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cardinality n > 1. Let f be a real-valued function on the power set of S, and suppose that f(A B) =

min{f(A), f(B)} for all subsets A and B of S. Prove that

(1)

n|A|

f(A) = f(S) max f(A),

where the sum is taken over all subsets A of S and the maximum is taken over all proper subsets A of S.

Solution, by Omran Kouba (Higher Institute Of Applied Sciences And Technology, Damascus, Syria).

The following proposition is equivalent to the desired result.

Proposition: For any nite set S of cardinality n 1, and any function f : P(S) R satisfying

(A, B) P(S) P(S), f(A B) = min(f(A), f(B)) (1)

We have

AP

(S)

(1)

n|A|

f(A) = max(f(A) : A P

(S)),

where P

We will prove this by induction on the cardinality n of S.

If n = 1 the desired equality is trivial. Assume the validity of the result for some n 1. Let S

be a

nite set of cardinality n + 1, and let f : P(S

,

and apply the recurrence hypothesis to the set S = S

g :P(S) R : A f(A)

h :P(S) R : A f(A {})

(It is straightforward to see that h satisfy (1)). This implies the folowing two equalities

AP

(S)

(1)

n|A|

f(A) = max(f(A) : A P

(S))

def

=

AP

(S)

(1)

n|A|

f(A {}) = max(f(A {}) : A P

(S))

def

=

Noting that P

(S

(S)}, we conclude

that

AP

(S

)

(1)

n+1|A|

f(A) = f(S) + . (2)

Since A B A = A B we have, A B = f(A) f(B). This property prouves immediatly

that min(f(S), ). On the other hand, let A

0

be an element of P

0

{}), we

have

f(A

0

) = f(S (A

0

{})) = min(f(S), f(A

0

{})) = min(f(S), )

We conclude that = min(f(S), ). It follows that

f(S) + =max(f(S), ) = max(f(S), , )

=max(f(A) : A P

(S

)).

This, combined with (2), prouves the result for n + 1 and completes the proof.

Published in AMM March 1999.

1

Problem 10601. Proposed by Wen-Xiu Ma, Universitat-GH Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany. Let n > 1

be an integer and let a

1

, a

2

, . . . , a

n

be complex numbers. Show that

1 a

1

a

2

1

a

2n1

1

1 a

2

a

2

2

a

2n1

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

1 a

n

a

2

n

a

2n1

n

0 1 2a

1

(2n 1)a

2n2

1

0 1 2a

2

(2n 1)a

2n2

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0 1 2a

n

(2n 1)a

2n2

n

= (1)

n(n1)/2

1i<jn

(a

i

a

j

)

4

Solution, by Omran Kouba (Higher Institute for Applied Sciences And Technology, Damascus, Syria).

The aim is to calculate D(a

1

, . . . , a

n

) with

D(a

1

, . . . , a

n

) =

1 a

1

a

2

1

a

2n1

1

1 a

2

a

2

2

a

2n1

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

1 a

n

a

2

n

a

2n1

n

0 1 2a

1

(2n 1)a

2n2

1

0 1 2a

2

(2n 1)a

2n2

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0 1 2a

n

(2n 1)a

2n2

n

,

we will assume that a

1

, a

2

, . . . , a

n

are distinct complex numbers, otherwise this determinant is zero. Let us

consider

Q(X) =

1 a

1

a

2

1

a

2n1

1

1 a

2

a

2

2

a

2n1

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

1 a

n

a

2

n

a

2n1

n

0 1 2a

1

(2n 1)a

2n2

1

0 1 2a

2

(2n 1)a

2n2

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

1 X X

2

X

2n1

1

, . . . , a

n

) by replacing the last row by [1, X, X

2

, . . . , X

2n1

] so

that Q

(a

n

) = D(a

1

, . . . , a

n

). Clearly Q is a polynomial of degree at most 2n 1 and that Q(a

k

) = 0 for

1 k n, Q

(a

k

) = 0 for 1 k n 1. This implies that Q(X) = (X a

n

)

n1

k=1

(X a

k

)

2

, where is the

coecient of X

2n1

in Q(X) that is

=

1 a

1

a

2

1

a

2n2

1

1 a

2

a

2

2

a

2n2

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

1 a

n

a

2

n

a

2n2

n

0 1 2a

1

(2n 2)a

2n3

1

0 1 2a

2

(2n 2)a

2n3

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0 1 2a

n1

(2n 2)a

2n3

n1

.

