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Evan Chen

## The goal of this document is to provide a easier introduction to olympiad

inequalities than the standard exposition Olympiad Inequalities, by Thomas
Mildorf. I was motivated to write it by feeling guilty for getting free 7s
on problems by simply regurgitating a few tricks I happened to know, while
other students were unable to solve the problem.
P
P
cyc (cyclic sum) sym (symmetric sum).
X
a2 = a2 + b2 + c2
cyc

a2 b = a2 b + b2 c + c2 a

cyc

a2 = a2 + a2 + b2 + b2 + c2 + c2

sym

a2 b = a2 b + a2 c + b2 c + b2 a + c2 a + c2 b.

sym

1

1 ( / AM-GM). a1 , a2 , . . . , an

a1 + a2 + + an
n a1 . . . an .
n
a1 = a2 = = an

a2 + b2 2ab,

a3 + b3 + c3 3abc.

2. a2 + b2 + c2 ab + bc + ca a4 + b4 + c4 a2 bc + b2 ca + c2 ab.

AM-GM
a2 + b2
2a4 + b2 + c2
ab
a2 bc.
2
4

b2 + c2
2b4 + c2 + a2
bc
b2 ca.
2
4
c2 + a2
2c4 + a2 + b2
ca
c2 ab.
2
4

a2 + b2 + c2 ab + bc + ca a4 + b4 + c4 a2 bc + b2 ca + c2 ab.
3. a3 + b3 + c3 a2 b + b2 c + c2 a.
4. a5 + b5 + c5 a3 bc + b3 ca + c3 ab abc(ab + bc + ca).
a3 + b3 + c3 abc
mixed e.g.
(a + b + c)3 a3 + b3 + c3 + 24abc
a3 + b3 + c3 24abc AM-GM
y1 y2 yn
x 1 + x 2 + + x n = y1 + y2 + + yn ,
k = 1, 2, . . . , n 1
x1 + x2 + + xk y1 + y2 + + yk ,
(xn ) (majorizes) (yn ) (xn )  (yn )

## 5 (Muirhead ). a1 , a2 , . . . , an (xn ) (yn )

X
X y y
ax1 1 ax2 2 . . . axnn
a11 a22 . . . aynn .
sym

sym

## 6. (5, 0, 0)  (3, 1, 1)  (2, 2, 1)

a5 + a5 + b5 + b5 + c5 + c5 a3 bc + a3 bc + b3 ca + b3 ca + c3 ab + c3 ab
a2 b2 c + a2 b2 c + b2 c2 a + b2 c2 a + c2 a2 b + c2 a2 b.
a5 + b5 + c5 a3 bc + b3 ca + c3 ab abc(ab + bc + ca).
Muirhead (3, 0, 0)  (2, 1, 0)
2(a3 + b3 + c3 ) a2 b + a2 c + b2 c + b2 a + c2 a + c2 b
a3 + b3 + c3 a2 b + b2 c + c2 a AM-GM

1.2

7. abc = 1, a2 + b2 + c2 a + b + c.
AM-GM
abc = 1
a2 + b2 + c2 a1/3 b1/3 c1/3 (a + b + c) .
a, b, c k > 0
k 2 , abc = 1
(2, 0, 0)  ( 34 , 31 , 13 ) Muirhead

1.3
1. a7 + b7 + c7 a4 b3 + b4 c3 + c4 a3 .
2. a + b + c = 1,
a3
bc

b3
ca

4.

1
a

1
b

3.

c3
ab

1
c

1
a

1
b

1
c

3+2

## (a3 +b3 +c3 )

.
abc

a + b + c.
= 1, (a + 1)(b + 1)(c + 1) 64.

## 5. (USA 2011) a2 + b2 + c2 + (a + b + c)2 4,

ab + 1
bc + 1
ca + 1
+
+
3.
(a + b)2 (b + c)2 (c + a)2
6. abcd = 1, a4 b + b4 c + c4 d + d4 a a + b + c + d.

2
f : (u, v) R a1 , a2 , . . . , an (u, v)

a1 +a2 ++an
n

=a

## f (a1 ) + f (a2 ) + + f (an )

nf (a)
f x f 00 (x) 0 x f 00 (x) 0
f f f

## 2.1 Jensen / Karamata

8 (Jensen ). f
f (a1 ) + + f (an )
f
n
f

a1 + + an
n


.

