Miscellaneous questions: part II: tutorial practice for preRMO and RMO

Problem 1:

Let a_{1}, a_{2}, \ldots, a_{10} be ten real numbers such that each is greater than 1 and less than 55. Prove that there are three among the given numbers which form the lengths of the sides of a triangle.

Problem 2:

In a collection of 1234 persons, any two persons are mutual friends or enemies. Each person has at most 3 enemies. Prove that it is possible to divide this collection into two parts such that each person has at most 1 enemy in his subcollection.

Problem 3:

A barrel contains 2n balls numbered 1 to 2n. Choose three balls at random, one after the other, and with the balls replaced after each draw. What is the probability that the three element sequence obtained has the properties that the smallest element is odd and that only the smallest element, if any, is repeated?

That’s all, folks !!

You will need to churn a lot…!! In other words, learn to brood now…learn to think for a long time on a single hard problem …

Regards,
Nalin Pithwa

Miscellaneous questions: Part I: tutorial practice for preRMO and RMO

Problem 1:

The sixty four squares of a chess board are filled with positive integers one on each in such a way that each integer is the average of the of the integers on the neighbouring squares. (Two squares are neighbours if they share a common edge or vertex. Thus, a square can have 8,5 or 3 neighbours depending on its position). Show that all sixty four entries are in fact equal.

Problem 2:

Let T be the set of all triples (a,b,c) of integers such that 1 \leq a < b < c \leq 6. For each triple (a,b,c) in T, take the product abc. Add all these products corresponding to all triples in I. Prove that the sum is divisible by 7.

Problem 3:

In a class of 25 students, there are 17 cyclists, 13 swimmers, and 8 weight lifters and no one in all the three. In a certain mathematics examination, 6 students got grades D or E. If the cyclists, swimmers and weight lifters all got grade B or C, determine the number of students who got grade A. Also, find the number of cyclists, who are swimmers.

Problem 4:

Five men A, B, C, D, E are wearing caps of black or white colour without each knowing the colour of his cap. It is known that a man wearing a black cap always speaks the truth while a man wearing a white cap always lies. If they make the following statements, find the colour of the cap worn by each of them:

A: I see three black and one white cap.
B: I see four white caps.
C: I see one black and three white caps.
D: I see four black caps.

Problem 5:

Let f be a bijective (one-one and onto) function from the set A=\{ 1,2,3,\ldots,n\} to itself. Show that there is a positive integer M>1 such that f^{M}(i)=f(i) for each i \in A. Note that f^{M} denotes the composite function f \circ f \circ f \ldots \circ f repeated M times.

Problem 6:

Show that there exists a convex hexagon in the plane such that:
a) all its interior angles are equal
b) its sides are 1,2,3,4,5,6 in some order.

Problem 7:

There are ten objects with total weights 20, each of the weights being a positive integer. Given that none of the weights exceed 10, prove that the ten objects can be divided into two groups that balance each other when placed on the pans of a balance.

Problem 8:

In each of the eight corners of a cube, write +1 or -1 arbitrarily. Then, on each of the six faces of the cube write the product of the numbers written at the four corners of that face. Add all the fourteen numbers so writtein down. Is it possible to arrange the numbers +1 and -1 at the corners initially so that this final sum is zero?

Problem 9:

Given the seven element set A = \{ a,b,c,d,e,f,g\} find a collection T of 3-element subsets of A such that each pair of elements from A occurs exactly in one of the subsets of T.

Try these !!

Regards,
Nalin Pithwa

Set Theory, Relations, Functions: Preliminaries: Part VIII

SETS and FUNCTIONS:

Reference: Introductory Real Analysis by A. N. Kolmogorov and S V Fomin, Dover books.

Operations on sets:

Let A and B be any two sets. Then, by the sum or union of A and B, denoted by A \bigcup B, is meant the set consisting of all elements which belong to at least one of the sets A and B. More generally, by the sum or union of an arbitrary number (finite or infinite) of sets A_{\alpha} (indexed by some parameter \alpha), we mean the set, denoted by \bigcup_{\alpha}A_{\alpha} of all elements belonging to at least one of the sets A_{\alpha}.

