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Math Help - How would you minimize this sum?

  1. #1
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    How would you minimize this sum?

    \sum_{i=1}^{n-1} \sqrt{(a+b)^2}
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  2. #2
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    Re: How would you minimize this sum?

    Quote Originally Posted by MathIsOhSoHard View Post
    \sum_{i=1}^{n-1} \sqrt{(a+b)^2}
    What does that question mean?
    What are a~\&~b~?
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  3. #3
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    Re: How would you minimize this sum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    What does that question mean?
    What are a~\&~b~?
    a and b are just random constants. I would like to minimize the sum the way they explain it at the bottom of this page:
    Sum -- from Wolfram MathWorld
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  4. #4
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    Re: How would you minimize this sum?

    What you have shown is simply (n- 1)|a+b|. You can minimize that by taking, for example, any value for a and then taking b= -a.

    Surely that's NOT what you intended to say.

    Notice that in the example you link to, the sum is over the index i and there is a x_i in the summand so you have different terms for different i in your sum. Your example does not have that. I don't think anyone can answer what you meant to ask until you clarify what you are asking.
    Last edited by HallsofIvy; March 30th 2012 at 08:24 AM.
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