Skip to main content
Library homepage
Mathematics LibreTexts

8: Recursion and Recurrence Relations

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Fibonacci Sequence

    Zero, one! One, two, three! Five and eight!
    Then thirteen, twenty-one! At this rate
    Fibonacci appears;
    The man's sequence for years
    Has kept math students studying late.

    Goldie, The Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form

    An essential tool that anyone interested in computer science must master is how to think recursively. The ability to understand definitions, concepts, algorithms, etc., that are presented recursively and the ability to put thoughts into a recursive framework are essential in computer science. One of our goals in this chapter is to help the reader become more comfortable with recursion in its commonly encountered forms.

    A second goal is to discuss recurrence relations. We will concentrate on methods of solving recurrence relations, including an introduction to generating functions.

    This page titled 8: Recursion and Recurrence Relations is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Al Doerr & Ken Levasseur.

    • Was this article helpful?