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SUMS OF PARTITION SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES I

V.E.HOGG ATT, JR.


San Jose State University, Sao Jose, California 95192
and
G. L.ALEXANDERSON
University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California 95003

In the expansion

(k-Dn
(1+x+x

k 1

+ .~ + x - f

Y* [ / " ] * '
1=0

k>2,

n>

0,

clearly

[ o ] * " U-/*]*= 1

and

[a-g[;:;:ur].- '<* '**-*


For Ar = 2, these are the binomial coefficients and when dealing with these we shall use the usual notation:

],-('

The problem of calculating sums of the following type for k = 2 was first treated by Cournot [2] and Ramus [5]
and Ramus' method is outlined in [ 4 ] :
N
k

j=0
where

N=

j- f t -y,_ f -| f

[ ] denoting the greatest integer function. We wish here to investigate for certain fixed k and q the different values
of these sums as r ranges from 0 to q - 1 and, further, the d i f erences between the sums,
1. THE METHOD OF RAIV1US
th

Let co be a primitive q

root of unity then


-

2TT

2TT

to = cos * / s i n
Q
Q

Then

t^^'(

t t

o)*(

i)

2)*(

117

3)

-*(nn)

SUMS OF PARTITION SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES

118

. / ) + ( ", j a > * " f + ( 5 ) c o

(1 + u*-i}n

[April

^ + ( ^ ) c o ^ ' V . . * ( JJ ) a > " ^ " .

Multiplying each successive row by co, co"7", a)" 2 '', , u>~'q~1 , Q<r<q-

1, and adding the products we get

* [ ( ? ) * ( , % ) - (,*%) *'] - tf * / V - (** + <>**fur****


$1=0
q-1

e
- ^ [ i( c2cos
o s ^ l) "co
w

gfr?-2r;
y.\n-*n
22

0=O

Q
q-l- / .
\
r
.
K c o s fijr \ n\ c o s

fife^r

+ / l i n

^ ^ r

fi=0

Since the left side is real, the coefficient of / on the right must be zero, hence
4-1

o(n - 2rh

S(n.
0=0

'

Applying the same technique to the expansion (1+x +x2 + - +xk~1 ) n one finds that

S(n,k,q,r) = I n 1 + f " 1 4
f

kzl
2

*-1
2

0=0
q-1

&=o

M
k/2
M

,20

(k-Dzf^-rS.

q -*
o=o

" 1

efk-Zj+thr

o(k - 2j + Ifr
Q

+1

cos

cos

o(nk - n - 2r)ir for k odd


Q

o(nk - n - 2rh
Q

for k even

2. THECASESA-2, q = 3,4
This case is treated in [4] and more recently in [6]. From the formulas above one easily shows that

I [ > + coi f+(-1)ncos

2j

f~\=

| [ > + .? cos

f]

(s)*(O*(0 + ---j[^ e ^]
By examining the table for cos (nir)/3 one sees that the three differences

|[ COS ^._ COS />L^L], | [ c o $ f e z ^ T _ c o s ^ k . J

and||-cosk^r

cos

are 0, 1, - 1 . This problem appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly in May, 1938 as Problem E 300 (solution
by Emma Lehmer) and again in February, 1956, as Problem E 1172. In slightly altered form it had appeared in the
Monthly in 1932 as Problem 3497 (solution by Morgan Ward). It appeared as Problem B-6 in the 1974 William
Lowell Putnam Contest.

SUMS OF PARTITION SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES

1976]

119

The case of four sums (q = 4) yields In each case only two different or three different sums, depending on whether
n is odd or even and the differences in the values are successive powers of 2, as the reader can verify. This appeared
in Mathematics Magazine in November-December, 1952 as Problem 177 (solution by E. P. Starke).
3. THE CASE* = 2*7 = 5
This case was treated tersely in the solution to a problem posed by E. P. Starke in the March, 1939, issue of the
National Mathematical Magazine, where the differences were observed to be simple and predictable but the sums
themselves were not seen to be reducible to simple form. We shall, therefore, treat this very interesting case at length,
along with generalizations.
Consideration of the following two figures yields values of x and y:

x - 1
(a)

/
y

7
1

x-

(b)

Figure 1

= _ 7-V5

,-i^..

