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PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Edited by Gerald A. Edgar, Doug Hensley, Douglas B. West


with the collaboration of Mike Bennett, Itshak Borosh, Paul Bracken, Ezra A. Brown,
Randall Dougherty, Tam as Erd elyi, Zachary Franco, Christian Friesen, Ira M. Ges-
sel, L aszl o Lipt ak, Frederick W. Luttmann, Vania Mascioni, Frank B. Miles, Richard
Pefer, Dave Renfro, Cecil C. Rousseau, Leonard Smiley, Kenneth Stolarsky, Richard
Stong, Walter Stromquist, Daniel Ullman, Charles Vanden Eynden, Sam Vandervelde,
and Fuzhen Zhang.
Proposed problems and solutions should be sent in duplicate to the MONTHLY
problems address on the back of the title page. Proposed problems should never
be under submission concurrently to more than one journal. Submitted solutions
should arrive before April 30, 2013. Additional information, such as general-
izations and references, is welcome. The problem number and the solvers name
and address should appear on each solution. An asterisk (*) after the number of
a problem or a part of a problem indicates that no solution is currently available.
PROBLEMS
11677. Proposed by Albert Stadler, Herrliberg, Switzerland. Evaluate

n=1
_
1 +2e
m

3
cosh(mn/

3)
_
.
11678. Proposed by Farrukh Ataev Rakhimjanovich, Westminster International Uni-
versity in Tashkent, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Let F
k
be the kth Fibonacci number, where
F
0
= 0 and F
1
= 1. For n 1 let A
n
be an (n +1) (n +1) matrix with entries a
j,k
given by a
0,k
= a
k,0
= F
k
for 0 k n and by a
j,k
= a
j 1,k
+ a
j,k1
for j, k 1.
Compute the determinant of A
n
.
11679. Proposed by Tim Keller, Orangeville, CT. Let n be an integer greater than 2,
and let a
2
, . . . , a
n
be positive real numbers with product 1. Prove that
n

k=2
(1 +a
k
)
k
>
2
e
_
n
2
_
2n1
.
11680. Proposed by Benjamin Bogosel, University of Savoie, Savoie, France, and
Cezar Lupu, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Let x
1
, . . . , x
n
be nonnegative
real numbers. Show that
_
n

i =1
x
i
i
_
4
2
2
n

i, j =1
x
i
x
j
i + j
n

k,l=1
x
k
x
l
(k +l)
3
.
11681. Proposed by Des MacHale, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. For any
group G, let AutG denote the group of automorphisms of G.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4169/amer.math.monthly.119.10.880
880 c THE MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA [Monthly 119
(a) Show that there is no nite group G with |AutG| = |G| +1.
(b) Show that there are innitely many nite groups G with |AutG| = |G|.
(c) Find all nite groups G with |AutG| = |G| 1.
11682. Proposed by Ovidiu Furdui, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-
Napoca, Romania. Compute

n=0
(1)
n
_

k=1
(1)
k1
n +k
_
2
.
11683. Proposed by Raimond Struble, Santa Monica, CA. Given a triangle ABC, let
F
C
be the foot of the altitude from the incenter to AB. Dene F
B
and F
C
similarly.
Let C
A
be the circle with center A that passes through F
B
and F
C
, and dene C
B
and
C
C
similarly. The Gergonne point of a triangle is the point at which segments AF
A
,
BF
B
, and CF
C
meet. Determine, up to similarity, all isosceles triangles such that the
Gergonne point of the triangle lies on one of the circles C
A
, C
B
, or C
C
.
SOLUTIONS
Matrices Whose Powers Have Bounded Entries
11530 [2010, 834]. Proposed by P al Peter D alyay, Szeged, Hungary Let A be an
m m matrix with nonnegative entries a
i, j
and with the property that there exists
a permutation of {1, . . . , m} for which

m
i =1
a
i,(i )
1. Show that the union over
n 1 of the set of entries of A
n
is bounded if and only if some positive power of A is
the identity matrix.
Solution by John H. Smith, Needham, MA. If some positive power of A is the identity,
then the powers A
n
run over a nite set and hence have bounded entries. We prove the
converse.
Dene A

to agree with A in the positions (i, (i )) and be 0 elsewhere. Let A

=
A A

; note that A

has nonnegative entries. Let k be the least common multiple


of the lengths of the cycles in , so k is the order of . Let B = A
k
A
k
; since
A = A

+ A

, the entries of B are nonnegative.


