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AMC 10 PROBLEM SERIES


WEEK 7: CIRCLES
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Last week, we looked at one of the fundamental figures


in geometry, namely triangles. This week, we look at
the other fundamental figure in geometry, namely the
circle. We start by looking at problems involving the
areas of circles.
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Each circular sector has radius 1 and contains an angle


of 60 degrees, so its area is 60/360 1= 1/6 the area of
a circle with radius 1.
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First, let's draw a diagram.


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So what is the total area that Spot can reach?


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As a start, let's think about what area Spot can reach if


his rope doesn't bend. What does this area look like?
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If Spot's rope doesn't bend, then the area that Spot can
reach is a circular sector, bounded by AB and AF.

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The answer is (E).


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What is the area of this circular sector?


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This circular sector has radius 2 and contains an angle


of 240 degrees, so its area is 240/360 = 2/3 the area
of a circle with radius 2.
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We want to find the area of the lune. Let's start simple.


Is there an easy shape that we can relate the lune to?
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Of course, Spot's rope can bend. What additional area


does this give us?
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In addition, we get two circular sectors, one bounded


by AB and BC, and one bounded by AF and EF. (It's
clear that Spot has just enough rope to reach C and E.)
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We can relate the lune to the semicircle with diameter


1.
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What is the area of this semicircle?


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What is the area of triangle OAB?


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Now, to find the area of the lune, we must subtract the


area of the circular segment.

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How can we find the area of this circular segment?


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What does this simplify to?


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First, we can draw the lines joining the center of the


large semicircle to the endpoints of the circular
segment.
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The answer is (C).


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The problem is very typical for areas involving circles.


If we have an odd shape defined in terms of arcs
and/or lines, then we can relate the shape to areas we
already know how to compute.
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We can then find the area of the circular segment by


finding the area of the circular sector OAB, and
subtracting the area of triangle OAB.
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What can we say about triangle OAB?


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So what is the area of circular sector OAB?


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As in the previous problem, we want to relate the area


we want to other areas that we already know how to
find.
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With this in mind, what can we add to the diagram that


will help?
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Since the area we want involves arc DE, we add line


segments OD and OE to the diagram.

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So what is the area of circular sector DOE?


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(Note that in addition to adding OD and OE, we have


left out other elements in the diagram. If we did not
leave out those other elements, then we would get a
very cluttered diagram, and it would be hard to see
what was going on. Thus, a useful technique in solving
geometry problems is to draw extra diagrams that
contain only the elements that you are interested in.)
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How can we find the area of circular sector DOE?

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Circular sector DOE has radius 2 and contains 30


degrees, so its area is 30/360 = 1/12 the area of a
circle of radius 2.
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How do we find the area we want?


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What are OA and OD?

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We take the area of circular sector DOE, and subtract


the area of quadrilateral ODBE.

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We can split quadrilateral ODBE into triangles OBD and


OBE.
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The answer is (A).


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We now look at problems involving circles tangent to


lines or other circles. Whenever you have circles that
are tangent to other geometrical objects, it is almost
always useful to join the centers of the circles to the
points of tangency.
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How can we find the area of triangle OBD?

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The easiest way of finding the area of triangle OBD is to


consider the side BD as the base. Again, we draw
another diagram that makes this idea clearer.
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What can we do with the diagram?


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What is the height of triangle OBD with respect to base


BD?
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The height of triangle OBD with respect to base BD is


OA = 1.
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What is the length of base BD?


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We can join the centers of the circles to the points of


tangency.
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But we also know that OA = r - 1. So what is r?


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Although many features of the diagram are evident,


such as angles, it's still a good idea to derive what we
want rigorously.
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We start with what we know, namely the three small


circles that are tangent to each other.

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What can we say about triangle ABC?


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Each of the small circles has radius 1, so each side of


triangle ABC has length 2. Therefore, triangle ABC is
equilateral.
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Let r be the radius of the large circle. What is OA in


terms of r?
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The circles with centers O and A are tangent at T, so


points O, A, and T are collinear.
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Hence, OA = OT - AT = r - 1.
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Similarly, OB = r - 1 and OC = r - 1. What does this tell


us about point O in terms of triangle ABC?
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Since OA = OB = OC = r - 1, O is the circumcenter of


triangle ABC.
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But as triangle ABC is equilateral, O is also the centroid


of triangle ABC. Hence, O lies on medians AP, BQ, and
CR.

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What can we do with the diagram?


