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Math Help - Sums of Binomial Coefficients - proof by induction

  1. #1
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    Sums of Binomial Coefficients - proof by induction

    Hi,

    Was wondering if anyone could help with this question i've been struggling with. Im sure I'm just missing something simple but can't work it out. I need to prove by induction that the sum from j=o to n of j Choose k is equal to n+1 Choose k+1. Think I need to use the identity n Choose k+1 is equal to (n-1 Choose k) plus (n-1 choose k+1). Any help very appreciated!!

    \binom{n+1}{k+1} = \sum_{j=0}^{n}\binom{j}{k}
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  2. #2
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    Hello shmounal

    Welcome to Math Help Forum!
    Quote Originally Posted by shmounal View Post
    Hi,

    Was wondering if anyone could help with this question i've been struggling with. Im sure I'm just missing something simple but can't work it out. I need to prove by induction that the sum from j=o to n of j Choose k is equal to n+1 Choose k+1. Think I need to use the identity n Choose k+1 is equal to (n-1 Choose k) plus (n-1 choose k+1). Any help very appreciated!!

    \binom{n+1}{k+1} = \sum_{j=0}^{n}\binom{j}{k}
    You're right! The result you quote is:
    \binom{n-1}{k}+\binom{n-1}{k+1}= \binom{n}{k+1}
    and if, in this result, we replace n by (n+2) we get:
    \binom{n+1}{k}+\binom{n+1}{k+1}= \binom{n+2}{k+1} ...(1)
    Now suppose that P(n) is the propositional function
    \sum_{j=0}^{n}\binom{j}{k}= \binom{n+1}{k+1}
    Then:
    P(n) \Rightarrow
    \sum_{j=0}^{n+1}\binom{j}{k}= \sum_{j=0}^{n}\binom{j}{k}+\binom{n+1}{k}
    =\binom{n+1}{k+1}+ \binom{n+1}{k}

    =\binom{n+2}{k+1} using
    (1)
    Therefore:
    P(n) \Rightarrow P(n+1)
    I'll leave you to verify that P(1) is true, and that by Induction the result follows.

    Grandad
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  3. #3
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    Thankyou so much for your help - LEGEND
    Last edited by shmounal; January 23rd 2010 at 04:03 AM.
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