The matrix A
k
is diagonal. Let b
j
be the product of the entries (i, (i )) in A corre-
sponding to the j th cycle in , and let l
j
be its length. The entries on the diagonal of
A
k
corresponding to this cycle are b
k/l
j
j
.
If b
j
> 1, then the entries of A
kn
are unbounded as n grows. Since A
kn
A
kn
has
nonnegative entries, the entries of A
kn
would also be unbounded. Hence b
j
1 for
each j ; since the product over all cycles is at least 1, we have b
j
= 1 for each j .
Hence A
k
= I +C, where C has nonnegative entries. If C = 0, then I +nC has
unbounded entries (over all n). The same also holds for A
kn
, which equals I +nC +
D
n
, where D
n
has nonnegative entries. Hence boundedness of the entries of A
n
over
all n implies A
k
= I .
Also solved by P. Budney, R. Chapman (U. K.), D. Constales (Belgium), D. Fleischman, E. A. Herman,
R. A. Horn & J. L. Stuart, J. H. Lindsey II, O. P. Lossers (Netherlands), R. Martin (Germany), S. Pierce,

E. Pit e (France), R. E. Prather, A. R. Schep, J. Simons (U. K.), R. Stong, M. Tetiva (Romania), Z. V or os
(Hungary), Barclay Capital Problems Solving Group, Con Amore Problem Group (Denmark), NSA Problems
Group, and the proposer.
December 2012] PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS 881
A Sufcient Condition for a Boolean Ring
11533 [2010, 835]. Proposed by Erwin Just (emeritus), Bronx Community College of
the City College of New York, Bronx, NY. Let t be a positive integer and let R be a ring,
not necessarily having an identity element, such that x + x
2t +1
= x
2t
+ x
10t +1
for each
x in R. Prove that R is a Boolean ring, that is, x = x
2
for all x R.
Solution by Richard Stong, CCR, San Diego CA. Summing the given identity for x and
x yields 2x
2t
= 0. The identity for 2x yields
2x = 2x
2t
_
2
2t 1
2
2t
x +2
10t
x
8t +1
_
= 0.
Thus, R has characteristic 2. Now x x and dene a linear map Z
2
[X] R by
p(X) xp(x). The kernel of this map is an ideal I in Z
2
[X]. Since Z
2
is a eld, I is
a principal ideal; let q(X) be a generator of I . Note that X
10t
X
2t
+ X
2t 1
1 I ,
so X q(X).
Suppose that h(X) is an irreducible factor of q(X) having degree m, and let F
2
m
be a root of h. For each nonzero F
2
m , there is a polynomial g(X) with g() = .
Since the given identity applies to xg(x),
X
10t +1
g(X)
10t +1
X
2t +1
g(X)
2t +1
+ X
2t
g(X)
2t
Xg(X)
is in I and hence is a multiple of the irreducible polynomial h(X). Setting X = ,
we have
10t +1

2t +1
+
2t
= 0. Hence every nonzero element of F
2
m is a root
of X
10t +1
X
2t +1
+ X
2t
X. This means that X
2
m
1
1 divides X
10t +1
X
2t +1
+
X
2t
X. When we reduce X
10t +1
X
2t +1
+ X
2t
X modulo X
2
m
1
1, we replace
every exponent by its residue mod 2
m
1. Hence, since R has characteristic 2, the four
exponents 10t +1, 2t +1, 2t and 1 must pair up when reduced mod 2
m
1. If they
pair up as (10t +1, 2t +1) and (2t, 1), then 2
m
1 divides both 10t +1 (2t +1)
and 2t 1, which implies m = 1 since gcd(8t, 2t 1) = 1. Similarly, the other two
pairings also lead to m = 1. Hence, h(X) = X 1.
Now let k(X) = X
10t +1
X
2t +1
+ X
2t
X. Since k