1

Again we consider

P(X) =

1 a

1

a

2

1

a

2n2

1

1 a

2

a

2

2

a

2n2

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

1 X X

2

X

2n2

0 1 2a

1

(2n 2)a

2n3

1

0 1 2a

2

(2n 2)a

2n3

2

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0 1 2a

n1

(2n 2)a

2n3

n1

Clearly = P(a

n

). But P is polynomial of degree at most 2n 2 such that P(a

k

) = P

(a

k

) = 0

for k = 1, . . . , n 1 and the coecient of X

2n2

is (1)

n1

D(a

1

, . . . , a

n1

). This shows that P(X) =

(1)

n1

D(a

1

, . . . , a

n1

)

n1

k=1

(X a

k

)

2

, and

= (1)

n1

D(a

1

, . . . , a

n1

)

n1

k=1

(a

n

a

k

)

2

Noting that Q

(a

n

) =

n1

k=1

(a

n

a

k

)

2

and replacing the value of we obtain

D(a

1

, . . . , a

n

) = (1)

n1

(

n1

k=1

(a

n

a

k

)

4

)

D(a

1

, . . . , a

n1

).

A simple induction proves then that

D(a

1

, . . . , a

n

) = (1)

n(n1)/2

1i<jn

(a

i

a

j

)

4

Published in AMM August-September 1999

2

Problem 10621. Proposed by Harold G. Diamond and Bruce Reznick, University of Illinois, Urbana-

Champain, IL. Let F(x) denote the Cantor singular function, that is, the unique non-decreasing function on

[0,1] such that, if x =

j=1

2

j

/3

j

with {0, 1} then F(x) =

j=1

j

/3

j

. It is clear by symmetry that

1

0

F(x)dx = 1/2. Prove that

1

0

(F(x))

2

dx =

3

10

and

1

0

(F(x))

3

dx =

1

5

.

More generally, evaluate

1

0

(F(x))

n

dx for every positive integer n.

Solution, by Omran Kouba (Higher Institute for Applied Sciences And Technology, Damascus, Syria).

The aim of this problem is to evaluate

1

0

(F(x))

n

dx, where F is the Cantors singular function, and n any

positive integer.

Noting that F is the unique non decreasing function on [0, 1] such that F(

j=1

2

j

/3

j

) =

j=1

j

/2

j

for every

sequence (

j

)

j1

from {0, 1}, one can easily prove the following self-similarity property:

Proposition: For every x [0, 1], we have

F(x) = 2F(

x

3

) = 2F(

2

3

+

x

3

) 1.

Let us now dene A(t) =

1

0

exp(tF(x)) dx for t R. Using the above mentioned self-similarity property

and the fact that F(1/3) = F(2/3) = 1/2, we can see that

A(2t) =

1/3

0

exp(2tF(x)) dx +

2/3

1/3

exp(2tF(x)) dx +

1

2/3

exp(2tF(x)) dx

=

1

3

1

0

exp(2tF(x/3)) dx +

1

3

e

t

+

1

3

1

0

exp(2tF(

2

3

+

x

3

)) dx

=

1

3

(A(t) +e

t

+e

t

A(t)).

This proves the following functional equation

1 + 3A(2t) (1 +e

t

)(1 +A(t)) = 0 ()

On the other hand, letting J

n

=

1

0

(F(x))

n

dx, we have A(z) =

n=0

z

n

n!

J

n

.

