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Quadratic Residues and the Frobenius Coin Problem

by Michael Z. Spivey (University of Puget Sound)

This article originally appeared in:
Mathematics Magazine
February, 2007

Subject classification(s): Algebra and Number Theory | Number Theory
Applicable Course(s): 4.3 Number Theory

An odd prime \(p\) has \((p-1)/2\) quadratic residues mod \(p\), and for relatively prime \(p\) and \(q\) there are \((p-1)(q-1)/2\) non-representable Frobenius numbers. The author discusses a relationship between quadratic residues and the Frobenius numbers that accounts for the presence of \((p-1)/2\) in both expressions.

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Capsule Course Topic(s):
Number Theory | Congruences, Solving Congruence Equations
Number Theory | Numbers With Special Forms or Properties
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