Why did they say that?(Original post by Jkn)
Classic science teachers :')
Well I was only every really interested in theoretical physics and 'the big questions' (sheldoncooper style, standard) and I met some current student at my open day, one from maths and one from natsci, and they said that maths was 100% the best route into it and that even 'maths with physics' in my first year would hold me back!
That was the first step and since then I've found that the beauty and satisfaction in pure maths is immense and is completely different to everything else I've experienced. Besides, I'm not really fussed about money and I don't want to dedicate my life to coming up with things that makes peoples lives easier, so why not explore the cosmos/ mathematical universe!
I can understand why that is attractive. I'd enjoy the practical experiments as well as the theoretical side. Whilst the money isn't my ultimate desire, the fact that I'd enjoy both Chem Eng and Physics means that it does play a part in my decision.

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 27042013 16:11

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 27042013 16:15
(Original post by Jkn)
Just remembered a really nice STEP question I did while ago and thought of this...
Problem 88*
is defined as the largest product that can be made from positive integers that add up to N.
i.e. .
Prove the Goldbach Conjecture
By the AMGM inequality we have
so
we have equality iff ai=aj for all i,j
hence
EDIT: just realised I need to maximise this as n is not fixed.Last edited by james22; 27042013 at 16:37. 
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 27042013 16:37
Solution 89
Both and are prime numbers. Thus, , and . Hence .
Solution 88
Obviously, we have to partition into parts which are . Notice that , thus we can assume that we have at most two 's and the remaining number are 's ().
If , .
If ,
If , .Last edited by Mladenov; 27042013 at 17:47. 
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 27042013 17:14
Correcto, but why is the first part 'obvious'?Last edited by Farhan.Hanif93; 27042013 at 17:58. Reason: Swear filter avoidance 
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 27042013 17:31
[QUOTE=Jkn;42397512]Fuuuuuuck I just thought of an awesome way to adapt this
I think my entire solution is rubbish, I just reread the question and noticed that the a_i have to be integers so my answer does not work. 
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 27042013 17:46
(Original post by Jkn)
Correct Am I right in saying you have obtained these numbers through systematic exhaustion? It would be great to find an elegant solution (I wonder if it exists...)
(Original post by Jkn)
Correcto, but why is the first part 'obvious'?
But in general, the global maximum of the curve occurs at . Hence for , we can have greater product by taking , where .Last edited by Mladenov; 27042013 at 18:06. 
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 27042013 17:53
(Original post by james22)
I think my entire solution is rubbish, I just reread the question and noticed that the a_i have to be integers so my answer does not work. 
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 27042013 18:06
(Original post by Mladenov)
You are looking for prime numbers in arithmetic progressions. I can think of some analytic number theory estimations , but then the solution is far from elementary. This problems does not seem to be elegant, since we have to deal with primes, which are greater than .Spoiler:Show:'(
Last edited by Jkn; 27042013 at 18:08. 
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 27042013 18:19
(Original post by Jkn)
Excellent. It's the use of a fact like that that I wanted
I am gonna leave problem 81 for somebody else. Yet, I have mindblowing solution which uses abelian varieties.Last edited by Mladenov; 27042013 at 18:30. 
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 27042013 18:30
(Original post by Mladenov)
Absolutely. As you might have seen, I post problems with requite ideas, rather than brute force methods.
It is quite natural to look at , for it preserves the sum, and, in addition, you can vary the product.
Post some problems! A similar level of difficulty to 86 would be nice (or perhaps BMO2level)

Wonder if anyone recognises where I got this from
Problem 90*
Find the sum of all values of a such that the equation has 3 distinct real solutions.Last edited by Jkn; 27042013 at 18:33. 
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 27042013 18:42
(Original post by Jkn)
Post some problems! A similar level of difficulty to 86 would be nice (or perhaps BMO2level.
Solve in integers , where are prime numbers.
Problem 92*
Define , and for , . Then for every , is divisible by .
Also, find all such that . 
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 27042013 19:09
Rearranging gives . The RHS has 4 prime factors and so the LHS must have 4 prime factors.
This implies one of the five terms in the product must equal 1. Noting that the expression must be positive (i.e. not equal to zero) we conclude that x=2.
Substituting in gives . As y and z are prime they must match up with these number exactly. Therefore the only solution is 
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 27042013 19:12
(Original post by Jkn)
Which is what makes a good problem. Mmm, hence the possible link to AM
Post some problems! A similar level of difficulty to 86 would be nice (or perhaps BMO2level)