By the intersection A \bigcap B of two given sets A and B, we mean the set consisting of all elements which belong to both A and B. For example, the intersection of the set of all even numbers and the set of all integers divisible by 3 is the set of all integers divisible by 6. By the intersection of an arbitrary number (finite or infinite) of sets A_{\alpha}, we mean the set, denoted by \bigcap_{\alpha}A_{\alpha} of all elements belonging to every one of the sets A_{\alpha}. Two sets A and B are said to be disjoint if A \bigcap B=\phi, that is, if they have no elements in common. More generally, let \mathscr{F} be a family of sets such that A \bigcap B=\phi for every pair of sets A, B in \mathscr{F}. Then, the sets in \mathscr{F} are said to be pairwise disjoint.

It is an immediate consequence of the above definitions that the operations \bigcup and \bigcap are commutative and associative, that is,

A \bigcup B=B \bigcup A and (A \bigcup B) \bigcup C= A \bigcup (B \bigcup C); A \bigcap B=B \bigcap A; and, (A \bigcap B)\bigcap C = A \bigcap (B \bigcap C).

Moreover, the operations \bigcup and \bigcap obey the following distributive laws:

(A \bigcup B)\bigcap C = (A \bigcap C) \bigcup (B \bigcap C)….call this I

(A \bigcap B)\bigcup C = (A \bigcup C) \bigcap (B \bigcup C)….call this II.

For example, suppose that x \in (A \bigcup B)\bigcap C, so that x belongs to the left-hand side of I. Then, x belongs to both C and A \bigcup B, that is, x belongs to both C and at least one of the sets A and B. But then x belongs to at least one of the sets A \bigcap C and B \bigcap C, that is, x \in (A \bigcap C)\bigcup (B \bigcap C), so that x belongs to the right hand side of I. Conversely, suppose that x \in (A \bigcap C)\bigcup (B \bigcap C). Then, x belongs to at least one of the two sets A \bigcap C and B \bigcap C. It follows that x belongs to both C and at least one of the two sets A and B, that is, x \in C and x \in A \bigcup B, or equivalently x \in (A \bigcup B)\bigcap C. This proves I, and II is proved similarly.

By the difference of two sets, A - B between two sets A and B (in that order), we mean the set of all elements of A which do not belong to B. Note that it is not assumed that A \supset B. It is sometimes convenient (e.g., in measure theory) to consider the symmetric difference of two sets A and B, denoted by A \delta B and defined as the union of the two differences A-B and B-A: A \delta B=(A-B)\bigcup (B-A).

We will often be concerned later with various sets which are all subsets of some underlying basic set R, for example, various sets of points on the real line. In this case, given a set A, the difference R-A is called the complement of A, denoted by A^{'}.

An important role is played in set theory and its applications by the following duality principle:

R - \bigcup_{\alpha}A_{\alpha}=\bigcap_{\alpha}(R-A_{\alpha})…call this III

R - \bigcap_{\alpha}A_{\alpha}=\bigcup_{\alpha}(R-A_{\alpha})…call this IV.

In words, the complement of a union equal the intersection of the complements; and, the complement of an intersection equals the union of the complements. According to the duality principle, any theorem involving a family of subsets of a fixed set R can be converted automatically into another, “dual” theorem by replacing all subsets by their complements, all unions by intersections and all intersections by unions. To prove III, suppose that x \in R - \bigcup_{\alpha}A_{\alpha}….call this V.

Then, x does not belong to the union \bigcup_{\alpha}A_{\alpha}. …call this VI.

That is, x does not belong to any of the sets A_{\alpha}. It follows that x belongs to each of the complements R - \bigcup_{\alpha}A_{\alpha}, and hence, x \bigcap_{\alpha}(R-A_{\alpha})….call this VII.

Conversely, suppose that VII holds, so that x belongs to every set R - A_{\alpha}. Then, x does not belong to any of the sets A_{\alpha}, that is, x does not belong to the union VI, or equivalently V holds true. This proves 3.

Homework: Prove IV similarly.

Remark:

The designation “symmetric difference” for the set A \Delta B is not too apt, since A \Delta B has much in common with the sum A \bigcup B. In fact, in A \bigcup B the two statements “x belongs to A” and “x belongs to B” are joined by the conjunction “or” used in the “either …or …or both…” sense, while in A \Delta B the same two statements are joined by “or” used in the ordinary “either…or…” sense (as in “to be or not to be”). In other words, x belongs to A \bigcup B if and only if x belongs to either A or B or both, while x belongs to A \Delta B if and only if x belongs to either A or B but not both. The set A \Delta B can be regarded as a kind of “modulo-two sum” of the sets A and B, that is, a sum of the sets A and B in which elements are dropped if they are counted twice (once in A and once in B).

