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So, there is at least one box containing two or more of the objects. Proof by contradiction: Suppose none of the k boxes contains more than one object. So, the total number of objects would be at most k. This is a contradiction, because there are at least k+1 objects. The generalized pigeonhole principle Assume 25 pigeons fly into 12 pigeonholes to roost. A least one of 12 pigeonholes must have at least three pigeons in it. The generalized pigeonhole principle: Assume N objects are placed into k boxes. So, there is at least one box containing at least N/k objects. Show that in any group of 27 English words, there must be at least two that begin with the same letter. Proof: To use pigeonhole principle, first find boxes and objects. Suppose that for each letter, we have a box that contains a word that begins with that letter. The number of boxes is 26 and the number of objects is 27. By the pigeonhole principle, at least one of these boxes contains two or more words. So, there must be at least two words that begin with the same letter. What is the minimum number of students required in a discrete mathematics class to be sure that at least six will receive the same grade, if there are five possible grades, A, B, C, D and F. Solution: To use pigeonhole principle, first find boxes and objects. Suppose that for each grade, we have a box that contains students who got that grade. The number of boxes is 5, by the generalized pigeonhole principle, to have at least 6 (= N/5 ) students at the same box, the total number of the

{3. Show that there is a pair of numbers whose sum is 102. · · · . . What if there were only 26 odd positive integers? Solution. 53}. 5. There are 26 subsets (boxes) and 27 odd numbers (objects). We can partition these into subsets as follows: {1}. {7. {9. then some box contains at least 2 objects. PROblem 5. The Pigeonhole Principle: If n + 1 objects are placed into n boxes. {49. 99} . 3. Note that the sets of size 2 have elements which add to 102. So at least two numbers (in fact. Suppose we have 27 distinct odd positive integers all less than 100. 97}. and therefore these add to 102. There are 50 positive odd numbers less than 100: {1. 93}. [‘Distinct’ means that no two numbers are equal]. 95}. · · · . 99}. 5 + 1 = 26. {5. exactly two numbers) must lie in the same subset.students must be at least N = 5 . {51}.

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