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7.5: Problem Solving with Series Sums

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Katrina just started her new job last week. She is making $60 per day, and saving 10%. Her savings account has been slowly building up at $6 per day, and currently has $73 in it.

How much money will she have after working another 15 days? How much after another 27 days?

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- James Sousa: Arithmetic Series

Guidance

In the previous lesson, we discussed Gauss' formula for finding the total of the numbers in a series. In this lesson, we continue to practice that, and also to make use of the modified version of Gauss' Formula that is commonly seen in other texts:

The sum of the first n terms in an arithmetic series is Sn=n(a1+an)2

Since this lesson is mostly about applying the rules for series, there is minimal instruction. If you would like a more in-depth presentation on series, please see the prior lesson: "Series Sums and Gauss' Formula."

Example A

Find the sum of the first 50 terms of an arithmetic series if the first term is 5 and the common difference is 3.

Solution

S50=50(a1+an)2 ..... Substitute the applicable number of terms in the sequence
50(5+(5+49×3))2 ..... Substitute the values for the first and 50th terms
50(157)2=(25)(127) ..... Simplify
3,175

This method is clearly much easier than writing out and adding 50 numbers!

Example B

Find the sum of the first 40 terms of an arithmetic series in which the first term is 8 and the common difference is 5.

Solution

Use the formula Sn=n(a1+an)2

S40=40(8+395)2 ..... Substitute in the number of terms, and the value of the first and last terms
S40=40(8+195)2 ..... Simplify
S40=81202 ..... Simplify
S40=4060

Example C

Consider the series: -13 + -3 + 7 + 17 + 27 + ...

a) What is the 25th term?
b) What is the sum of the first 25 terms?

Solution

a) This is an arithmetic series where each successive term is 10 more than the last
13+24(10)=227
b) Use the formula Sn=n(a1+an)2
This is the sum of the first 25 terms of an arithmetic series with a common difference of 10
S25=25(13+227)2 ..... Substitute in the number of terms, and the value of the first and last terms
S25=252142 ..... Simplify
S25=53502 ..... Simplify
S25=2675

Vocabulary

A hypothesis is a conclusion made on the basis of evidence, or a statement assumed to be true for the sake of an argument.

Mathematical induction is a method of mathematical proof used to establish that a given statement is true of all positive integers (natural numbers).

A partial sum is the sum of the first n terms in an infinite series, where n is some positive integer.

Guided Practice

Questions

1) A student needed to find the sum of the first 10 terms of the series 4 + 12 + 36 + ... and so he wrote the following:

S10=10(4+4×39)2=10(78,736)2=393,680
Do you agree with the student’s work? Explain.

2)Given an arithmetic sequence (an) determined by a1=143 and d=3

What is the 220th number of the sequence.
We find the solution by using the following formula:
an=a+(n1)d

3)How do we find the sum of the 220th number of the sequence, given the same information as the 2nd guided practice above?

We use the following formula: sn=a1+an2(n). We set n = 220.

Solutions

1) Because the series is geometric, this formula is not appropriate. The work here does not represent the sum of the first 10 terms. Using a graphing calculator, you can find that the sum is 118,096.

2) To find the 220th number:

a220=a1+219d
=143+219(3)
=514

3) To find the sum of the first 220 numbers:

s220=a1+a2202(220)
s220=143+(514)2(220)
s220=3712220
the 220th number of the sequence is = 40,810

Practice

Use the arithmetic formula to solve the following problems:

  1. Given the arithmetic series of numbers: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13... a)Find the 200th number in the sequence b)find the sum of the first 200 numbers.
  2. The sum of the first five numbers of an arithmetic sequence is -45. What is the value of the third number? ( hint: find a3 if s5=45)
  3. You have an arithmetic series of numbers defined by: a1=45 and d=5 a)Determine a150 b)Identify the sum of: a1+a2+...+a150
  4. The sum of the first three numbers in an arithmetic sequence is 219. The sum of the first nine numbers in the same sequence is 603. What is the 143rd number of the sequence.
  5. The first eight numbers of an arithmetic sequence add up to 604. The next eight numbers added up equal 156. Find the first number and the common difference in the sequence.
  6. The first number in an arithmetic sequence is 80. Find the common difference if we also know that s9 is eighteen times a11
  7. If an is an arithmetic sequence with a1=1. Find the second number if we know that the sum of the first five numbers is one-fourth of the sum of the next five numbers.
  8. Given (an)=78,75,72,69...Finda150 and s150
  9. The following conditions exist within a sequence of numbers: a50=252 and s50=2800 What is the first number of the series, and what is the common difference?
  10. What are the values of a and d, given that (an) is an arithmetic series of numbers, if we know: a15=62 and s20=700?
  11. Given the sequence: a1=16 and d=13 Find the values of n, so that sn=50
  12. If a1=8 and d=3 What are the values of a20 and s20
  13. If a34=193 and s17=306 find a and d
  14. Three sides of a right triangle are integers and form an arithmetic sequence. Find the sides of the triangle

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Vocabulary

arithmetic series

An arithmetic series is the sum of an arithmetic sequence, a sequence with a common difference between each two consecutive terms.

common difference

Every arithmetic sequence has a common or constant difference between consecutive terms. For example: In the sequence 5, 8, 11, 14..., the common difference is "3".

infinite series

An infinite series is the sum of the terms in a sequence that has an infinite number of terms.

Mathematical induction

Mathematical induction is a method of mathematical proof typically used to establish that a given statement is true for all positive integers.

partial sum

A partial sum is the sum of the first ''n'' terms in an infinite series, where ''n'' is some positive integer.

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Difficulty Level:
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Date Created:
Nov 01, 2012
Last Modified:
Mar 23, 2016

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