## 9 (Karamata ). f (xn ) (yn )

f (x1 ) + + f (xn ) f (y1 ) + + f (yn ).
f
10 (Shortlist 2009). a + b + c =

1
a

1
b

+ 1c

1
1
1
3
+
+
.
2
2
2
(2a + b + c)
(a + 2b + c)
(a + b + 2c)
16

1
1
3 a1 + 1b + 1c
1
+
+

.
(2a + b + c)2 (a + 2b + c)2 (a + b + 2c)2
16 a + b + c
a + b + c = 3
X 1
1
0.

16a (a + 3)2
cyc
f (x) =

1
16x

1
,
(x+3)2

f (0, 3) Jensen

11.
1 1 1
+ + 2
a b
c

1
1
1
+
+
a+b b+c c+a

9
.
a+b+c

1 1 1
1
1
1
+ + a+b + b+c + c+a
a b
c
2
2
2

1
a+b+c
3

1
a+b+c
3

1
a+b+c
3

a b c f (x) = 1/x

 

a+b a+c b+c
a+b+c a+b+c a+b+c
(a, b, c)
,
,

,
,
2
2
2
3
3
3
Karamata f (x) = x1
12 (APMO 1996). a, b, c,

a + b c + b + c a + c + a b a + b + c.
a b c (a, b, c)  (b + c a, c + a b, a + b c)

Karamata f (x) = x

## 2.2 Tangent Line Trick

a =

a1 ++an

f
f (x) f (a) + f 0 (a) (x a) .

## tangent line trick

13 (David Stoner). a + b + c = 3
X
1
18
+ 2(ab + bc + ca) 15.
(3 c)(4 c)
cyc

X
cyc

18
c2
(3 c)(4 c)


6.

18
c+3
c2
c(c 1)2 (2c 9) 0
(3 c)(4 c)
2

14 (Japan).

(b+ca)2
cyc a2 +(b+c)2

35

a + b + c = 3
X
cyc

(3 2a)2
3
.
2
2
a + (3 a)
5

## tangent line method

1 18
18
2a + 1
(3 2a)2
(a 1) (a 1)2 2
0.
(3 a)2 + a2
5 25
25
2a 6a + 9

2.3 n 1 EV
n 1 EV
15 (n1 EV). a1 , a2 , . . . , an a1 +a2 + +an f : R R
f
f (a1 ) + f (a2 ) + + f (an )
ai n 1
Olympiad Inequalities, by Thomas Mildorf, page 15. Karamata ai
P
16 (IMO 2001 / APMOC 2014). a, b, c 1 cyc a2a+8bc < 2
ex =

bc

a2

ey =

ca

b2

ez =

ab

c2

x + y + z = 0

## 1 f (x) + f (y) + f (z) < 2

f (x) =

1 x
1+8e

f 00 (x) =

4ex (4ex 1)
5

(8ex + 1) 2

n 1 EV x = y t = ex
1

2
1
+p
< 2.
1 + 8t
1 + 8/t

17 (Vietnam 1998). x1 , x2 , . . . , xn

yi =

1998
1998+xi

1
1998

y1 + y2 + + yn = 1

yi

i=1
1
x

1
i=1 1998+xi

x1 x2 . . . xn
1998.
n1

n 
Y
1

f (x) = ln

Pn


1

(n 1)n .

1 f (y1 ) + + f (yn ) nf

1
n

f 00 (y) =

1 2y
.
(y 2 y)2

f y1 = y2 = = yn1 t





1
1
(n 1) ln
1 + ln
1 n ln(n 1).
t
1 (n 1)t

2.4
1. Jensen AM-GM
2. a2 + b2 + c2 = 1,

1
a2 +2

1
b2 +2

3. a + b + c = 3,
X
cyc

2a2

1
c2 +2

1
6ab+c2

1
6bc+a2

6ca+b2

a
3
.
+a+1
4

4. (MOP 2012) a + b + c + d = 4,

1
a2

1
b2

1
c2

1
d2

a2 + b2 + c2 + d2

3
3.1 Weighted Power Mean
AM-GM generalize
18 (Weighted Power Mean). a1 , a2 , . . . , an w1 , w2 , . . . , wn
w1 + w2 + + wn = 1 r

