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42
votes
1answer
3k views

How to prove this polynomial always has integer values at all integers?

Let $m$ be any positive integer. $$ P_m(x)=\sum_{i=0}^{m}\sum_{j=0}^{m}{x+j\choose j}{x-1\choose j}{j\choose i}{m\choose i}{i\choose m-j}\frac{3}{(2i-1)(2j+1)(2m-2i-1)}. $$ Question: $P_m(x)$ always ...
40
votes
2answers
3k views

Alternating sum of square roots of binomial coefficients

Let $$ c_n = \sum_{r=0}^n (-1)^r \sqrt{\binom{n}{r}}. $$ It is clear that $c_n = 0$ if $n$ is odd. Remarkably, it appears that despite the huge positive and negative contributions in the sum ...
36
votes
4answers
3k views

Integer-valued factorial ratios

This historical question recalls Pafnuty Chebyshev's estimates for the prime distribution function. In his derivation Chebyshev used the factorial ratio sequence $$ ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

A limit involving binomial coefficients?

Experimentation suggests the limit $$\lim_{n\rightarrow\infty} (-1)^n\sum_{k=1}^n(-1)^k{n\choose k}^{-1/k}=\frac{1}{2}\ .$$ Does somebody have an idea for (a start of) a proof? Added: There seem to ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

A binomial generalization of the FLT: Bombieri's Napkin Problem

This is an extract from Apéry's biography (which some of the people have already enjoyed in this answer). During a mathematician's dinner in Kingston, Canada, in 1979, the conversation turned ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the sum $\sum\limits_{j=0}^{k-1}(-1)^{j+1}(k-j)^{2k-2} \binom{2k+1}{j} \ge 0?$

I am trying to prove $\sum\limits_{j=0}^{k-1}(-1)^{j+1}(k-j)^{2k-2} \binom{2k+1}{j} \ge 0$. This inequality has been verified by computer for $k\le40$. Some clues that might work (kindly provided by ...
23
votes
1answer
603 views

integers which are sums of binomial coefficients: $\sum_i {n \choose k_i}$

Let $n$ be an integer. For $S$ a subset of $\{0,\dots,n\}$, define $$m(S) = \sum_{k \in S} {n \choose k}.$$ Let $M_n$ be the set of integers of the form $m(S)$ for all sets $S \subset \{0,\dots,n\}$. ...
18
votes
1answer
966 views

Solutions to $\binom{n}{5} = 2 \binom{m}{5}$

In Finite Mathematics by Lial et al. (10th ed.), problem 8.3.34 says: On National Public Radio, the Weekend Edition program posed the following probability problem: Given a certain number of ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Simplest form for sum of Binomial Expressions

How difficult is the problem of reducing the number of terms in a sum of binomial expressions? Formally: Given $a_1, a_2, a_3, … a_n$, and $b_1, b_2, b_3, ... , b_n$, where $a_i, b_i \in \mathbb{Z}$, ...
18
votes
0answers
589 views

Does $\binom{2n}{n} \equiv 2 \pmod p$ ever hold?

Well, the title does not tell the whole story; the complete question is: Are there any primes of the form $p=2n(n-1)+1$, with integer $n\ge 1$, such that $$ \binom{2n}{n} \equiv 2\pmod p ? $$ ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

How to prove that the following double sum is always an integer?

I have verified the following double sum is always an integer for $s$ up to $1000$ via Maple. But I can not prove it. Proofs, hints, or references are all welcome. Thanks! ...
16
votes
1answer
736 views

Are there good bounds on binomial coefficients?

Motivated by the central limit theorem, one expects that $$\binom{n}{k} \approx \frac{2^n}{\sqrt{\pi n/2}} \exp\left(-\frac{(k-n/2)^2}{n/2}\right).$$ Computations suggest that the ratio of the two ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Prove that expression is integer

Numerical experiments suggest that $\binom{2m}{m + k}\cdot\frac{3m - 1 - 2k^2}{2m - 1}$ is integer for all $-m \le k\le +m$. It means that expression evaluation could be implemented very efficiently, ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Binomial supercongruences: is there any reason for them?