Replacing back into (), we conclude that

n=0

(

(3 2

n

1)J

n

1

n

k=0

(

n

k

)

J

k

)

t

n

n!

= 0

This allows us to evaluate the sequence (J

n

)

n0

by the following induction:

J

0

= 1, J

1

=

1

2

, J

n

=

1

3 2

n

2

(

2 +

n1

k=1

(

n

k

)

J

k

)

, for n 2.

Finally, here are some values

J

2

=

3

10

, J

3

=

1

5

, J

4

=

33

230

, J

5

=

5

46

, J

6

=

75

874

My solution was published in AMM February 1999 page 175.

1

Problem 10624. Proposed by William F.Trench, Trinity University, San Antonio TX. Suppose that

a

0

> a

1

> a

2

> and lim

n

a

n

= 0. Dene S

n

=

j=n

(1)

jn

a

j

= a

n

a

n+1

+a

n+2

. Show that

a

n

S

n

< if and only if

a

2

n

< .

Solution, by Omran Kouba (Higher Institute Of Applied Sciences And Technology, Damascus, Syria).

Lemma: Let (a

n

)

n0

and (b

n

)

n0

be two sequences of non negative real numbers such that

n 0, b

n

a

n

b

n

+b

n+1

()

Then the following are equivalent: i:

a

2

n

< , ii:

a

n

b

n

< and iii:

b

2

n

< .

In fact, mutiplying the members of () by b

n

and summing we conclude that, for every natural number m,

we have

m

n=0

b

2

n

m

n=0

a

n

b

n

m

n=0

b

2

n

+

m

n=0

b

n

b

n+1

n=0

b

2

n

+

(

m

n=0

b

2

n

)

1/2

(

m+1

n=1

b

2

n

)

1/2

m+1

n=0

b

2

n

+

(

m+1

n=0

b

2

n

)

1/2

(

m+1

n=0

b

2

n

)

1/2

= 2

m+1

n=0

b

2

n

.

where we used the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality. This proves that ii iii.

On the other hand, by squaring () and proceding as before we get

m

n=0

b

2

n

m

n=0

a

2

n

m

n=0

b

2

n

+

m+1

n=1

b

2

n

+ 2

m

n=0

b

n

b

n+1

2

m+1

n=0

b

2

n

+ 2

(

m

n=0

b

2

n

)

1/2

(

m+1

n=1

b

2

n

)

1/2

4

m+1

n=0

b

2

n

.

This proves that i iii.

The statment of the problem follows by noting that (a

n

)

n0

and (S

n

)

n0

are two sequences of non negative

real numbers such that n 0, S

n

a

n

= S

n

+S

n+1

, which is easy to verify.

Published in AMM March 1999.

1

Problem 10625. Proposed by Olaf Kraft, and Martin SChaefer, Technical University Aachen, Aachen

Germany. For x > 0 and n N, dene

a

n

=

2

n1

i=0

(

2

n

2i

)

x

i

2

n1

1

i=0

(

2

n

2i+1

)

x

i

.

Evaluate lim

n

a

n

.

Solution, by Omran Kouba (Higher Institute Of Applied Sciences And Technology, Damascus, Syria).

We will prove the more general result:

Lemma: For x > 0, let (b

n

)

n1

be dened by

b

n

=

0in/2

(

n

2i

)

x

i

0i<n/2

(

n

2i + 1

)

x

i

Then lim

n

b

n

=

x

It follows that a

n

= b

2

n converges to

x and answers the question of the problem.

To prove the lemma note that

b

n

x

b

n

+

x

=

n

i=0

(

n

i

)

(1)

i

(

x)

i

n

i=0

(

n

i

)

(

x)

i

=

(

1

x

1 +

x

)

n

=

n

.

Since =

1

x

1 +

x

= 1

2

x

1 +

x

= 1 +

2

1 +

x

, we conclude that (1, 1) and lim

n

n

= 0. Finally,

b

n

=

1 +

n

1

n

x, so that lim

n

b

n

=

x.

Published in AMM May 1999.

1

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