Functions and mappings. Images and preimages:

(Of course, we have dealt with this topic in quite detail so far in the earlier blog series; but as presented by Kolmgorov and Fomin here, the flavour is different; at any rate, it helps to revise. Revision refines the intellect.) 🙂 🙂 🙂

A rule associating a unique real number y=f(x) with each element of a set real numbers X is said to define a (real) function f on X. The set X is called the domain (of definition) of f, and the set Y of all numbers f(x) such that x \in X is called the range of f.

More generally, let M and N be two arbitrary sets. Then a rule associating a unique element b=f(a) \in N with each element a \in M is again said to define a function f on M (or a function f with domain M). In this more general context, f is usually called a mapping of f M into N. By the same token, f is said to map M into N(and a into b).

If a is an element of M, the corresponding element b=f(a) is called the image of a (under the mapping f). Every element of M with a given element b \in N as its image is called a preimage of b. Note that in general b may have several pre-images. Moreover, N may contain elements with no pre-images at all. If b has a unique pre-image, we denote this pre-image by f^{-1}(b).

If A is a subset of M, the set of all elements f(a) \in N such that a \in A is called the image of A, denoted by f(A). The set of all elements of M whose images belong to a given set B \subset N is called the preimage of B, denoted by f^{-1}(B). If no element of B has a preimage, then f^{-1}(B)=\phi. A function f is said to map M into N if f(M)=N, as is always the case, and onto N if f(M)=N. Thus, every “onto” mapping is an “into” mapping, but converse is not true.

Suppose f maps M onto N. Then, f is said to be one-to-one if each element b \in N has a unique preimage f^{-1}(b). In this case, f is said to establish a one-to-one correspondence between M and N, and the mapping f^{-1} associating f^{-1}(b) is called the inverse of f.

Theorem I:

The preimage of the union of two sets is the union of the preimages of the sets f^{-1}(A \bigcup B)=f^{-1}(A) \bigcup f^{-1}(B).

Proof of Theorem I:

If x \in f^{-1}(A \bigcup B), then f(x) \in A \bigcup B so that f(x) belongs to at least one of the sets A and B. But, then x belongs to at least one of the sets f^{-1}(A) and f^{-1}(B), that is, x \in f^{-1}(A) \bigcup f^{-1}(B).

Conversely, if x \in f^{-1}(A) \bigcup f^{-1}(B), then x belongs to at least one of the sets f^{-1}(A) and f^{-1}(B). Therefore, f(x) belongs to at least one of the sets A and B, that is, f(x) \in A \bigcup B. But, then x \in f^{-1}(A \bigcup B).

QED.

Theorem 2:

The preimage of the intersection of two sets is the intersection of the preimages of the sets:

f^{-1}(A \bigcap B)=f^{-1}(A) \bigcap f^{-1}(B).

Proof of Theorem 2:

If x \in f^{-1}(A \bigcap B), then f(x) \in A \bigcap B, so that f(x) \in A and (meaning, simultaneously) f(x) \in B. But, then x \in f^{-1}(A) and x \in f^{-1}(B), that is, x \in f^{-1}(A) \bigcap f^{-1}(B).

Conversely, if x \in f^{-1}(A) \bigcap f^{-1}(B), then x \in f^{-1}(A) and x \in f^{-1}(B). Therefore, f(x) \in A and f(x) \in B, that is, f(x) \in A \bigcap B. But, then x \in f^{-1}(A \bigcap B).

QED.

Theorem 3:

The image of the union of two sets equals the union of the images of the sets f(A \bigcup B) = f(A) \bigcup f(B).

Proof of theorem 3:

If y \in f(A \bigcup B), then y=f(x) where x belongs to at least one of the sets A and B. Therefore, y=f(x) belongs to at least one of the sets f(A) and f(B). That is, x \in f(A) \bigcup f(B).

Conversely, if y \in f(A) \bigcup f(B), then y=f(x). where x belongs to at least one of the sets A and B, that is, x \in A \bigcup B and hence, y=f(x) \in f(A \bigcup B).

QED.

