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A FEW PROBLEMS

Nilava Metya
June 11, 2020

Problem 1
k
X
A partition of n is an unordered tuple {x1 , x2 , . . . xk } 3 xi ∈ N where n = xi .
i=1
Each xi is called a summand. Let pk (n) be the number of partitions of n with largest part at most k.
Show that pk (n) is also the number of partitions of n with at most k parts.

Solution
Recall conjugation of a partition from the class. Here is the brief idea about the proof(and
will suffice if you write this in ISI or CMI exams, provided your ideas are well expressed). The
super-rigorous proof can be achieved by using the conjugation.

Let qk (n) be the number of partitions of n with at most k parts. We show this problem by establishing
a bijection from the set of enumerated partitions using the definition of p to the set of the enumerated
partitions using the definition of q.
This will force pk (n) = qk (n).
We first enumerate all the partitions of n with largest part at most k. We represent every partition
using a dot-diagram as shown. The example is with n = 13, k = 4. The example illustrates the
representation 13 = 4 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 1.

Notice that this partition is to count each row.


Since the total number of dots are the same, we can count the total number of dots by counting
each column, and they would sum to the same number. So the corresponding column count partition
is 13 = 5 + 4 + 3 + 1.
Hence, for every partition of n with at most k parts we can get a similar diagram corresponding to
the enumeration of pk (n).
Say, hx1 , x2 , . . . , xm i is a partition of n 3 m ≤ k, xi ≤ xi+1 ∀i ∈ {r : r ∈ N, r < m}. So we draw xi
lattice points in the ith row from bottom to top (For each row, start from left). In the above example
the partition is h4, 3, 3, 2, 1i.

1
This is the representation row-wise. Now count the dots column-wise. Let the tuple representing the
column count be hy1 , y2 , . . . , yl i. We can make sure that yi is also a non-increasing tuple as we drew
the points in each row from left to right, so more points on a left column than something to the right
of it. We can also assure that l ≤ y1 ≤ k. Thus, the size of yi cannot exceed k. Hence for each
enumeration under pk (n), we have a corresponding numeration under qk (n). Thus pk (n) = qk (n)

Problem 2
How many different triangles with integer sides and largest side n are there?

Solution
We want to enumerate the triangles with integer sides whose largest side is n. Label it as t(n) for
n ∈ N.
Suppose that the other two sides of the triangle are x and y. We want the following to be satisfied:

• x, y ∈ N

• x ≤ n, y ≤ n

• x+y >n

So all we need to do is to count the pair of solutions (x, y) satisfying the above. But we take into
account that (x, y) is an unordered tuple.
Hence the problem reduces to this: Find the number of unordered tuples (x, y) ∈ N2 such that
x ≤ n, y ≤ n and x + y > n.
Let S = {(x, y) ∈ N2 |x ≤ n, y ≤ n, x + y ≥ n + 1}
First we ennumerate the ordered tuples (x, y), i.e., ennumerate the elements of S:
Cases:

• x = 1: Then y = n

• x = 2: Then y = n, (n − 1)

• x = 3: Then y = n, (n − 1) , (n − 2)
.. ..
. .
.. ..
. .
.. ..
. .

• x = k: Then y = n, (n − 1) , . . . , (n − k + 1)
.. ..
. .
.. ..
. .
.. ..
. .

• x = n: Then y = n, (n − 1) , . . . , 1

2
Figure 1: Plot of all possible ordered (x, y) ∈ S

Above is a diagramatic representation of all ordered pairs of points lattice (x, y). All elements of S
are marked as bold dots on the N × N grid.
Define the translation T (x, y) = (n − x, n − y). We find out how the set of points in F =
{Q = T (P )|P ∈ S} look like.
Let X = n − x, Y = n − y. ∴ x ≤ n, y ≤ n =⇒ X ≥ 0, Y ≥ 0, X + Y ≤ n − 1
We can construct the diagrammatic representation of F similarly as S.

Figure 2: Plot of all possible ordered (X, Y ) ∈ F (blue dots)

Hence the number of ordered pairs of (x, y) = |S| = |F | = n·(n+1) 2


. But, we want to enumerate
unordered pairs (x, y), i.e. (x, y) = (y, x). For this we reflect about the line y = x and count the
points only on one side of the line and on the line. Without loss of generality, we count the lattice
points below the y = x line (and on it).

3
Figure 3: Plot of all possible unordered (X, Y )

So all we need to do is to find out the number of lattice points enclosed within the lines: x − y = 0,
x+y −n+1 = 0 and y = 0. Observe that there is a vertical line of symmetry of the form x= k, k ∈ R.
But note that the intersection of the lines x − y = 0 and x + y − n + 1 = 0 is n−12
, n−1
2
. Hence the
n−1
vertical line of symmetry is x = 2 .

Figure 4: Line of symmetry

Case I: 2|n =⇒ n = 2k, k ∈ N


Then, n − 1 is odd and so the vertical line of symmetry does not pass through any lattice point.
The number of lattice points on y = 0 on either side of the line of symmetry is exactly n2 = k (by
symmetry). Hence, the number of lattice points on one side of the line of symmetry is k(k + 1)/2. So
for even n,
k · (k + 1) n n 
t(n) = 2 · = +1
2 2 2
Case II: 2 6 |n =⇒ n = 2k − 1, k ∈ N
Then, n − 1 is even and so the vertical line of symmetry passes through exactly
n−1
2
+ 1 = n+1 2
= k lattice points. The number of lattice points on y = 0 on either side of the line of
symmetry is exactly n−1
2
= k (by symmetry, since one point lies on the line of symmetry). Hence, the
number of lattice points on one side of the line of symmetry is (k − 1)k/2. So for odd n,
 2
(k − 1) · k 2 n+1
t(n) = 2 · + k = k · (k − 1) + k = k =
2 2
Combining the above two cases, we can write

4
n n 
 +1 if 2|n
2 2 2

t(n) = 
n+1

 if 2 6 |n
2
Interestingly note that, we can write the above expression compactly as
   
n+1 n+1
t(n) = · ∀n ∈ N
2 2

Problem 3
Consider the following sets:

1. Am,n = {(α1 , α2 , . . . , αm ) ∈ Zm : 0 ≤ α1 ≤ α2 ≤ . . . ≤ αm ≤ n}

2. Bm,n = {(α1 , α2 , . . . , αm ) ∈ Zm
≥0 : α1 + α2 + . . . + αm = n}

3. Cm,n = {(α1 , α2 , . . . , αm ) ∈ Zm : 0 ≤ α1 < α2 < . . . < αm ≤ n}

4. Dm,n = {(α1 , α2 , . . . , αm ) ∈ Zm
≥0 : α1 + α2 + . . . + αm ≤ n}

5. Em,n = {(α1 , α2 , . . . , αm ) ∈ Zm
≥0 : α1 + α2 + . . . + αm ≤ n}
n o
6. Fm,n = f : [m] → [n] ∪ {0} f is a monotonically increasing function

7. Pm,n = {paths from (0, 0) to (m, n) using only unit upward or unit rightward steps}

Establish a bijection between each of the following pairs of sets:


Am,n Bm+1,n Cm,n+m−1 Dm,n Em,n Fm,n Pm,n .