1-y

where the signs are chosen so t h a t x , / are positive. We note a is the golden ratio and the a,j3are those of the Binet
formulas for elements of Fibonacci and Lucas sequences, i.e., if
Fj = 1,

F2 = I

Fn = Fn-j + Fn-2,

n > 2,

and

Z. / = 7,

L2 = 3,

Ln = Ln^

+ Ln.2,

n > 2,

then

L - oP+tf1 ,

and

where Fn and Ln are the /7f/7 Fibonacci and Lucas numbers, respectively [3].
From Fig. 1a, one sees that
cos E = <k

and

cos

2ir _ a- 1

and from a + P = 1 one concludes that

cos 5

From these one can construct a table of values for cos (mi)/5. Then
4

= l[>+ancoi

(n r n

= l\ 2" +2a" cos

+ H ? r cos 2("-52r)7r+(-a)ncos

-/ '

-~^

+2<-$)n cos Hn^-ldl

*k^S

+/ 3"cos

] for r = 0, 1,2, 3,4.

fc&]

120

SUMS OF PARTITION SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES

[April

Let us examine, for example, S(10m, 2, 5, 0):


L[210m+2a10m+2$10m]

to

-[210m+2L10m]

where L iom is a Lucas number. For/7 = 10m + 1,


S<10m + 1,Z5,0)=1-J210m+1+2a10m+1

(a/2) - 2p10m+1

($/2)l

-[210m+1

+a10m+2+

$10m+2]

_ / r910m+1 , ,

We can continue to reduce these sums to the form 1/5[2n +A], where A is a Lucas number or twice a Lucas number and can, in fact, form the following table for the values of A '
Table 1
r = 0

10m
Wm+1
10m+2
10m+3
10m+4
10m+5
10m+6
10m+ 7
10m+8
10m+9

2LiOm
L Wm+2
LtOm+1
~L10m+2
~L10m+5
-2L jom+5
-l-IOm+7
~L10m+6
l~10m+7
L-Wm+W

r = 2

LlOm-1
L 10m+2
2i 10m+2
L Wm+4
L 10m+3
-i-IOm+4
-l-10m+7
-2L Wm+7
~Li0m+9
-LiOm+8

-^Wm+1
-Liom
L-Wm+1
L 10m+4
2L iom+4
L Wm+6
L
10m+5
-i-Wm+6
-Ll0m+9
-2L iom+9

r=
-Lwm+1
-2LiQm+1
-l~10m+3
-Lwm+2
L 10m+3
L 10m+6
2L Wm+6
L JOm+8
L Wm+7
-LlOm+8

Lwm-1
-Lwm
-t-10m+3
-2L Wm+3
-L-10m+5
~Ll0m+4
L Wm+5
L Wm+8
2L iOm+8
Lwm+10

Thus we have formulas for all sums of the form

2^[

r = 0,1, 2, 3, 4,

+ 5t j '

t=0
and since

til)-*1i=0
we note that the sum of the five elements on any row of the above table must be zero and, furthermore, it is clear
from the method of generating Pascal's Triangle that each element of Table 1 must be the sum of the element above
it and to the left of that. The following is the table of high and low values of the elements in Table 1:
Table 2

H
2Lwm
L Wm+2
2L Wm+2
L Wm+4
2L Wm+4
L Wm+6
2L Wm+6
L Wm+8
2L Wm+8
LWm+10

L
-L-Wm+1
-2Lf0m+1
-Lwm+3
-2L Wm+3
-l-Wm+5
~2L Wm+5
-t~Wm+7
-2Liom+7
-t~Wm+9
~2L Wm+9

SUMS OF PARTITION SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES

1976]

121

The differences between the highest value of the sums for given n and the lowest value is, therefore, always of the
form
(2Ln + Ln+1)/5.
That
(2Ln + Ln+i)/5
= Fn+1
is proved easily by induction. We note that for each n there are only three different values for the five sums and that
differences between the high and low values are Fibonacci numbers. Furthermore, the differences between the high
and middle values, the middle and low values are again Fibonacci numbers. In fact, the three Fibonacci numbers have
consecutive subscripts.
4. THE CASE k = 3f q = 5
In this case we are dealing with five sums of trinomial coefficients, and, for r= 0, 1, 2,3, 4,
4

5 M ^ - [ ; ]

[ ^

? 0

. . . - l E [ ^ o s f

,?]"oos

2(n - r)9.iT

e=o
But since
2 cos 2-?- + 1 = 2 (5

1 = -p+1

= a=

2 cos &J- + 1

and

in
2co$Q+1
5

=2

S(n,3,5,r) = \ [ > + a " cos ^


= I [ 3" +2an

+ 1 = -a+1

( - ! )

&

cos llO^JhL

= P=

2QO*QZ

+ 1 ,

0 cos ^ f ^
+2$"

* 0 " cos

C0S^^=jJjL

fc^

+ a " cos

idLzliS."]

