**Question:**

Each new term in the Fibonacci sequence is generated by adding the previous two terms. By starting with 1 and 2, the first 10 terms will be:

1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, ...

By considering the terms in the Fibonacci sequence whose values do not exceed four million, find the sum of the even-valued terms.

**Background:**

There are some interesting things to note about Fibonnaci. Students often get their first introduction to the Fibonacci numbers when they first learn about sequences. The popular story is that they were used by Fibonacci to model rabbit populations over a period of time - you start with one pair of rabbits, denoted by 1 as the first term of the sequence. After a month, this pair of rabbits produces another pair, and now the total number of pairs is two. After another month, these two pairs produce another pair, resulting in a total of three pairs after two months. After three months, these three pairs produce 2 additional pairs, resulting in a total of five. The sequence then continues indefinitely, and students are often surprised at how quickly the terms grow.

Beyond the Fibonnaci numbers, there are some more interesting things about the mathematician for whom they are named, and how he fits in with the history of mathematics. While the Fibonacci numbers may be the most widespread way in which people are aware of Fibonacci's existence, they are not (at least in my opinion), his most important contribution to western mathematics. Although the Fibonacci numbers appear in his book, *Liber Abaci*, the book itself also introduces the Hindu-Arabic number system, and it was this book that played a crucial role in popularizing the Arabic numerals - the numbers we use today - in western society. Prior to that, Europeans relied on Roman Numerals, which were cumbersome when it came to calculation. Even though the Arabic numerals appeared in *Liber Abaci* in 1202, it took another 400 years until they became ubiquitous throughout Europe, when the invention of the printing press aided in its widespread adoption.

**Approach:**

This problem is fairly straightforward. The description already tells you how to calculate the Fibonnaci numbers, and simply asks you to find the sum of the even valued terms which are less than four million. With some time and effort, you could easily do the problem by hand, although there is more educational value beyond simple addition (and efficiency!) if you solve it with a computer program. When I start out on these problems, I first create a mental outline of the solution, typically starting with brute force, and if I realize that a brute force solution would take too long, I try to come up with an indirect approach that may be more efficient. In this case the problem is simple, so I decided to use brute force. Here are steps in my mental outline:

- Generate the sequence of all Fibonacci numbers that are less than 4,000,000.
- Determine which numbers of the sequence are even numbers, then extract this subset.
- Add the subset of these even numbers. This will be the solution.

**Solution 1:**

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x <- c(1,2) k = 3 i = 3 while(k<=4000000){ x <- append(x,k) k = k + x[i-1] i = i +1 } sum(x[x%%2==0]) |

For this solution, I first created a vector **x** containing the first two seed values, 1 and 2. This vector will be used to store the sequence of Fibonnaci numbers under 4 million. Next, I declared variables **k** and **i**, starting at 3 to be used as indices in the **while** loop that is used to calculate the terms of the sequence. I used a while loop because I do not know (at the time of writing the solution) the number of terms that fall below 4 million. The **while** loop allows me to keep appending terms to the vector **x** so long as the terms are less than four million. Once the value of the next term exceeds four million, the program exits the loop and moves on to the next line after the loop.

Within the loop itself, you see the line **x <- append(x,k)**. This tells the program to append the value of **k**=3 to the vector **x**, or in other words, to append the third term of the Fibonacci sequence. The next line, **k = k + x[i-1]**, sets **k** equal to its current value plus the value of the second to last element of the vector **x** (denoted by **i-1**, since there are currently **i ** elements of the vector **x**). In other words, setÂ **k** = 5. Then **i = i +1** tells the program to increment **i** by 1, or in other words, set **i** equal to 4, which will be used to index the vector **x** during the loop's next iteration when there will be four elements in the vector **x**.

During the next iteration of the loop, **k** is now equal to 5, **i** is now equal to 4. Append **k** to x so that the sequence becomes (1,2,3,5). Then set k = 5+3 = 8. Then set i = 4+1 = 5. The loop continues until all the terms of the Fibonacci sequence under 4 million are contained in **x.**

The last line of the program tells the computer to take the sum of all the even elements of x. The index**[x%%2==0]** is a predicate telling the computer to extract the subset of **x** where 2 divides each element evenly. The **%%** operator is the modulo operator, which returns the remainder of **x** and 2. When the remainder is equal to 0, that means 2 divides **x** evenly. The sum over the subset returned is the answer, 4,613,732.

**Solution 2:**

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x <- c(1,2) k = 3 while(k<=4000000){ x <- append(x,k) k = k + max(x[x<k]) } sum(x[x%%2==0]) |

In this solution, I was able to remove the variable **i**, by noticing that it was sufficient to calculate the next term of the Fibonacci sequence by adding the largest two terms of the vector **x**. This calculation is represented by the line **k = k + max(x[x<k])**.

**Solution 3:
**

1 2 3 4 5 |
x <- c(1,2) while(max(x)<=4000000){ x <- append(x,max(x)+max(x[x<max(x)])) } sum(x[x%%2==0]) |

Here, I was able to shorten the solution to five lines by removing the variable k. Here, I tell the the program to simply append to **x**, the sum of the current largest two values of **x.** This calculation is represented by the line **x <- append(x,max(x)+max(x[x<max(x)]))**.