By Steven Roman

This textbook presents an advent to the Catalan numbers and their outstanding houses, in addition to their a number of functions in combinatorics. Intended to be available to scholars new to the topic, the booklet starts off with extra straight forward subject matters sooner than progressing to extra mathematically refined topics. Each bankruptcy specializes in a selected combinatorial item counted via those numbers, together with paths, timber, tilings of a staircase, null sums in Zn+1, period constructions, walls, variations, semiorders, and more. Exercises are incorporated on the finish of ebook, in addition to tricks and ideas, to aid scholars receive a greater snatch of the material. The textual content is perfect for undergraduate scholars learning combinatorics, yet also will entice someone with a mathematical history who has an curiosity in studying concerning the Catalan numbers.

“Roman does an admirable activity of delivering an advent to Catalan numbers of a special nature from the former ones. He has made a very good collection of issues so one can exhibit the flavour of Catalan combinatorics. [Readers] will collect a superb feeling for why such a lot of mathematicians are enthralled via the amazing ubiquity and style of Catalan numbers.”

- From the foreword through Richard Stanley

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Extra info for An Introduction to Catalan Numbers

Example text

To this end, let us make the following definition. 2 Let P be a noncrossing partition of [n]. 1) The principal block R of P is the block containing the integer n. The set of nonprincipal blocks of P is denoted by P 0 . 2) The extent of a nonprincipal block B 2 P is the interval eðBÞ ¼ ½minfBg, maxfBg We denote the lower bound of e(B) by ‘(B) and the upper bound by u(B) and so eðBÞ ¼ ½‘ðBÞ, uðBÞ 3) The family of extents of a partition P is the family of extends of the nonprincipal blocks of P.

Ng be the integers modulo n þ 1. A multiset M over ℤnþ1 has null sum if the sum of its elements is zero modulo n þ 1. For example, if n ¼ 5, the multiset S ¼ f1; 1; 2; 4; 4g has sum 12  0 mod 6 and so S has null sum. Let Z n be the family of all multisets over ℤnþ1 of size n (counting multiplicities of the elements) that have null sum. Thus, S 2 Z 5 . Here is an elegant method for determining the size of Z n due to Richard Stanley. Define a binary relation on Z n by saying that S ¼ fa1 ; .

3. 4 with a ¼ 2) and so Dnþ2 ¼ Cn . 4 Cn counts the number of triangulations of a convex polygon with n þ 2 sides. □ Disk Stacking Sometimes it is easier to find a characterization of one type of object in terms of another type of object whose count we already know than to directly count the original objects. Here is an example. 9 shows one way to stack equal-sized disks in the plane, a task that we often find ourselves wishing to do. Let Dn be the number of possible disk stackings, where the bottom row has n disks.