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GIKPKC7 94107 Permutations & Combinations Page 1

Introduction
3/8/98
Counting Techniques:
 If one operation can be performed in ‘r’ different ways and a second operation can
be performed in ‘s’ different ways then the two operations can be performed in
success in ‘r  s’ different ways.

E.g. A PIN number is made up of 4 digits. How many different pins are possible.

A 1st  10 2nd  10 3rd – 10 4th – 10


= 104
= 10000

Factorial Notation:
Equation: x! = x(x – 1)(x – 2)…

E.g. 5! = 5(5 – 1)(5 – 2)…


= 5.4.3.2.1
= 120

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GIKPKC7 94107 Permutations & Combinations Page 2

Permutations
4/8/98
 A permutation describes an arrangement of objects in a certain order.

Notation:
 Permutation (nPr)  Number of ways of making ordered selection of ‘r’ objects from
a total of ‘n’ objects.

n n!
Equation: Pr  or n(n – 1)(n – 2)…(n – r + 1)
n  r !

n n! n!
Note: Pr = = = n!
0! 1!
n
i.e. Pr = n!

8
8!
E.g. (1) P3 =
8  3 !
=876
= 336

E.g. (2) How many 4 digit numbers greater than 6000 can be formed?

A There are 4 ways to get the 1st digit. The remaining arrangement for the 3 digit’s
left is 9P3.
 Total = 4  9P3
= 4  504
= 2016

E.g.(3) In how many ways can 6 people be arraged in a row taking


(a) 3 at a time
(b) 2 at a time
6
A (a) P3 = 120 or In box one 6 can go in
In box two 5 can go in (one is gone)
In box three 4 can go in (two are gone)
 6  5  4 = 120
6
(b) P2 = 30

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GIKPKC7 94107 Permutations & Combinations Page 3

Combinations
7/8/98
 Combinations are the same as permutations except order does not matter.
i.e. AB & BA are the same thing

Notation:
 Combinations = nCr = number of ways of making unordered selections of ‘r’ objects
from ‘n’ objects.

n
n Pr
Equation: Cr 
r!

E.g. (1)(a) A committee of 4 is chosen from a group of 11. How many different ways
can the committee be chosen?
11
A C4 = 330

(b) If the group consists of 5 men and 6 women. How many ways can the
committee be formed with 1 man and 3 women?

A 5
C1  6C3 = 100

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