(1) = 1, we cannot have 1 as


a double root of k(X). Thus q(X)|(X 1), and X 1 I . In terms of x this yields
x
2
= x = 0 or x = x
2
, as desired.
Also solved by A. J. Bevelacqua, D. Constales (Belgium), P. P. D alyay (Hungary), O. P. Lossers (Netherlands),
J. M. Sanders, R. Tauraso (Italy), and the proposer.
An Application of Fermats Little Theorem
11537 [2010, 929]. Proposed by Lang Withers, Jr., MITRE, McClean, VA. Let p be a
prime and a be a positive integer. Let X be a random variable having a Poisson distri-
bution with mean a, and let M be the pth moment of X. Prove that M 2a mod p.
Solution by Alin Bostan and Bruno Salvy, INRIA, France. For n 0, the nth moment
M
n
(a) of a random variable having a Poisson distribution with mean a is given by
M
n
(a) = e
a

k0
k
n
a
k
k!
.
We compute its exponential generating function

n0
M
n
(a)t
n
/n! as follows:

n0
M
n
(a)
n!
t
n
= e
a

k0
a
k
k!

n0
(t k)
n
n!
= e
a

k0
a
k
k!
e
t k
= e
a(e
t
1)
.
882 c THE MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA [Monthly 119
By coefcient extraction, it follows that M
n
(a) is a monic polynomial of degree n in
a (it is known as the Touchard polynomial). Its coefcient
_
a
k
_
M
n
(a) on a
k
, denoted
_
n
k
_
, is the Stirling number of the second kind, given by
_
n
k
_
=
_
t
n
n!
_
(e
t
1)
k
k!
=
_
t
n
n!
_
k

j =0
(1)
kj
k!
_
k
j
_
e
t j
=
1
k!
k

j =0
(1)
kj
_
k
j
_
j
n
.
By Fermats Little Theorem, if p is a prime number and 2 k p 1, then mod p,
k!
_
p
k
_