Wonder if anyone recognises where I got this from
Problem 90*
Find the sum of all values of a such that the equation has 3 distinct real solutions. 
The Polymath
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 27042013 20:39
(Original post by Jkn)
Problem 90*
Find the sum of all values of a such that the equation has 3 distinct real solutions.
Take over the RHS to give
3 distinct real solutions means that where and .
Compare coefficients to produce a sufficient number of simultaneous equations, and then solve.
I've tried to do it on paper but got a bit lost after I found all of the equations/inequalities I could.Last edited by The Polymath; 27042013 at 20:42. 
Lord of the Flies
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 28042013 05:27
Solution 68
Note that hence letting
Solution 92
Observe that by repeatedly factoring the LHS, then it is kid's stuff to show that and obviously the only odd for which is when so for . 
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 28042013 13:37
(Original post by james22)
Can a be complex? If not I don't think there are any a that make it have 3 distinct real solutions.
(Original post by The Polymath)
Fairly sure this is too messy to be the right way of going about this question, but you never know

(Original post by Mladenov)
Problem 92*
Define , and for , . Then for every , is divisible by .
Also, find all such that .(Original post by Lord of the Flies)
Solution 92
Observe that by repeatedly factoring the LHS, then it is kid's stuff to show that and obviously the only odd for which is when so for .
Solution 92 (2)
Clearly the statement is true for n=1 and 2. We then proceed to form an inductive argument.
Let , where p is a positive integer.
This implies if and only if is an integer. This happens in only two cases. Either n(n+1) or np. The first case arises if and only if n=1 (dealing exclusively with the natural numbers, as specified). The second case implies that, if n(n1)! or (n1)!n, (i.e. n is nonprime), the inductive hypothesis is complete. On the other hand, if (i.e. n is prime), then this would imply which cannot be true as by the definition of and the assumption we made that n is coprime to all proceeding positive integers.
Hence, when considering each case base, induction is complete only complete for n=2 and not n=1 (i.e. all even numbers, with the addition of 1).
An attempt to offer more insight into the inner working of the question (i.e. "why only even numbers plus one?") is to notice that the condition, with our particular relation(), is only true for the base case two because it is the only such number that satisfies . 
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 28042013 14:22
(Original post by Jkn)
Problem 88*
is defined as the largest product that can be made from positive integers that add up to N.
i.e. .
Prove the Goldbach Conjecture
Solution 88
Assume that . Then , and so a different combination of integers, where is replaced with and , will have a greater product as . Therefore
If , this is equivalent to a combination where is replaced with 2 2s, as they have the same product and sum. So, WLOG, there must be an optimal combination with . Clearly if , a combination where another number was instead increased by 1 would have a greater product, therefore . Therefore or . If there are 3 or more terms which are 2, then a combination where there are 2 3s, instead of 3 of those 2s, there will be a greater product as and . Therefore the optimal combination will have only 3s and 2s, and at most 2 2s.
Therefore, if , , if , and if , 
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 28042013 14:24
(Original post by Mladenov)
I am gonna leave problem 81 for somebody else. Yet, I have mindblowing solution which uses abelian varieties.
Sounds awesome! Message me with it if you like (though it sounds as though it is far too sophisticated for me) Btw, I haven't actually tried this problem yet, I just thought I would post it for the sake of the historical reference
Oooh just thought of an easier version that may interest people: evaluating the case whereby the cubes do not need to be distinct 
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 28042013 14:25
(Original post by The Polymath)
Fairly sure this is too messy to be the right way of going about this question, but you never know:
Take over the RHS to give
3 distinct real solutions means that where and .
Compare coefficients to produce a sufficient number of simultaneous equations, and then solve.
I've tried to do it on paper but got a bit lost after I found all of the equations/inequalities I could. 
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 28042013 14:28
(Original post by Zephyr1011)
I don't think this will work, as a quadratic must have either a single repeated root, or 2 real or complex roots, and it was explicitly stated that there must be 3 distinct real roots. I think that as you are supposed to take the sum of all values of a where 3 distinct real roots exist, there must only be a few special values of a where this is true, so you won't be able to factorise it. As to how you find these special values, I have no idea.
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