We just finished induction and are now starting on Recursive functions. The assigned problem is: How many ways is it possible to climb a staircase ifnsteps if one is allowed to take either one or two steps at a time?

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- Sep 16th 2008, 05:34 PMChief65Recursion
We just finished induction and are now starting on Recursive functions. The assigned problem is: How many ways is it possible to climb a staircase if

*n*steps if one is allowed to take either one or two steps at a time? - Sep 16th 2008, 06:24 PMPaulRS
Call $\displaystyle a_n$ the ways of getting to the nth step.

Suppose we want to climb to the nth step, and $\displaystyle n\geq{2}$.

There are 2 possible ways of getting there:

- We are at the n-1 step, and we jump to the next. $\displaystyle a_{n-1}$ ways of doing this, since we have to get to the n-1 step
- We are at the n-2 step, and we jump directly to n. $\displaystyle a_{n-2}$ ways of doing this

So we have $\displaystyle a_{n}=a_{n-1}+a_{n-2}$

Now $\displaystyle a_0=1$ (there's one way of doing nothing) and $\displaystyle a_1=1$ and our sequence is determined (Wink)