k

j =1
(1)
kj
_
k
j
_
j = k
k

j =1
(1)
kj
_
k 1
j 1
_
= k(1 1)
k1
= 0.
Therefore, p divides
_
p
k
_
when 2 k p 1, yielding
M
p
a
p
+a 2a (mod p).
Also solved by O. J. L. Alfonso (Colombia), T. Becker (Germany), L. Bogdan (Canada), J. R. Buchanan,
M. Caragiu, M. A. Carlton, N. Caro (Brazil), R. Chapman (U. K.), D. Constales (Belgium), W. J. Cowieson,
N. Grivaux (France), K. Kim, O. Kouba (Syria), J. Lobo (Costa Rica), O. P. Lossers (Netherlands), R. D. Nel-
son (U.K.), M. A. Prasad (India), D. Promislaw (Canada), C. M. Russell, J. Simons (U. K.), N. C. Singer,
A. Stenger, R. Stong, R. Tauraso (Italy), M. Tetiva (Romania), Z. V or os (Romania), M. Vowe (Switzerland),
D. M. Warme, GCHQ Problem Solving Group (U. K.), Texas State University Problem Solvers Group, and the
proposer.
A Condition for Multiplicative Identities in Commutative Rings
11538 [2010, 929]. Proposed by Marian Tetiva, National College Gheorghe Rosca
Codreanu, Brlad, Romania. Prove that a nite commutative ring in which every
element can be written as a product of two (not necessarily distinct) elements has a
multiplicative identity.
Solution by John H. Smith, Needham, MA. Let R be such a ring. For x R, let x R =
{xz : z R}. We call x R maximal if it is not properly contained in yR for any y. By
the hypothesis, every element of R is in some such set. Since R is nite, each yR is
contained in a maximal such set.
When x R is maximal, we show that (i) x x R, (ii) x R contains an element e
x
that
acts as a multiplicative identity on x R, (iii) if yR is also maximal, then x R = yR, and
(iv) x R = R. Together, (ii) and (iv) yield the desired multiplicative identity on R.
(i): We are given x = yz, which yields x R yR. If x / x R, then the containment
is proper, contradicting the maximality of x R.
(ii): Since x x R, we have x = xe
x
= e
x
x (by commutativity) for some e
x
R.
Hence x R e
x
R, and these sets are equal by the maximality of x R. Thus also e
x
R is
maximal, and by (i) we have e
x
e
x
R = x R. Since e
x
x = x, it follows for xy x R
that e
x
xy = xy, and hence e
x
is a multipicative identity on x R.
(iii): Suppose that x R and yR are both maximal; let e
x
and e
y
be the corresponding
identity elements, and let f = e
x
+e
y
e
x
e
y
. We compute
f x = e
x
x +e
y
x (e
x
)e
y
x = x +e
y
x e
y
x = x.
Similarly, f y = y, so f R contains both x R and yR. By maximality, f R equals both
x R and yR, and hence they equal each other.
(iv): Every element of R lies in some maximal set yR and hence in x R. Thus R =
x R.
December 2012] PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS 883
Also solved by G. Apostolopoulos (Greece), H. E. Bell (Canada), J. Bergen, A. J. Bevelacqua, W. D. Burgess,
J. Cade, N. Caro, R. A. Caruthers, R. Chapman (U. K.), J. E. Cooper III, A. Habil (Syria), A. Hays, C. Lanski,
O. P. Lossers (Netherlands), A. Nakhash, D. Opitz, D. Promislow (Canada), J. Simons (U. K.), T. Smith,
R. Stong, R. Tauraso (Italy), X. Wang, J. W. Ward, the Microsoft Research Problems Group, the NSA Problems
Group, the Texas State University Problem Solvers Group, and the proposer.
Quadratic form plus a cube
11539 [2010, 929]. Proposed by William C. Jagy, MSRI, Berkeley, CA. Let E be
the set of all positive integers not divisible by 2 or 3 or by any prime q repre-
sented by the quadratic form 4u
2
+ 2uv + 7v
2
. (Thus, the rst few members of E
are 1, 5, 11, 17, 23, and 25.) Show that 4x
2
+ 2xy + 7y
2
+ z
3
is not an element of
{2n
3
, 2n
3
, 32n
3
, 32n
3
} for n E and x, y, z Z.
Solution by Robin Chapman, Exeter, UK. Let Q
1
(x, y) = x
2
+27y
2
and Q
2
(x, y) =
4x
2
+ 2xy + 7y
2
. Both Q
1
and Q
2
are primitive positive denite integral quadratic
forms with discriminant 108. By special cases of quadratic and cubic reciprocity, we
have the following (Theorems 2.13 and 4.15 of [1]):
(i) a prime p is represented by one of these forms if and only if p 1 (mod 3);
(ii) p is represented by the quadratic form Q
1
if and only if p 1 (mod 3) and 2
is a cubic residue modulo p.
Therefore, if p is represented by Q
2
, then 2 is not a cubic residue modulo p.
Nowsuppose that 4x
2
+2xy +7y
2
+z
3
= kn
3
with k {2, 32}, for x, y, z Z
and n E. We have Q
2
(x, y) = kn
3
z
3
, but we cannot have x = y = 0, since k is
not the cube of a rational. Now Q
2
(x, y) =
1
4
((4x + y)
2
+27y
2
)
27
4
> 6 if y = 0,
and 4x
2
+2xy +7y
2
= 4x
2
4 if y = 0.
Consider the possible values of Q
2
(x, y). If Q
2
(x, y) is even, then y is even; let
y = 2y