One of the recent questions, in fact the answer to it, reminded me about the binomial sequence $$ a_n=\sum_{k=0}^n{\binom{n}{k}}^2{\binom{n+k}{k}}^2, \qquad n=0,1,2,\dots, $$ of the Apéry ...
13
votes
1answer
380 views

A combinatorial identity involving generalized harmonic numbers

The $n$-th harmonic number is defined as $$ H_n=\sum_{k=1}^{n}\frac{1}{k}, $$ and the generalized harmonic numbers are defined by $$ H_{n}^{(r)}=\sum_{k=1}^{n}\frac{1}{k^r}. $$ Recently, I have found ...
11
votes
5answers
929 views

Asymptotics of a Bernoulli-number-like function

Tony Lezard asked me the following question which seemed like it should not be too hard but which I did not immediately see how to answer. Define $f(n,k)$ recursively by $f(1,k) = 1$ and $$f(n,k) = ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Rational congruence of binomial coefficient matrices

Skip Garibaldi asks if there is an elementary proof of the following fact that "accidentally" fell out of some high-powered machinery he was working on. Say that two matrices $A$ and $B$ over the ...
10
votes
2answers
620 views

Why are negative sets multisets? (Reference request)

It is easy to establish that $$ \left(\!\!{n\choose k}\!\!\right)=(-1)^k{-n \choose k}, $$ where the symbol on the left-hand-side counts the number of multisets of $k$ elements from $n$. On the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Proving $\sum_{k=0}^{2m}(-1)^k{\binom{2m}{k}}^3=(-1)^m\binom{2m}{m}\binom{3m}{m}$

I found the following formula in a book without any proof: $$\sum_{k=0}^{2m}(-1)^k{\binom{2m}{k}}^3=(-1)^m\binom{2m}{m}\binom{3m}{m}.$$ This does not seem to follow immediately from the basic ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Showing a matrix is negative definite [formerly Showing a sum is always positive]

For each $d$, I have a matrix $M$ with values $$ M_{ij} = \begin{cases} \frac{4ij}{d} - \binom{2d}{d} & i \neq j & \\\\ \frac{4i^2}{d} - \binom{2d}{d} - ...
9
votes
7answers
5k views

Lower bound for sum of binomial coefficients?

Hi! I'm new here. It would be awesome if someone knows a good answer. Is there a good lower bound for the tail of sums of binomial coefficients? I'm particularly interested in the simplest case ...
9
votes
2answers
865 views

What is $\sum_{i=0}^{n}\binom{n}{i}^3$?

We know that $$\sum_{i=0}^{n}\binom{n}{i}=2^n$$ and that $$\sum_{i=0}^{n}\binom{n}{i}^2= \binom{2n}{n}$$ what about $$\sum_{i=0}^{n}\binom{n}{i}^3$$ ?
9
votes
1answer
372 views

Equation with $q$-binomial coefficients

Let $d\ge2$, and let $q$ be a power of a prime. As usual, define $N(d,q)=\sum_{k=0}^d{d\choose k}_q$. I wonder if there are $d$ and $q$ as above such that $1+N(d,q)=q^{d+1}$. (If the answer is ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Solving a general two-term combinatorial recurrence relation

What is known about explicit (not necessarily closed-form) solutions to the recurrence $$R^n_k= (\alpha n) R^{n-1}_k + (\alpha' n + \beta' k) R^{n-1} _{k-1},$$ with initial condition $R_0^0 = 1$ and ...
8
votes
2answers
604 views

Zero sum of binomial coefficients

Is there a function $p:\mathbb N\to \{ 1,-1 \} $ and a fixed $N\in \mathbb N$ such that for every $n \geq N$ we get: $\sum _{i=0} ^{n} p(i)\binom {n}{i}=0$ ? Obviously $p(i)=(-1)^i$ works for ...
8
votes
1answer
500 views

What is $\lim_{n\to\infty} \displaystyle \sum_{k=0}^{\lfloor n/2 \rfloor} \binom{n}{2k}\left(4^{-k}\binom{2k}{k}\right)^{\frac{2n}{\log_2{n}}}\,?$

What is $$\lim_{n\to\infty} \displaystyle \sum_{k=0}^{\lfloor n/2 \rfloor} \binom{n}{2k}\left(4^{-k}\binom{2k}{k}\right)^{\frac{2n}{\log_2{n}}}\,?$$
8
votes
0answers
537 views

Does anyone know this sequence of polynomials?

