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Homework Help: Binomials and Proof by Induction

  1. Sep 23, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Prove (n choose k) ≤ ((en)/k)^k by induction on k.

    2. Relevant equations

    I can't of anything that's awfully relevant besides the general steps of induction.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    So I found it true for the k=1 case which was easy enough. Then assumed true the k case. And now have to prove the k+1 case.

    So after working on the problem for awhile, I arrived at
    ((n-k)/(k+1)) * (n choose k) ≤ ((en)/k)^k * ((n-k)/(k+1))

    but from here I'm stuck and not sure how to deconstruct the (n choose k) into something workable, let alone construct (n choose k+1). any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2012 #2
    I'm not sure I understand the notation. What is "en"?
  4. Sep 23, 2012 #3
    the Euler number, e=2.718 or something i think. so en is e*n
  5. Sep 24, 2012 #4

    Ray Vickson

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    Homework Helper

    It might be helpful to note that
    [tex] {n \choose k} = \frac{n (n-1) \cdots (n-k+1)}{k!}
    = \frac{n^k (1 - \frac{1}{n})(1 - \frac{2}{n}) \cdots (1 - \frac{k-1}{n})}{k!},[/tex] and you can further bound the numerator and denominator.

  6. Sep 24, 2012 #5


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    Then you mean e^n. "en" and "e*n" would be e times n.
  7. Sep 24, 2012 #6
    no i mean e times n. hence en or e*n.
  8. Sep 24, 2012 #7
    i under the bound for the numerator, but i dont understand how to bound the denominator?
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