A Path to Combinatorics for Undergraduates: Counting Strategies

Posted: August 9, 2012 in combinatorics, university mathematics
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This unique approach to combinatorics is centered around unconventional, essay-type combinatorial examples, followed by a number of carefully selected, challenging problems and extensive discussions of their solutions. Topics encompass permutations and combinations, binomial coefficients and their applications, bijections, inclusions and exclusions, and generating functions.  Each chapter features fully-worked problems, including many from Olympiads and other competitions, as well as a number of problems original to the authors; at the end of each chapter are further exercises to reinforce understanding, encourage creativity, and build a repertory of problem-solving techniques.  The authors’ previous text, “102 Combinatorial Problems,” makes a fine companion volume to the present work, which is ideal for Olympiad participants and coaches, advanced high school students, undergraduates, and college instructors.  The book’s unusual problems and examples will interest seasoned mathematicians as well.  “A Path to Combinatorics for Undergraduates” is a lively introduction not only to combinatorics, but to mathematical ingenuity, rigor, and the joy of solving puzzles.

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