A referee on a paper of mine showed me the following recurrence for polynomials $P_{n,k}\in\mathbb Q[q,q^{-1}]$ for $n\geq 0$ and $0\leq k\leq n/2$. \begin{align} P_{0,0}&=1\\ \text{for $n\geq ...
7
votes
6answers
871 views

Binomial coefficient identity

It seems to be nontrivial (to me) to show that the following identity holds: $$ \binom {m+n}{n} \sum_{k=0}^m \binom {m}{k} \frac {n(-1)^k}{n+k} = 1. $$ This quantity is related to the volume of the ...
7
votes
3answers
652 views

Combinatorial identities

I have computational evidence that $$\sum_{k=0}^n \binom{4n+1}{k} \cdot \binom{3n-k}{2n}= 2^{2n+1}\cdot \binom{2n-1}{n}$$ but I cannot prove it. I tried by induction, but it seems hard. Does anyone ...
7
votes
3answers
874 views

Binomial coefficient in Andrews' partition book

First of all, i think MathOverflow is a very great community to discuss math, either basic or advanced, and i'm glad to participate here. It's my first post, so i'm sorry if i did anything wrong, and ...
7
votes
1answer
378 views

Quest for a human proof of a $q-$binomial identity

Let $$f(n,k) = \sum\limits_{j = - k}^k {{{( - 1)}^{k - j}}} \binom{n-j}{k-j}\binom{n+j}{k+j}.$$ Then $f(n,k)=\binom{n}{k}$ because it satisfies $f(n,k)=f(n-1,k)+f(n-1,k-1)$ and the obvious ...
7
votes
0answers
327 views

Polynomials with presumably positive coefficients

The $q$-Pochhammer symbol $(q) _ 0:=1$ and $(q) _ n:=\prod _ {j=1}^n (1-q^j)$ for $n > 0$ is clearly a polynomial in $q$ which has both positive and negative coefficients when $n>0$. The ...
7
votes
0answers
783 views

Inverse of a matrix with binomial coefficients

Let $a(n,k)=(-1)^k {{2n-k}\choose k}$ for $0 \le k \le n$ and $a(n,k)=0$ else. Then it is known (cf. OEIS A005439 and A098435) that the first column of the inverse matrix of $(a(i,j))_{i,j\ge0}$ is ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Multiplicative Convolution for Binomial Coefficients

I know Vandermonde's convolution for binomial coefficients: $$\sum_{j=0...k} \binom{n}{j} \binom{m}{k-j} = \binom{n+m}{k}$$ Is there a similar multiplicative convolution? More precisely, is there a ...
6
votes
1answer
683 views

Sums of binomials with even coefficients

While looking for a closed form of a expression I worked myself to a formula that resembles the Vandermonde convolution, but is summed over even binomial coefficients only. ...
6
votes
4answers
684 views

Maximum value of the binomial coefficient as a polynomial

What is the maximum (absolute) value of the binomial coefficient $\begin{pmatrix}x \\ k\end{pmatrix} = \frac{1}{k!}x(x-1)(x-2)\dotsb(x-k+1)$ for real $x$ in the interval $0 \leq x \leq k-1$?
6
votes
1answer
835 views

Divisibility of a binomial coefficient by $p^2$ — current status

While skimming the book Concrete Mathematics, (edit: first edition) I came across the following problem, which is listed there as a Research Problem: (Chapter 5, Exercise 96) Is ${2n \choose n}$ ...
6
votes
3answers
519 views

Is there a closed formula for the generating function of some trinomial coefficients?

