Lecture 12: Symbolic Method

SPOILER ALERT: This thread might give you hints to solve Homework 4 Problem 1. If you don’t want a hint (yet), stop reading!

Today in class I discussed “The Symbolic Method” for ordinary generating functions, and I promised you some references. The closest reference is P. Flajolet and R. Sedgewick. “Analytic Combinatorics” – an excellent book which also really goes into analytic methods with generating functions. It’s also freely available! http://algo.inria.fr/flajolet/Publications/book.pdf

Bergeron, Labelle, and Leroux. “Combinatorial species and tree-like structures” uses a slightly different language, but is closely related.

Also, I mentioned that you can use the symbolic method to “plainly see” that


This is not so plain, it definitely requires some thought. Did anyone see how to do it?


One comment

  1. Pingback: The Coupon Collector Problem | Eventually Almost Everywhere

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: