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  • Use summation notation.
  • Use the formula for the sum of the first n terms of an arithmetic series.
  • Use the formula for the sum of the first n terms of a geometric series.
  • Use the formula for the sum of an infinite geometric series.
  • Solve annuity problems.

A couple decides to start a college fund for their daughter. They plan to invest $50 in the fund each month. The fund pays 6% annual interest, compounded monthly. How much money will they have saved when their daughter is ready to start college in 6 years? In this section, we will learn how to answer this question. To do so, we need to consider the amount of money invested and the amount of interest earned.

Using summation notation

To find the total amount of money in the college fund and the sum of the amounts deposited, we need to add the amounts deposited each month and the amounts earned monthly. The sum of the terms of a sequence is called a series    . Consider, for example, the following series.

3 + 7 + 11 + 15 + 19 + ...

The n th  partial sum of a series is the sum of a finite number of consecutive terms beginning with the first term. The notation   S n   represents the partial sum.

S 1 = 3 S 2 = 3 + 7 = 10 S 3 = 3 + 7 + 11 = 21 S 4 = 3 + 7 + 11 + 15 = 36

Summation notation is used to represent series. Summation notation is often known as sigma notation because it uses the Greek capital letter sigma , Σ , to represent the sum. Summation notation includes an explicit formula and specifies the first and last terms in the series. An explicit formula for each term of the series is given to the right of the sigma. A variable called the index of summation is written below the sigma. The index of summation is set equal to the lower limit of summation , which is the number used to generate the first term in the series. The number above the sigma, called the upper limit of summation , is the number used to generate the last term in a series.

Explanation of summation notion as described in the text.

If we interpret the given notation, we see that it asks us to find the sum of the terms in the series a k = 2 k for k = 1 through k = 5. We can begin by substituting the terms for k and listing out the terms of this series.

a 1 = 2 ( 1 ) = 2 a 2 = 2 ( 2 ) = 4 a 3 = 2 ( 3 ) = 6 a 4 = 2 ( 4 ) = 8 a 5 = 2 ( 5 ) = 10

We can find the sum of the series by adding the terms:

k = 1 5 2 k = 2 + 4 + 6 + 8 + 10 = 30

Summation notation

The sum of the first n terms of a series can be expressed in summation notation    as follows:

k = 1 n a k

This notation tells us to find the sum of a k from k = 1 to k = n .

k is called the index of summation    , 1 is the lower limit of summation    , and n is the upper limit of summation    .

Does the lower limit of summation have to be 1?

No. The lower limit of summation can be any number, but 1 is frequently used. We will look at examples with lower limits of summation other than 1.

Given summation notation for a series, evaluate the value.

  1. Identify the lower limit of summation.
  2. Identify the upper limit of summation.
  3. Substitute each value of k from the lower limit to the upper limit into the formula.
  4. Add to find the sum.

Using summation notation

Evaluate k = 3 7 k 2 .

According to the notation, the lower limit of summation is 3 and the upper limit is 7. So we need to find the sum of k 2 from k = 3 to k = 7. We find the terms of the series by substituting k = 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , and 7 into the function k 2 . We add the terms to find the sum.

k = 3 7 k 2 = 3 2 + 4 2 + 5 2 + 6 2 + 7 2 = 9 + 16 + 25 + 36 + 49 = 135
Got questions? Get instant answers now!
Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

can you not take the square root of a negative number
Sharon Reply
No because a negative times a negative is a positive. No matter what you do you can never multiply the same number by itself and end with a negative
lurverkitten
Actually you can. you get what's called an Imaginary number denoted by i which is represented on the complex plane. The reply above would be correct if we were still confined to the "real" number line.
Liam
Suppose P= {-3,1,3} Q={-3,-2-1} and R= {-2,2,3}.what is the intersection
Elaine Reply
can I get some pretty basic questions
Ama Reply
In what way does set notation relate to function notation
Ama
is precalculus needed to take caculus
Amara Reply
It depends on what you already know. Just test yourself with some precalculus questions. If you find them easy, you're good to go.
Spiro
the solution doesn't seem right for this problem
Mars Reply
what is the domain of f(x)=x-4/x^2-2x-15 then
Conney Reply
x is different from -5&3
Seid
All real x except 5 and - 3
Spiro
***youtu.be/ESxOXfh2Poc
Loree
how to prroved cos⁴x-sin⁴x= cos²x-sin²x are equal
jeric Reply
Don't think that you can.
Elliott
By using some imaginary no.
Tanmay
how do you provided cos⁴x-sin⁴x = cos²x-sin²x are equal
jeric Reply
What are the question marks for?
Elliott
Someone should please solve it for me Add 2over ×+3 +y-4 over 5 simplify (×+a)with square root of two -×root 2 all over a multiply 1over ×-y{(×-y)(×+y)} over ×y
Abena Reply
For the first question, I got (3y-2)/15 Second one, I got Root 2 Third one, I got 1/(y to the fourth power) I dont if it's right cause I can barely understand the question.
Is under distribute property, inverse function, algebra and addition and multiplication function; so is a combined question
Abena
find the equation of the line if m=3, and b=-2
Ashley Reply
graph the following linear equation using intercepts method. 2x+y=4
Ashley
how
Wargod
what?
John
ok, one moment
UriEl
how do I post your graph for you?
UriEl
it won't let me send an image?
UriEl
also for the first one... y=mx+b so.... y=3x-2
UriEl
y=mx+b you were already given the 'm' and 'b'. so.. y=3x-2
Tommy
Please were did you get y=mx+b from
Abena
y=mx+b is the formula of a straight line. where m = the slope & b = where the line crosses the y-axis. In this case, being that the "m" and "b", are given, all you have to do is plug them into the formula to complete the equation.
Tommy
thanks Tommy
Nimo
0=3x-2 2=3x x=3/2 then . y=3/2X-2 I think
Given
co ordinates for x x=0,(-2,0) x=1,(1,1) x=2,(2,4)
neil
"7"has an open circle and "10"has a filled in circle who can I have a set builder notation
Fiston Reply
Where do the rays point?
Spiro
x=-b+_Гb2-(4ac) ______________ 2a
Ahlicia Reply
I've run into this: x = r*cos(angle1 + angle2) Which expands to: x = r(cos(angle1)*cos(angle2) - sin(angle1)*sin(angle2)) The r value confuses me here, because distributing it makes: (r*cos(angle2))(cos(angle1) - (r*sin(angle2))(sin(angle1)) How does this make sense? Why does the r distribute once
Carlos Reply
so good
abdikarin
this is an identity when 2 adding two angles within a cosine. it's called the cosine sum formula. there is also a different formula when cosine has an angle minus another angle it's called the sum and difference formulas and they are under any list of trig identities
Brad
strategies to form the general term
carlmark
consider r(a+b) = ra + rb. The a and b are the trig identity.
Mike
How can you tell what type of parent function a graph is ?
Mary Reply
generally by how the graph looks and understanding what the base parent functions look like and perform on a graph
William
if you have a graphed line, you can have an idea by how the directions of the line turns, i.e. negative, positive, zero
William
y=x will obviously be a straight line with a zero slope
William
y=x^2 will have a parabolic line opening to positive infinity on both sides of the y axis vice versa with y=-x^2 you'll have both ends of the parabolic line pointing downward heading to negative infinity on both sides of the y axis
William
y=x will be a straight line, but it will have a slope of one. Remember, if y=1 then x=1, so for every unit you rise you move over positively one unit. To get a straight line with a slope of 0, set y=1 or any integer.
Aaron
yes, correction on my end, I meant slope of 1 instead of slope of 0
William
what is f(x)=
Karim Reply
I don't understand
Joe
Typically a function 'f' will take 'x' as input, and produce 'y' as output. As 'f(x)=y'. According to Google, "The range of a function is the complete set of all possible resulting values of the dependent variable (y, usually), after we have substituted the domain."
Thomas
Sorry, I don't know where the "Â"s came from. They shouldn't be there. Just ignore them. :-)
Thomas
GREAT ANSWER THOUGH!!!
Darius
Thanks.
Thomas
Â
Thomas
It is the  that should not be there. It doesn't seem to show if encloses in quotation marks. "Â" or 'Â' ... Â
Thomas
Now it shows, go figure?
Thomas

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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