1/r

r 6= 0
(w1 ar1 + w2 ar2 + + wn arn )
P(r) =

## aw1 aw2 . . . awn

r = 0.
n
1
2
r > s, P(r) P(s) a1 = a2 = = an
w1 = w2 = = wn = n1 P(r)
 r

a1 + ar2 + + arn 1/r

r 6= 0
n
P(r) =

n a a ...a
r = 0.
1 2
n
6

r = 2, 1, 0, 1
r

a21 + + a2n
a1 + + an

n a1 a2 . . . an
n
n

1
a1

n
+ +

1
an

QM-AM-GM-HM
r

a+b+c
a+ b+ c3
.
3
q

3
3
3
19 (). 3(a + b + c) 8 3 abc + 3 a +b3 +c .
Power Mean r = 1, s = 13 , w1 = 19 , w2 = 89 ,
1
9

r
3

!3


a3 + b3 + c3 8
8
1 a3 + b3 + c3
3
abc
+ (abc) .
+

3
9
9
3
9

a3 + b3 + c3 + 24abc (a + b + c)3

3.2 Cauchy H
older
20 (H
older ). a , b , . . . , z a + b + + z = 1
a1 , a2 , . . . , an , b1 , b2 , . . . , bn , . . . , z1 , z2 , . . . , zn
(a1 + a2 + + an )a (b1 + b2 + + bn )b . . . (z1 + z2 + + zn )z

n
X

ai a bi b . . . ziz .

i=1

a1 : a2 : : an b1 : b2 : : bn z1 : z2 : : zn .
a1 + + an = b1 + + bn = = 1 ai
a 1, Weighted AM-GM
n
X

ai a bi b . . . ziz

i=1

n
X

(a ai + b bi + . . . ) = 1.

i=1

a = b = 12 Cauchy
(a1 + a2 + + an ) (b1 + b2 + + bn )

p
2
p
p
a1 b1 + a2 b2 + + an bn .

Cauchy
x21 x22
x2
(x1 + x2 + + xn )2
+
+ + n
.
y1
y2
yn
y1 + + yn
Titus Lemma
Cauchy H
older
1.
2.

21 (IMO 2001).
X

cyc

a
1.
+ 8bc

a2

H
older
!1

a(a2 + 8bc)

cyc

cyc

(a + b + c)3

2
cyc a(a

2
a + 8bc

!2

(a + b + c)

+ 8bc) = a3 + b3 + c3 + 24abc

H
older
22 (Balkan).

1
a(b+c)

1
b(c+a)

1
c(a+b)

27
.
2(a+b+c)2

H
older
!1

!1

cyc

b+c

cyc

23 (USA 2012).

X
cyc

a3 +5b3
cyc 3a+b

2
3

1
a(b + c)

!1
3

1 + 1 + 1 = 3.


a2 + b2 + c2 .

Cauchy (Titu)
X
cyc

X (a2 )2
a3
(a2 + b2 + c2 )2
P
.
=

2
3a + b
3a2 + ab
cyc 3a + ab
cyc

19 (a2 + b2 + c2 ) a2 + b2 + c2
P
5b3
cyc 3a+b
59 (a2 + b2 + c2 )
24 (USA TST 2010). abc = 1,

1
a5 (b+2c)2

1
b5 (c+2a)2

1
c5 (a+2b)2

13

H
older
!2
!
!3
X
X
X1
1
ab + 2ac

3(ab + bc + ca)2 .
5 (b + 2c)2
a
a
cyc
cyc
cyc

3.3

ab + c + bc + a + ca + b 1 + ab + bc + ca.

2. a2 + b2 + c2 = 12, a 3 b2 + c2 + b 3 c2 + a2 + c 3 a2 + b2 12.
q
q
q
1
3. (ISL 2004) ab + bc + ca = 1 3 a1 + 6b + 3 1b + 6c + 3 1c + 6a abc

1. a + b + c = 1,

4. (MOP 2011)

## a2 ab + b2 + b2 bc + c2 + c2 ca + a2 + 9 3 abc 4(a + b + c).

5. () a3 + b3 + c3 + abc = 4,
(5a2 + bc)2
(5b2 + ca)2
(5c2 + ab)2
(10 abc)2
+
+

.
(a + b)(a + c) (b + c)(b + a) (c + a)(c + b)
a+b+c

Problems

4 Problems
1. (MOP 2013) a + b + c = 3,
p
p
p

a2 + ab + b2 + b2 + bc + c2 + c2 + ca + a2 3.
2. (IMO 1995) abc = 1
3. (USA 2003)

1
a3 (b+c)

(2a+b+c)2
cyc 2a2 +(b+c)2

1
b3 (c+a)

1
c3 (a+b)

23 .

4. (Romania) x1 , x2 , . . . , xn x1 x2 . . . xn = 1

Pn

1
i=1 n1+xi

5. (USA 2004) a, b, c



a5 a2 + 3 b5 b2 + 3 c5 c2 + 3 (a + b + c)3 .
6. () a, b, c a + b + c =

a+

b+

c aa bb cc 1