These sums reduce in each case to the form 1/5[3n + B], where B is found in Table 3:
Table 3
n
Torn
10m + 1
10m +2
10m+3
10m+4
10m+5
10m+ 5
10m+ 7
10m+ 8
10m+ 9

r = 0

r = 1

r = 2

r = 3

r = 4

2Li0m
LlOm
~LWm+3
-t-10m+4
L Wm+3
2L iOm+5
L 10m+5
-L-jOm+g

LtOm-1
2Lwm+1
Lwm+1
-l~Wm+4
-t-iOm+5
L>Wm+4
2L Wm+6
L Wm+6
-LiOm+9
-LiOm+10

-L10m+1
^-Wm
2L<iom+2
Liom+2
-LiOm+5
-LiOm+6
L
10m+5
2L iOm+7
L-iom+7
-Lwm+10

-LlOm+1
-LlQm+2
l-10m+1
2L iOm+3
L Wm+3
-LiOm+6
~^Wm+7
l~Wm+6
2L Wm+8
L Wm+8

i-Wm-1
-Lwm+2
-l~Wm+3
L Wm+2
2L mm+4
L Wm+4
-Lwm+7
-Lwm+8
f-Wm+7
2L Wm+9

~LWm+9
L 10m+8

Again, differences of the sums are Fibonacci numbers. If one examines cases for larger values of k and uses the fact
that, for
q = 5,

1 + GO +o)2

+<J03 +GO4

0,

one sees that the sums will be expressible in the form

where C is a Lucas number or twice a Lucas number, and the differences will be consecutive Fibonacci numbers, In
the cases where k = 2,3 (mod 5). In other cases, the sums take on a constant value or take on two values which differ
by 1.

122

SUMS OF PARTITION SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES

[April

5. THE CASE QFk = 2, q = 6


Here
S(n,2,6,r) = I

] "cos ^zMM

I 2 cos f

^2"+2(s/3)n

cos (-n-f^ + 2 cos

2<n

~2r)

r=Q, 1, - , 5, and the sums take the form ^[2n +D], where, for/"= 0, for example, D can be found in Table 4.
o

Table 4

n
12m
12m+ 1
12m+2
12m+3
12m+4
12m +5
12m+6
12m+ 7
12m+8
12m+9
12m + 10
12m+ 11

2.36m + 2 (this breakd down form = 0)


36m+1

+ 1

j6m+1 __ ^

_36m+3+1
O 06171+3 , O

-36*1+4 + J
n6m+4 _ .

-2
06m+5 _ *
36m+6+1

The other sums, for r - 1,2,3,4,5 can be computed easily and, not surprisingly, the largest and smallest sums differ
by a power of 3 or twice a power of 3.
6. THE CASE OF k = 2, q = 8
The Pell numbers/^ are defined by the following:
n > 2,
2Pn-1+Pn-2,
and we shall define the Pell-Lucas sequence Qn as satisfying the same recursion relation but Qx =2, Q2 =6. The roots
of the auxiliary equation x2 - 2x - 1 = 0 are, in this case,
Pf = I

P2 = 2,

and

y = 1 + y/2

8 = 1 - ^2

and the Binet-type formulas in this case are, analogously,


Pn =
n

and

^L^-

Q=T"+S'

7-5

For q = 8, the sums S(n,2,8,r) for r = 0, 1, 2, , 7 can be written


S(n,2,8,r> - ( ; ) * (

.cos i ^ J L
A2cos

= I r^ + ^
o L

/ )

/,co$ | I j"

j \*!!LzM!L
n /

( , / )

c o s

V ^ c o s (n~2rh
o

.... - 1 (

l ^ E
2cos f
+2-2

n/2

cos

,cos f

/2cos ^[ j " C Q S

) "cos ^ L z ^ T
2(n

) "cos ^ f h

~ 2r,Z
8

,/,

_- I | > , (2 cos

fcjW*
c o s

+ 2-2n/4(-8)n/2

Z* J " c o s
3<n-2rht8

TOLZM*'

1976]

SUMS OF PARTITION SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES

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[April

1976]

SUMS OF PARTlTf OI\f SETS IN GENERALIZED PASCAL TRIANGLES

125

One can reduce these sums to the form 1-[2n + E], where E is found in Table 5. S(n,6,8,r) is similar.
o

Differences between the largest and smallest sums are, in this case, powers of 2 times Pell or Pell-Lucas numbers.
Further cases yield more differences which satisfy increasingly complicated linear recursion relations or combinations of such relations. Some of these, along with other techniques for handling such problems will appear in a later
paper. Some generalizations to multinomial coefficients appear in [ 1 ] .

REFERENCES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

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