We learn in calculus how to obtain a sum of binomial coefficients $\frac{(2d)!}{(d!)^2}$ in terms of a generating function $\sum_{d \geq 0} \frac{(2d)!}{(d!)^2} x^d$ by the Taylor series of ...
6
votes
2answers
567 views

Asymptotic difference between a function and its “binomial average”

(I posted this question on Math.SE a few weeks ago. I got a few comments, but nothing definite, and so I thought I would try MO.) The origin of this question is the identity $$\sum_{k=0}^n ...
6
votes
2answers
770 views

Closed form or/and asymptotics of a hypergeometric sum

Dear mathematicians, I am a computer scientist wandering in the deep sea of combinatorics and asymptotics to pursue a recent interest in average case analysis of algorithms. In doing so, I designed ...
6
votes
1answer
592 views

Double sum involving binomial coefficients

I came across a sum of binomial coefficients while trying to solve a problem involving $SU(2)$ group integrals. I am not able to solve it, nor I found a similar identity in the literature. I would ...
5
votes
2answers
537 views

Interpolating a sum of binomial coefficients using a sin function

While studying a problem about orthogonal polynomials I encountered the following expressions \begin{equation} f(n)=\sum_{k=0}^{n}(-1)^k\binom{n+k}{2k} \frac{1}{k+1}\binom{2k}{k} \end{equation} and ...
5
votes
1answer
456 views

Elementary proof for identity involving sums of binomials

Is there an elementary proof of this identity? $$n + 1 - \sum_{k=1}^{n} k^{k-1} \binom{n}{k} \frac{(n-k)^{n+1-k}}{n^{n}} =1 + \sum_{k=1}^n \frac{n!}{(n-k)!n^k}\;?$$ The term on the right is the ...
5
votes
2answers
380 views

Can you simplify (or approximate) $\sum_{n=0}^{N-1} \binom{N-1}n \frac{(-1)^n}{n+1} e^{-\frac{n}{2(n+1)}\lambda}$?

Let $\binom x y$ be the binomial coefficient. I am trying to get a better understanding of the sum $$ f(N,\lambda)=\sum_{n=0}^{N-1}\binom{N-1}n\frac{(-1)^n}{n+1} e^{-\frac{n}{2(n+1)}\lambda} $$ as a ...
5
votes
2answers
311 views

Combinatorial identity and Fuss-Catalan numbers

I would like to show that $$ \lim_{N\to\infty}\frac{1}{N^{np+1}}\frac1{p!}\sum_{j=0}^{p-1}(-1)^j\binom{p-1}{j} \left(\frac{\Gamma(N+p-j)}{\Gamma(N-j)}\right)^{n+1} =\frac1{np+1}\binom{(n+1)p}{p}, $$ ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Estimate of incomplete binomial integral

Let $0\le k \le n$. Prove that $$ n\binom{n}{k}\int_{0}^{\frac{k}{n+1}}t^k(1-t)^{n-k}\,dt \le 1/2. $$ As far as I know 1) it is proved for $\frac{k}{n+1}\le 1/2$ and 2) not proved for $1/2 ...
5
votes
0answers
140 views

An inequality concerning non-negative integer matrices with constant row and column sums

[I posted this question on math.stackexchange a few weeks back, but no luck there so far: ...
4
votes
3answers
391 views

On a theorem of Hensel about congruence of binomial coefficient

In the paper Binomial coefficients modulo prime powers, Andrew Granville stated the following theorem: Let $n, m$ and $r=n-m$ be three given positive integer and $p^k$ is the exact power of $p$ ...
4
votes
1answer
353 views

Product of central binomial coefficients

I have a question about an equality involving products of central binomial coefficients. If $x_1,...,x_n$ and $y_1,...,y_n$ are positive integers, with $\sum_i x_i = \sum_i y_i$ and $$ ...
4
votes
3answers
162 views

Asymptotic expression for $j$ which satisfies $\binom{n}{j}/j! \sim k$ as $n\to\infty$

Suppose $k>0$ is some fixed constant, and $n$ is a positive integer tending to infinity. Find $j\equiv j(n,k)$ such that $$ \frac{\binom{n}{j}}{j!} \sim k. $$ The asymptotic expression for ...