. Now Q
2
(x, y) = 4(x
2
+ xy

+ 7(y

)
2
). For x
2
+ xy

+ 7(y

)
2
to be even,
both x and y

must be even. Repeating this argument, we see that the 2-adic val-
uation v
2
(Q
2
(x, y)) must be even. (Here v
2
(m) is dened as the highest power of
2 that divides m.) Since n E, n is odd, and therefore v
2
(kn
3
) is 1 or 5. Since
z
3
= kn
3
Q
2
(x, y), we have v
2
(z
3
) = min(v
2
(kn
3
), v
2
(Q
2
(x, y))) {0, 1, 2, 4, 5}.
However, v
2
(z
3
) is a multiple of 3, so v
2
(z
3
) = 0, and hence Q
2
(x, y) is odd.
Now Q
2
(x, y) x
2
+ 2xy + y
2
= (x + y)
2
(mod 3). If 3 | Q
2
(x, y), then x
y (mod 3), so we can write x = 3t y, where t Z. Now Q
2
(x, y) = 36t
2

18t + 9y
2
so it is a multiple of 9, so z
3
kn
3
(mod 9). However, n E yields
3 n, so n 1 (mod 3). Therefore, n
3
1 (mod 9), leading to z
3
2 or 5
(mod 9), which is impossible. We conclude that Q
2
(x, y) is coprime to 6.
With m = gcd(x, y) we get Q
2
(x, y) = m
2
Q
2
(x

, y

), where x = mx

, y = my

,
and gcd(x

, y

) = 1. Now Q
2
(x

, y

) 4, and we claim that Q


2
(x

, y

) has a prime
factor p represented by Q
2
. Let p be any prime factor of Q
2
(x

, y

). We have
4Q
2
(x

, y

) (4x

+ y

)
2
+27(y

)
2
(mod p), and hence p 1 (mod 3) by (i). Now
p is represented by Q
1
or Q
2
; let us suppose by Q
1
so that p = u
2
+27v
2
.
Dene a = ux

vx

7vy

and b = uy

+4vx

+vy

to get
4a
2
+2ab +7b
2
= (u
2
+27v
2
)
_
4(x

)
2
+2x

+7(y

)
2
_
= pQ
2
(x

, y

).
Since u
2
27v
2
(mod p), we can write u v (mod p), where
2
27
(mod p) ( exists, since 3 is a quadratic residue modulo p). Since (4x

+ y

)
2

27(y

)
2
(mod p), we also have 4x

+ y

(mod p). Replacing u by u and


by , if necessary, we may assume that u v and 4x

(1 +)y

(mod p).
Now
4a
_
(1 +) +(1 +) 28
_
vy

= (
2
+27)vy

0 (mod p)
884 c THE MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA [Monthly 119
and b
_
(1 +) +1
_
vy

0 (mod p). Thus p | a and p | b, so


Q
2
(x

, y

)
p
=
Q
2
(a, b)
p
2
= Q
2
_
a
p
,
b
p
_
and hence Q
2
(x

, y

)/p is represented by Q
2
. Iterating this argument must eventually
nd a prime factor of Q
2
(x

, y

) represented by Q
2
.
Let the prime p divide Q
2
(x

, y

) and be represented by Q
2
, so 2 is not a cubic
residue modulo p. We have kn
3
z
3
(mod p). Since also k = 2 or k = 2
5
, we
conclude that k is not a cubic residue modulo p. Hence p | n, contradicting n E.
This shows that Q
2
(x, y) + z
3
{2n
3
, 32n
3
: n E}.
References
[1] David A. Cox, Primes of the form x
2
+ny
2
, John Wiley & Sons, 1989.
Also solved by the proposer.
A Stirling sum
11545 [2011, 84]. Proposed by Manuel Kauers, Research Institute for Symbolic Com-
putation, Linz, Austria, and Sheng-Lan Ko, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Tai-
wan. Find a closed-form expression for
n

k=0
(1)
k
_
2n
n +k
_
s(n +k, k),
where s refers to the (signed) Stirling numbers of the rst kind.
Solution I by Jim Simons, Cheltenham, U. K. The answer is

