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3.1Newton'sBinomialTheorem

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1Fundamentals
2InclusionExclusion
3GeneratingFunctions
1.Newton'sBinomialTheorem
2.ExponentialGenerating
Functions
3.PartitionsofIntegers
4.RecurrenceRelations
5.CatalanNumbers

3.1Newton'sBinomialTheorem
[Jumptoexercises]
Recallthat
n

4SystemsofDistinct
Representatives
5GraphTheory
6PlyaRedfieldCounting

n(n 1)(n 2) (n k + 1)

n!
) =

k! (n k)!

k!

Theexpressionontherightmakessenseevenifn isnotanonnegativeinteger,solongask
isanonnegativeinteger,andwethereforedefine
r(r 1)(r 2) (r k + 1)

r
(

) =
k

k!

whenrisarealnumber.Forexample,
(

1/2
) =
4

(1/2)(1/2)(3/2)(5/2)

5
=

and
128

4!

(2)(3)(4)
2
(
) =
3
3!

= 4.

Thesegeneralizedbinomialcoefficientssharesomeimportantpropertiesoftheusual
binomialcoefficients,mostnotablythat
r
(

r 1
r 1
) = (
) + (
).
k
k 1
k

(3.1.1)

Thenremarkably:
Theorem3.1.1 (Newton'sBinomialTheorem)Foranyrealnumberrthatisnotanon
negativeinteger,

(x + 1)

r
i
= ( )x
i
i=0

when1 < x < 1.


Proof.
ItisnothardtoseethattheseriesistheMaclaurinseriesfor(x + 1) ,andthattheseries
convergeswhen1 < x < 1.Itisrathermoredifficulttoprovethattheseriesisequalto
(x + 1) theproofmaybefoundinmanyintroductoryrealanalysisbooks.
r

Example3.1.2 Expandthefunction(1 x)

Wefirstconsider(x + 1)

whenn isapositiveinteger.

wecansimplifythebinomialcoefficients:

(n)(n 1)(n 2) (n
https://www.whitman.edu/mathematics/cgt_online/book/section03.01.html

i + 1)

(n)(n + 1) (n + i 1)

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3.1Newton'sBinomialTheorem
(n)(n 1)(n 2) (n i + 1)

(n)(n + 1) (n + i 1)

= (1)
i!

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1Fundamentals

(n + i 1)!

= (1)

i! (n 1)!

2InclusionExclusion
3GeneratingFunctions
1.Newton'sBinomialTheorem
2.ExponentialGenerating
Functions
3.PartitionsofIntegers
4.RecurrenceRelations
5.CatalanNumbers
4SystemsofDistinct
Representatives
5GraphTheory

i!

n + i 1

= (1) (

n + i 1

) = (1) (

).

n 1

Thus

n + i 1

= (1) (

(x + 1)

)x
n 1

i=0

n + i 1

= (

)(x) .
n 1

i=0

Nowreplacingxbyxgives

6PlyaRedfieldCounting

n + i 1

= (

(1 x)

i=0

So(1 x)

isthegeneratingfunctionfor(
{ 1, 2, , n} ofsizei.
n

)x .
n 1

n+i1
n1

,thenumberofsubmultisetsof

Inmanycasesitispossibletodirectlyconstructthegeneratingfunctionwhosecoefficients
solveacountingproblem.
Example3.1.3 Findthenumberofsolutionstox + x
0 x 2 ,0 x 5 ,0 x 5 ,2 x 6 .
1

+ x3 + x4 = 17

,where

Wecanofcoursesolvethisproblemusingtheinclusionexclusionformula,butweuse
generatingfunctions.Considerthefunction
2

(1 + x + x )(1 + x + x

+ x

+ x

+ x )(1 + x + x

+ x

+ x

+ x )(x

+ x

+ x

+ x

+ x ).

