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# Tag Archives: difference

## An exploration of forward differences for bored elementary school students

Last week I made a mathematics worksheet for my 8-year-old son, whose school is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. I’m republishing it here so others can use it for similar purposes. Figurate numbers and forward differences There are lots … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, teaching
Tagged coronavirus, difference, elementary, forward, homeschool, worksheet
1 Comment

## A combinatorial proof: PIE a la mode!

Continuing from my last post in this series, we’re trying to show that , where is defined as which is what we get when we start with a sequence of consecutive th powers and repeatedly take successive differences. Recall that … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, combinatorics, proof
Tagged consecutive, difference, function, integers, matching, powers

## A combinatorial proof: counting bad functions

In a previous post we derived the following expression: . We are trying to show that , in order to show that starting with a sequence of consecutive th powers and repeatedly taking successive differences will always result in . … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, combinatorics, proof
Tagged consecutive, difference, function, integers, matching, powers
1 Comment

## A combinatorial proof: functions and matchings

We’re trying to prove the following equality (see my previous post for a recap of the story so far): In particular we’re trying to show that the two sides of this equation correspond to two different ways to count the … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, combinatorics, proof
Tagged consecutive, difference, function, integers, matching, powers
5 Comments

## A combinatorial proof: the story so far

In my last post I reintroduced this seemingly odd phenomenon: Start with consecutive integers and raise them all to the th power. Then repeatedly take pairwise differences (i.e. subtract the first from the second, and the second from the third, … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, combinatorics, proof
Tagged consecutive, difference, integers, powers
1 Comment

## A combinatorial proof: reboot!

More than seven years ago I wrote about a curious phenomenon, which I found out about from Patrick Vennebush: if you start with a sequence of consecutive th powers, and repeatedly take pairwise differences, you always end up with , … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, combinatorics, proof
Tagged consecutive, difference, integers, powers
11 Comments

## The Recamán sequence

I recently learned about a really interesting sequence of integers, called the Recamán sequence (it’s sequence A005132 in the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences). It is very simple to define, but the resulting complexity shows how powerful self-reference is (for … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, recursion, sequences
Tagged difference, integers, Recamán, repeat, sequence
5 Comments

## Differences of powers of consecutive integers, part II

If you spent some time playing around with the procedure from Differences of powers of consecutive integers (namely, raise consecutive integers to the th power, and repeatedly take pairwise differences until reaching a single number) you probably noticed the curious … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, iteration, pascal's triangle
Tagged binomial coefficients, consecutive, difference, integers, powers
3 Comments

## Differences of powers of consecutive integers

Patrick Vennebush of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks recently wrote about the following procedure that yields surprising results. Choose some positive integer . Now, starting with consecutive integers, raise each integer to the th power. Then take pairwise differences by … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, pattern
Tagged consecutive, difference, integers, powers, surprising
16 Comments