By Steven Roman

This textbook offers an advent to the Catalan numbers and their notable homes, in addition to their numerous purposes in combinatorics. Intended to be obtainable to scholars new to the topic, the booklet starts with extra effortless themes ahead of progressing to extra mathematically subtle topics. Each bankruptcy makes a speciality of a selected combinatorial item counted by means of those numbers, together with paths, timber, tilings of a staircase, null sums in Z_{n+1}, period constructions, walls, diversifications, semiorders, and more. Exercises are incorporated on the finish of booklet, in addition to tricks and ideas, to assist scholars receive a greater grab of the material. The textual content is perfect for undergraduate scholars learning combinatorics, yet also will entice a person with a mathematical heritage who has an curiosity in studying in regards to the Catalan numbers.

“Roman does an admirable task of offering an creation to Catalan numbers of a special nature from the former ones. He has made an outstanding number of issues so one can express the flavour of Catalan combinatorics. [Readers] will gather an exceptional feeling for why such a lot of mathematicians are enthralled by way of the impressive ubiquity and style of Catalan numbers.”

- From the foreword by way of Richard Stanley

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**Additional resources for An Introduction to Catalan Numbers**

**Example text**

A full parenthesization contains just enough parentheses to disambiguate the expression. Let F n be the family of fully parenthesized words of length n over A. Assume that n ! 3. We can use the first pair of matching parentheses as the nexus to decompose a fully parenthesized word w into smaller fully parenthesized words. In particular, w has the form w ¼ αðβÞγ ð7:1Þ where α, β, and γ are fully parenthesized words, and lenðβÞ > 1 and the parentheses shown are the first matching pair, that is, the open parenthesis is the first open parenthesis in w and the closing parenthesis matches the open parenthesis.

If J & I, then BI \ J ¼ ∅, contradicting the fact that k 2 BI \ J. Similarly, if I & J, then BJ \ I ¼ ∅, contradicting the fact that j 2 BJ \ I. Hence, no two nonprincipal blocks cross. On the other hand, if i, k 2 BI , and j, ‘ 2 R, then j 2 I \ R. Since j 2 R, it is not in any of the blocks BK. In particular, j 2 = BI and since j 2 I, it follows that j is in some interval I1 properly contained in I. But j 2 = BI1 and since j 2 I 1 , it follows that j is in some interval I2 properly contained in I1.

The term “alternating” comes from the fact that if we follow any path in the tree, the vertex labels alternate in relative size: larger, smaller, larger, smaller, . . (or smaller, larger, smaller, larger, . ). To save trees, we will refer to noncrossing, alternating trees as NA-trees. We wish to determine the size of the family T n of all NA-trees with n vertices. Note first that any T 2 T n must contain the edge {1, n}. For if not, then we may suppose that the largest vertex adjacent to vertex 1 is vertex k < n.