tree (see those links for some background), today I’d like to show why all the rationals in the tree must be in lowest terms. Let’s start off with a little number theory! What do … Continue reading

Posted in induction, number theory, pattern, proof | 11 Comments

Golden powers

So, we know from a previous challenge that . That’s a pretty interesting property, which is shared only by its cousin, . I wonder whether other powers of have special properties too? Let’s see: Interesting! What about ? And ? … Continue reading

Posted in famous numbers, fibonacci, golden ratio, induction, proof | 6 Comments