Remark I:

Surprisingly enough, the image of the intersection of two sets is not so “well-behaved”. The image of the intersection of two sets does not necessarily equal the intersection of the images of the sets. For example, suppose the mapping f projects the xy-plane onto the x-axis, carrying the point (x,y) into the (x,0). Then, the segments 0 \leq x \leq 1 with y=0, and 0 \leq x \leq 1 with y=1 do not intersect, although their images coincide.

Remark 2:

In the light of above remark: consider the following: If a function is not specified on elements, it is important in general to check that f is well-defined. That is, unambiguously defined. For example, if the set A is the union of two subsets A_{1} and A_{2}, and we are considering a function f: A \longrightarrow B, then one can try to specify a function from set A to the set B \{ 0,1\} by declaring that f is to map everything in A_{1} to 0 and is to map everything in A_{2} to 1. This unambiguously defines f unless A_{1} and A_{2} have elements in common in which case it is not clear whether these elements should map to 0 or to 1. Checking that this f is well-defined therefore amounts to checking that A_{1} and A_{2} have no intersection.

Remark 3:

Theorems 1-3 continue to hold for unions and intersections of an arbitrary number (finite or infinite) of sets A_{\alpha}:

f^{-1}(\bigcup_{\alpha})A_{\alpha}=\bigcup_{\alpha}f^{-1}(A_{\alpha})

f^{-1}(\bigcap_{\alpha}A_{\alpha})=\bigcap_{\alpha}f^{-1}(A_{\alpha})

f(\bigcup_{\alpha})A_{\alpha}=\bigcup_{\alpha}f(A_{\alpha})

Decomposition of a set into classes. Equivalence relations.

Decompositions of a given set into pairwise disjoint subsets play an important role in a great variety of problems. For example, the plane (regarded as a point set) can be decomposed into lines parallel to the x-axis, three dimensional space can be decomposed into concentric spheres, the inhabitants of a given city can be decomposed into different age groups, and so on. Any such representation of a given set M as the union of a family of pairwise disjoint subsets of M is called a decomposition or partition of M into classes.

A decomposition is usually made on the basis of a certain criterion, allowing us to assign the elements of M to one class or another. For example, the set of all triangles in the plane can be decomposed into classes of congruent triangles, or classes of triangles of equal area, the set of all functions of x can be decomposed into classes of functions all taking the same value at a given point x, and so on. Despite the great variety of such criteria, they are not completely arbitrary. For example, it is obviously impossible to partition all real numbers into classes by assigning the number b to the same class as number a if and only if b>a. In fact, if b>a, b must be assigned to same class as a but then a cannot be assigned to same class as b, since a<b. Moreover, since a is not greater than itself, a cannot be assigned to the class containing itself!! As another example, it is impossible to partition the points of the plane into classes by assigning two points to the same class if and only if the distance between them is less than 1. In fact, if the distance between a and b is less than 1, and if the distance between b and c is less than 1, it does not follow that distance between a and c is less than 1. (Hint: Think of triangle inequality). Thus, by assigning a to the same class as b and b to the same class as c, we may well find that two points fall in the same class even though the distance between them is greater than 1!

These examples suggest conditions that which must be satisfied by any criterion it it is to be used as the basis for partitioning a given set into classes. Let M be a set, and let certain ordered pairs (a,b) of elements of M be called “labelled.” If (a,b) is a labelled pair, we say that a is related to b by the binary relation R and we write it symbolically as aRb. For example, if a and b are real numbers, aRb might mean a<b, while if a and b are triangles, aRb might mean that a and b have the same area. A relation between elements of M is called a relation on M, if there exists at least one labelled pair (a,b) for every a \in M. A relation R on M is called an equivalence relation (on M) if it satisfies the following three conditions:

  • Reflexivity: aRa for every a \in M.
  • Symmetry: If aRb, then bRa.
  • Transititivity: If aRb and bRc, then aRc.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Nalin Pithwa, more later

 

 

 

 

Why do we need proofs? In other words, difference between a mathematician, physicist and a layman

Yes, I think it is a very nice question, which kids ask me. Why do we need proofs? Well, here is a detailed explanation (I am not mentioning the reference I use here lest it may intimidate my young enthusiastic, hard working students or readers. In other words, the explanation is not my own; I do not claim credit for this…In other words, I am just sharing what I am reading in the book…)

Here it goes:

What exactly is the difference between a mathematician, a physicist, and a layman? Let us suppose that they all start measuring the angles of hundreds of triangles of various shapes, find the sum in each case and keep a record. Suppose the layman finds that with one or two exceptions, the sum in each case comes out to be 180 degrees. He will ignore the exceptions and say “the sum of the three angles in a triangle  is 180 degrees.” A physicist will be more cautious in dealing with the exceptional cases. He will examine them more carefully. If he finds that the sum in them is somewhere between 179 degrees to 180 degrees, say, then he will attribute the deviation to experimental errors. He will then state a law: The sum of three angles of any triangle is 180 degrees. He will then watch happily as the rest of the world puts his law to test and finds that it holds good in thousands of different cases, until somebody comes up with a triangle in which the law fails miserably. The physicist now has to withdraw his law altogether or else to replace it by some other law which holds good in all cases tried. Even this new law may have to be modified at a later date. And, this will continue without end.

A mathematician will be the fussiest of all. If there is even a single exception he will refrain from saying anything. Even when millions of triangles are tried without a single exception, he will not state it as a theorem that the sum of the three angles in ANY triangle is 180 degrees. The reason is that there are infinitely many different types of triangles. To generalize from a million to infinity is as baseless to a mathematician as to generalize from one to a million. He will at the most make a conjecture and say that there is a strong evidence suggesting that the conjecture is true. But that is not the same thing as a proving a theorem. The only proof acceptable to a mathematician is the one which follows from earlier theorems by sheer logical implications (that is, statements of the form : If P, then Q). For example, such a proof follows easily from the theorem that an external angle of a triangle is the sum of the other two internal angles.

The approach taken by the layman or the physicist is known as the inductive approach whereas the mathematician’s approach is called the deductive approach. In the former, we make a few observations and generalize. In the latter, we deduce from something which is already proven. Of course, a question can be raised as to on what basis this supporting theorem is proved. The answer will be some other theorem. But then the same question can be asked about the other theorem. Eventually, a stage is reached where a certain statement cannot be proved from any other earlier proved statement(s) and must, therefore, be taken for granted to be true. Such a statement is known as an axiom or a postulate. Each branch of math has its own axioms or postulates. For examples, one of the axioms of geometry is that through two distinct points, there passes exactly one line. The whole beautiful structure of geometry is based on 5 or 6 axioms such as this one. Every theorem in plane geometry or Euclid’s Geometry can be ultimately deduced from these axioms.

PS: One of the most famous American presidents, Abraham Lincoln had read, understood and solved all of Euclid’s books (The Elements) by burning mid-night oil, night after night, to “sharpen his mental faculties”. And, of course, there is another famous story (true story) of how Albert Einstein as a very young boy got completely “addicted” to math by reading Euclid’s proof of why three medians of a triangle are concurrent…(you can Google up, of course).

Regards,

Nalin Pithwa

 

 

Basic set theory and logic tutorial

  1. In the town of Seville lives a barber who shaves everyone who does not shave himself. Does the barber shave himself? In terms of set theory, the question is :  Let R be the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. Does R contain itself? (please do not Google else you will lose a golden chance to train your intellect. Think of the tutorial question as nurturing your intellect in math and logic…)
  2. Suppose X has 3 friends: A, B and C, who are respectively, good at cricket, music and mountaineering, but not at any other fields. What is the fallacy in the following? “The statement ‘One of X’s friends is a cricketer’ is true and so is the statement ‘One of X’s friends is a musician’. So their conjunction is true, that is, the statement ‘One of X’s friends is both a cricketer and a musician’ is true. But X has no such friends.
  3. Take an English-to-English dictionary (any other language will also do). Start with any word and note down any word occurring in its definition as given in the dictionary. Take this new word and note down any word appearing in its definition. Repeat the process with this new word until a vicious circle results. Prove that a vicious circle is unavoidable no matter which word one starts with . (Caution: the vicious circle may not always involve the original word) Note: So, now, do you see that the words “point” , “line” and “surface” are not defined, but taken as known “intuitively”? 
  4. On both the sides of a piece of paper it is written: “The sentence on the other side is false”. Are the two sentences so written statements? Why? What if on one side,”the sentence on the other side is true” is written and on the other side, “the sentence on the other side is false”? Note that in math: a statement can have only one truth value; it cannot contradict itself. 

Regards,

Nalin Pithwa.