Hi i am practising standard theta notation:

How could i find the standard theta notation of the following :

  • 2n + 3n^2(log n)^3 + 2 and
  • ((2n^2 + 7n+5)(7n+1))/7

So far i have used the "drop constants and find dominating term" strategy where we remove the constants from the expressions and then we find the biggest and dominating value and i got:

  • Θ(n^2(logn)^3) and
  • Θ(n^2) respectively, however i am not sure if this is correct, could someone please help me out. Thank you.
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2 Answers 2


Perform this test:

  • does $\dfrac{2n + 3n^2\log^3 n + 2}{3n^2\log^3n}$ tend to a constant ?

  • does $\dfrac{(2n^2 + 7n+5)(7n+1)}{n^2}$ tend to a constant ?

  • $\begingroup$ i dont understand please elaborate $\endgroup$
    – zeek
    Feb 5 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ I hate to nitpick, but 2+sin(n) = Θ(1), yet (2+sin(n))/1 does not tend to a constant. $\endgroup$
    – Stef
    Feb 5 at 11:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stef: tending to a constant is a sufficient condition. I knew that someone would nitpick. $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 14:12
  • First Expression: $2n + 3n^2(log n)^3 + 2$ is indeed correct.
  • Second Expression: $\dfrac{(2n^2 + 7n+5)(7n+1)}{7}$ is not correct. The leading expression of the second expression is $\dfrac{14}{7}$$n^3$ and not $2n^2$. It seems that you missed multiplying the two expressions by each other. Which give you the following: $\dfrac{14n^3 + 51n^2 + 42n + 5}{7}$. Thus, the leading expression is $\dfrac{14n^3}{7}$$=2n^3$.

Thus, the second expression would give you that it is $\Theta(2n^3)$.

I'd like to advise you to read more about the formal definition of the function $\Theta$, which requires you to know about the formal definitions of both $O$ and $\Omega$. In the expressions you gave, proving $\Theta(g(n))$ is easy. However, in many other expressions and algorithms , proving that $f(n) = \Theta(g(n))$ isn't easy. It would require you to prove both $f(n) = O(g(n))$ and $f(n) = \Omega(g(n))$.


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