Posts Tagged ‘figurate number’

A programmer’s proof of the triangular numbers

August 29, 2015

TriangularNumbersHeaderImage

The triangular numbers are an interesting mathematical phenomenon that appears constantly in computer science. When you, the programmer, talk about the Big-Oh complexity of a nested for loop that gets executed 1 + 2 + \ldots + n times, you might just slap O(n^2) on it and call it a day.

But do you ever think about what that summation actually is? In this article I’ll present an alternative formulation of the series that I think is satisfying from a programmer’s point of view, and also present some interesting results from looking at the series in different ways.

(more…)

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