n
i =1
(2i 1). Let c(n, k)
denote the unsigned Stirling number of the rst kind, the number of permutations of
[n] with k cycles. By denition, s(n, k) = (1)
nk
c(n, k). Subsituting this denition
into the sum and then setting k = n i transforms the sum to
n

i =0
(1)
i
_
2n
i
_
c(2n i, n i ).
Now
_
2n
i
_
c(2n i, n i ) is the number of ways to construct a permutation of [2n]
with n cycles by choosing i xed points and constructing a permutation with n
i cycles on the remaining 2n i elements. By inclusion-exclusion, the sum is the
number of permutations of [2n] having n cycles and no xed points. Each cycle in
such a permutation must be a 2-cycle. It is well known that the number of pairings of
2n elements is

n
i =1
(2i 1).
Solution II by Kim McInturff, Santa Barbara, CA. We obtain the answer in the form
(2n)!/2
n
n!. It is well known that

nk
s(n, k)
t
n
n!
u
k
= (1 +t )
u
,
Now
e
ut
(1 +t )
u
=

i =0
(1)
i
(ut )
i
i !

j,k
s( j +k, k)
t
j +k
( j +k)!
u
k
=

i, j,k
(1)
i
_
i + j +k
j +k
_
s( j +k, k)
t
i +j +k
(i + j +k)!
u
i +k
.
December 2012] PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS 885
The coefcient of t
2n
u
n
/n! in this sum is obtained by taking the terms in which j = n
and i = n k, yielding
n

k=0
(1)
nk
_
2n
n +k
_
s(n +k, k)
which is (1)
n
times the desired sum. Computing the coefcient another way yields
e
ut
(1 +t )
u
= e
ut +u log(1+t )
= exp
_
u(t
2
/2 +t
3
/3 )
_
so the coefcient of u
n
t
2n
/(2n)! is (1)
n
(2n)!/2
n
n!.
Also solved by D. Beckwith, C. Burnette, D. Callan, R. Chapman (U. K.), D. Constales, K. David, C. Fuerst
(Austria), J.-P. Grivaux (France), O. Kouba (Syria), O. P. Lossers (Netherlands),

A. Plaza (Spain), J. Quain-
tance, N. C. Singer, R. Stong, R. Tauraso (Italy), M. Wildon, Barclays Capital Problems Solving Group (U.K.),
CMC 328, GCHQ Problem Solving Group (U. K.), and the proposer.
2-adic Valuation of Bernoulli-style Sums
11546 [2011, 84]. Proposed by Kieren MacMillan, Toronto, Canada, and Jonathan
Sondow, New York, NY. Let d, k, and q be positive integers, with k odd. Find the
highest power of 2 that divides

2
d
k
n=1
n
q
.
Solution by Barclays Capital Problems Solving Group, London, (U.K.). If q is even or
equals 1, then the answer is 2
d1
. Otherwise, the answer is 2
2(d1)
.
In the case q = 1, the sum equals 2
d1
(k(2
d
k 1)), which clearly is divisible by
2
d1
and not by 2
d
. Now restrict to q > 1.
If d = 1, then the sum contains exactly k odd terms and hence is odd, so the answer
is 2
0
. We proceed by induction on d; consider d > 1. We pair high and low terms from
the sum, using
2
d
k

n=1
n
q
= (2
d
k)
q
(2
d1
k)
q
+
2
d1
k

n=1
_
n
q
+(2
d
k n)
q
_
.
For even q, we take residues modulo 2
d
. Since q(d 1) d, both (2
d
k)
q
and
(2
d1
k)
q
are divisible by 2
d
. Also, (2
d
k n)
q
n
q
mod 2
d
(since q is even). Thus
2
d
k

n=1
n
q
2
2
d1
k

n=1
n
q
(mod 2
d
).
By the induction hypothesis,

2
d1
k
n=1
n
q
is divisible by 2
d2
but not 2
d1
. Hence the
sum on the left is divisible by 2
d1
but not 2
d
.
For odd q, we instead work modulo 2
2d1
. Since q(d 1) 2d 1 (using q 3)
both (2
d
k)
q
and (2
d1
k)
q
are divisible by 2
2d1
. Since q is odd, expanding the binomial
yields (2
d
k n)
q
= n
q
+2
d
kqn
q1
2
2d
k
2
_
q
2
_
n
q2
+ ; all terms after the second
are divisible by 2
2d1
. Thus n
q
+(2
d
k n)
q
2
d
qkn
q1
mod 2
2d1
, so
2
d
k

