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You are on page 1of 3

When I was a student (quite some time ago, oh yes) I was already fa-

miliar with the name of Vasile Crtoaje. For me, and many others of my

age, it is the name of someone that helped me grow in mathematics, even

though I never met this person. It is a name synonymous to hard and beau-

tiful problems involving inequalities; I remember how happy I was when I

could manage to solve one of the problems proposed by Professor Crtoaje

in Gazeta Matematica or Revista Matematica din Timisoara (unfortu-

nately the only decent mathematics magazines that we could get at that

time); I particularly remember the problem that appears in the book that

you are holding in your hands right now (if you read till here, and I hope you

did) as problem 2 in the first chapter. I see you taking a look (if you read

until here, yes) and saying: it is a simple problem! Simple, yes, but I dare to

remind you that I didnt have this book, or others; you are lucky to have the

possibility to choose the materials that you can use in your mathematical

preparation and you are lucky to have now this particular new book of in-

equalities, which, I say, is a very special one. As I already mentioned, when

you say Crtoaje, you say inequalities and this book is a great opportunity

for us all to see some of these (old and new) methods in solving inequalities

fully shared with a great number of applications to illustrate them.

You ar invited to warm up with the exercises from the first chapter; funny,

isnt it? A lot of these exercises are actually hard problems that will really

solicit your strength as a solver. I cant tell you how I worked on some of

these problems a few years ago, when I was not so involved in the topic of

inequalities; for example, problem 27 was quite a touchstone for me at that

time and only derivatives helped me to solve it. Just look at the two solutions

presented in the book (especially the second) and you will know again why

do you love inequalities. Or the five solutions given for the problem 25: dont

you wish to be the author of at least one of them?

Many problems from the book, their majority I would say, are obtained

by the author himself. Well, the second chapter of the book deals with

inequalities related to an amazing result of Crtoaje, the first problem from

this section (I solved it by myself about three years ago, and I can tell that

1

it is not at all an easy one) - read the solutions and you will find out why I

say amazing (and Im not the only one thinking like that: in Crux, I believe

that in 2003 or 2004, the same opinion was stated). This chapter is full of

hard problems, read them and learn!

The third chapter is devoted to the exposition of a very interesting method

(a new one, introduced by Crtoaje, as far as I know) of proving inequali-

ties that seem, at a first glance, to be of Jensen type; however, when you

look closer, you find that they are stronger and the Jensens inequality alone

cannot help you. This stronger method of right convex (or left concave)

functions is needed; it shows that a Jensen type inequality can be extended

sometimes to a larger domain in which the variables may be pushed, and

this furnishes spectacular unexpected (unbelievable, if Im allowed to say)

inequalities. (Since I chose to share of my experience with Crtoajes in-

equalities, I might say that I have a solution on five pages for the problem

27 - without RCF, or LCF, of course!)

Yet about convex functions is the fourth chapter where two extensions of

a beautiful (and well-known, I think) result of the Romanian mathematician

Tiberiu Popoviciu on convex (or concave) functions are exhibited. These

extensions are themselves remarkable, together with their applications; the

reader can experience to find connections with the previous chapter.

Certainly the climactic point of this great book is attained somewhere in

the fifth or sixth chapter. These sections deal with two powerful methods

for solving very hard symmetric inequalities; this isnt for the beginners,

anymore! But, if you arrived here, you definitely need to go on, till the end

(can you stop?). As I said, the inequalities are difficult and the methods

may seem also unpleasant and hard, but if you take a second look, you may

find that they are only natural extensions of some elementary approaches

that you already knew; and, with a pencil in your hand, exercising, you will

precisely find that all that dirty work is worth for the beautiful achievements

(and you cant prove them on a different way, can you?)

The seventh chapter, about symmetric inequalities involving fractions

will give you the occasion to exercise more with inequalities and to see more

methods (or should I say more tricks) frequently used; they are not explicitly

stated, but (as we said before) read and learn! If you are anyhow involved

in mathematical competitions, you will be happy to meet in this chapter an

old acquaintance, namely a famous Iran Olympiad problem from 1996, and

you should be delighted about its consistent generalizations that youll find

here.

You get in the end a final problem set; now, you should deal in different

terms with these problems, which I recommend for any mathematical an-

thology. If you did carefully read the book, you may find that your skills in

2

solving inequalities were considerably improved. However, one needs not to

read every single page of this material; the chapters are independent and you

may even open the book somewhere, arbitrarily, and try to solve an inequal-

ity or find its solution from the book (its true that, sometimes, you cannot

do this without reading the presentation in the opening of the chapter or

some of the previous pages). Also, we must add that the book is full of up

to date problems, since the author is an active member of the Mathlinks Site

Forum on the Internet (many problems appeared there for the first time) -

of course many classical inequalities may also be found, so that the amateurs

of either old, or new inequalities should be satisfied.

Last, but not least, one has to remark the outstanding tenacity and en-

thusiasm of the author in solving inequalities; definitely, he is a passionate of

this realm of elementary (and not only elementary) mathematics. And this

book is neither more, nor less than a work of a master.

Marian Tetiva

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