Graph Theory/Juggling with Binomial Coefficients

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Fluency with binomial coefficients is a great help in combinatorial arguments about graphs. You should learn to juggle with binomial coefficients as easily as you juggle with normal algebraic equations.

Techniques[edit | edit source]

  • Substitute specific values in the general equations, e.g. careful choice of x and y in:
  • Sledgehammer proof using recursion formula. You may find it helpful to 'chase' binomial coefficients on a diagram of Pascal's triangle.
  • Differentiation of a previous identity to get a new one.
  • Combinatorial arguments about permutations and combinations.

Worked Examples[edit | edit source]

Example: 2n

To get:

Put in

The Identities[edit | edit source]

where F(n) denote the nth Fibonacci number.


Applications[edit | edit source]

  • Find probability of cycles of certain length in a permutation.