Wecanmultiplythisoutbychoosingonetermfromeachfactorinallpossibleways.Ifwe
thencollectliketerms,thecoefficientofx willbethenumberofwaystochooseoneterm
fromeachfactorsothattheexponentsofthetermsadduptok .Thisispreciselythenumber
ofsolutionstox + x + x + x = k,where0 x 2 ,0 x 5 ,0 x 5 ,
2 x 6 .Thus,theanswertotheproblemisthecoefficientofx
.Withthehelpofa
computeralgebrasystemweget
k

17

(1 + x + x )(1 +x + x
=

18

+ x
17

+ 4x
9

+67x

+ x

16

+ 10x
8

15

+ 19x
7

+ 58x

+ x ) (x

+ 45x

+ x

+ x

14

13

+ 31x
6

+ 31x

+ x

+ 45x
5

+ 19x

+ 10x

+ x )
12

+ 58x
3

11

+ 67x

10

+ 70x

+ 4x

+ x ,

sotheansweris4.
Example3.1.4 Findthegeneratingfunctionforthenumberofsolutionsto
x + x + x + x = k,where0 x ,0 x 5 ,0 x 5 ,2
1

x4 6

Thisisjustlikethepreviousexampleexceptthatx isnotboundedabove.Thegenerating
functionisthus
1

f (x) = (1 + x + x
1

= (1 x)

+ )(1 + x + x
2

(1 + x + x
2

(1 + x + x

+ x

+ x
4

+ x

+ x
4

+ x
5

+ x

+ x ) (x
2

+ x ) (x

+ x ) (x

+ x

+ x
4

+ x

+ x

+ x
5

+ x

+ x
5

+ x

+ x

+ x )

+ x )

+ x )
.

1 x

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3.1Newton'sBinomialTheorem

Notethat(1 x)

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1Fundamentals

= (1 + x + x

+ )

isthefamiliargeometricseriesfromcalculus

alternately,wecoulduseexample3.1.2.Unlikethefunctioninthepreviousexample,this
functionhasaninfiniteexpansion:

2InclusionExclusion
2

f (x) = x

3GeneratingFunctions
1.Newton'sBinomialTheorem
2.ExponentialGenerating
Functions
3.PartitionsofIntegers
4.RecurrenceRelations
5.CatalanNumbers
4SystemsofDistinct
Representatives
5GraphTheory
6PlyaRedfieldCounting

+ 4x
9

+102x

10

+ 125x

15

+179x

+ 10x

+ 20x

11

+ 145x

16

+ 35x

12

+ 160x

17

+ 180x

+ 180x

+ 55x

+ 78x
13

+ 170x

18

+ 180x

19

+ 180x

14

+ 176x

20

+ 180x

+ .

HereishowtodothisinSage.
Example3.1.5 Findageneratingfunctionforthenumberofsubmultisetsof
{ a, b, c} inwhichthereareanoddnumberofa s,anevennumberofbs,and
anynumberofcs.Aswehaveseen,thisisthesameasthenumberofsolutionsto
x + x + x = ninwhichx isodd,x iseven,andx isunrestricted.Thegenerating
functionistherefore
1

(x + x

+ x

+ )(1 + x

+ x

+ )(1 + x + x

= x(1 + (x ) + (x )

+ (x )

+ x

+ )
2

+ )(1 + (x ) + (x )

+ (x )

1
+ )
1 x

x
=

(1 x ) (1 x)

Exercises3.1
Forsomeoftheseexercises,youmaywanttousethesageappletabove,inexample3.1.4,or
yourfavoritecomputeralgebrasystem.
Ex3.1.1Provethat(

) = (

r1

) + (

k1

r1
k

Ex3.1.2ShowthattheMaclaurinseriesfor(x + 1) is

i=0

( )x
i

Ex3.1.3Concerningexample3.1.4,showthatallcoefficientsbeginningwithx are180.
16

Ex3.1.4Useageneratingfunctiontofindthenumberofsolutionsto
x + x + x + x = 14,where0 x 3 ,2 x 5 ,0 x 5 ,4
1

Ex3.1.5Findthegeneratingfunctionforthenumberofsolutionsto
x + x + x + x = k,where0 x ,3 x ,2 x
1

x4 6

,1

x4 5

Ex3.1.6Findageneratingfunctionforthenumberofnonnegativeintegersolutionsto
3x + 2y + 7z = n.
Ex3.1.7Supposewehavealargesupplyofred,white,andblueballoons.Howmany
differentbunchesof10balloonsarethere,ifeachbunchmusthaveatleastoneballoonof
eachcolorandthenumberofwhiteballsmustbeeven?
Ex3.1.8Usegeneratingfunctionstoshowthateverypositiveintegercanbewrittenin
exactlyonewayasasumofdistinctpowersof2.
Ex3.1.9Supposewehavealargesupplyofblueandgreencandles,andonegoldcandle.
Howmanycollectionsofn candlesarethereinwhichthenumberofbluecandlesiseven,
thenumberofgreencandlesisanynumber,andthenumberofgoldcandlesisatmostone?

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