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Polya Strikes Out
Write the numbers 1, 2, 3, ... in a row. Strike out every third number beginning with the third. Write down the cumulative sums of what remains:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ...
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ...
1, 2, 4, 5, 7, ...
1=1; 1+2=3; 1+2+4=7; 1+2+4+5=12; 1+2+4+5+7=19; ...
1, 3, 7, 12, 19, ...
Now strike out every second number beginning with the second. Write down the cumulative sums of what remains. What is the final sequence? Why do you get this sequence?