n=1
n
q
2
d
qk
2
d1
k

n=1
n
q1
(mod 2
2d1
).
By the induction hypothesis,

2
d1
k
n=1
n
q1
is divisible by 2
d2
but not 2
d1
. Hence the
sum on the left is divisible by 2
2d2
but not 2
2d1
.
886 c THE MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA [Monthly 119
Also solved by R. Chapman (U. K.), J. Christopher, P. P. D alyay (Hungary), Y. J. Ionin, O. P. Lossers (Nether-
lands),

A. Plaza (Spain), R. Stong, R. Tauraso (Italy), J. Vondra (Australia), Z. V or os (Hungary), CMC 328,
GCHQ Problem Solving Group (U. K.), NSA Problems Group, and the proposers.
Largest odd divisors
11553 [2011, 178]. Proposed by Mih aly Bencze, Brasov, Romania. For a positive in-
teger k, let (k) be the largest odd divisor of k. Prove that for each positive integer
n,
n(n +1)
3

n

k=1
n k +1
k
(k)
n(n +3)
3
.
Solution by O. P. Lossers, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Let T(k) =

k
j =1
( j )
j
. Since
(2 j ) = ( j ) and (2 j 1) = 2 j 1,
T(k) =
k/2

j =1
(2 j 1)
2 j 1
+
k/2

j =1
(2 j )
2 j
=
_
k
2
_
+
T(k/2)
2
, (1)
We prove by induction on k (with trivial basis k = 1) that
2k
3
< T(k) <
2(k +1)
3
. (2)
For k > 1, using (1) and the induction hypothesis yields
2k
3
<
_
k
2
_
+
k/2
3
< T(k) <
_
k
2
_
+
k/2 +1
3

2(k +1)
3
.
Since

n
k=1
T(k) counts each instance of ( j )/j exactly n j +1 times, summing
(2) over 1 k n yields
n(n +1)
3
<
n

j =1
n j +1
j
( j ) <
n(n +3)
3
.
Editorial comment. R. A. MacLeod (On the Largest Odd Divisor of n, Amer. Math.
Monthly 75 (1968) 647648) proved that
2k
3
+
1
3k
T(k)
2(k+1)
3

2
3(k+1)
, with
equality for k = 2
m
in the rst and for k = 2
m
1 in the second inequality. Many
solvers also showed that
n(n+7/4)
3


n
k=1
nk+1
k
(k)
n(n+2)
3
and that equality is
achieved in the second inequality whenever n = 2
m
1. O. Kouba (On Certain
Sums Related to the Largest Odd Divisor, arXiv:1103.2295v1 [math.NT], Mar 2011,
arxiv.org) gave a sharp lower bound for

n
k=1
nk+1
k
(k) and described when equality
holds.
Also solved by M. Bataille (France), D. Beckwith, C. Burnette, P. P. D alyay (Hungary), D. Fleischman, O. Ge-
upel (Germany), N. Grivaux (France), A. Habil (Syria), M. E. Kidwell & M. D. Meyerson, O. Kouba (Syria),
J. H. Lindsey II, D. Nacin,

A. Plaza (Spain), C. R. Pranesachar (India), R. E. Prather, J. Simons (U. K.),
N. C. Singer, A. Stenger, R. Stong, R. Tauraso (Italy), D. B. Tyler, J. Vinuesa (Spain), Z. Xintao (China),
C. Y. Yldrm (Turkey), GCHQ Problem Solving Group (U. K.), and the proposer.
Errata and End Notes for 2012. In the credits for problem 10912 [2003,745],
P. T. Krasopoulos name was misspelled.
December 2012] PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS 887