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We can join the centers of the circles to the points of


tangency.
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What can we say about triangle AOQ?


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Since O is the center of equilateral triangle ABC, and Q


is the midpoint of AC, triangle AOQ is a 30-60-90
triangle. Do we know any sides of triangle AOQ?
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We know that AQ = 1. So what is OA?


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Do we see anything in the diagram that is notable or


interesting?
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We see that both PT and QU are perpendicular to AC, so


they are parallel.
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This tells us that triangles APT and AQU are similar. Do


we know any sides of triangles APT or AQU?

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We know that PT = 1 and QU = 2.


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We also know that PQ = 1 + 2 = 3. Does this give us


any other lengths in the diagram?
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Since PT = 1 and QU = 2, the sides of triangle AQU are


double the corresponding sides of triangle APT. Hence,
P is the midpoint of AQ.
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But PQ = 3, so AP = PQ = 3. How does this help in


finding the area of triangle ABC?
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We can say that the altitude of triangle ABC is AM = AP


+ PQ + QM = 3 + 3 + 2 = 8.
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To find the area of triangle ABC, we still need BC. How


can we find BC?
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Since M is the midpoint of BC, we can find BC by finding


CM. How can we find CM?
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Note that CM is a side of triangle AMC. Is there


anything we can compare triangle AMC to?
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We see that triangles AMC and ATP are similar. So what


useful equation can we write down?
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We want to find the diameter of the circle. So what can


we do with the diagram?
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When we want to find lengths, we can try building right


triangles.
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We get right triangles when we drop the


perpendiculars from O to chords AB and CD. Drawing in
some radii, such as OB, should be useful: drawing radii
to relevant points is often a good idea!
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How does this help us find the diameter of the circle?


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Midpoint of Chords
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Finally, we look at problems that highlight a certain


property of circles: If we drop a perpendicular from the
center of a circle to a chord, then what can we say
about the diagram?

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We can use Pythagoras on right triangle OMB to find


the radius OB.
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What is BM equal to?


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If we drop a perpendicular from the center of a circle to


a chord, then the foot of the perpendicular is the
midpoint of the chord.
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What is OM equal to? Note that we can't calculate it


directly.
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Then NP = CP - CN = 6 - 4 = 2. Hence, OM = NP = 2. So
what is OB?
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We can apply Pythagoras on right triangle EMN to find


EM. But to do this, we must find EN and MN. What is
EN?
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We know that EN = 15, the radius of the circle. How


can we find MN?
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Note that MN is a side of triangle AMN.


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Since both MN and PG are perpendicular to AG, they are


parallel.
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Hence, triangles AMN and AGP are similar. So what


useful equation can we write down?
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What can we do with the diagram?


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Since AG is tangent to the circle centered at P, we can


draw PG.
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How can we find the length of chord EF?


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We can find lengths by building right triangles.


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We drop the perpendicular from center N to chord EF.


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How does this help us find the length of chord EF?


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We know that M is the midpoint of EF, so it suffices to


find EM. How can we find EM?

We can start by drawing a diagram. However, we must


be careful to draw an accurate diagram. For example,
the diagram could like either of the following.
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Can we tell which is the right diagram?


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centers to the points of tangency. Like joining the


centers to midpoints of chords, constructing these
additional lines can help you build right triangles,
which will in turn help you find lengths.
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AMC 10 PROBLEM SERIES


WEEK 8: POLYGONS AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL
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We can drop the perpendicular from O to chord BC.


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GEOMETRY
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In today's class, we continue our look at Euclidean


geometry by dealing with problems involving polygons
and three-dimensional geometry. In both cases, we
draw on the concepts that we have seen in the previous
classes.
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POLYGONS
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In most problems involving polygons, we depend on


the same techniques that we have used before in other
geometry problems, such as angle chasing and using
right triangles and similar triangles.
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Let s be the side length of equilateral triangle ABC.


What lengths can we write in terms of s?
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First, let's draw a diagram.


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What can we say about the diagram?


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SUMMARY
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In today's class we looked at many problems involving


the properties of circles, such as the areas of circles. If
we have an area involving arcs of circles that we do not
know how to compute directly, then the best strategy
is to compare the area to other figures where you know
how to compute the area.
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We also saw that if you have circles that are tangents


to lines or other circles, then it is very useful to join the

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Solving for x, we find x = 75. The answer is (E).


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Are there any other angles we can express in terms of

First, let's draw a diagram. What are the parallel sides

x?

in trapezoid ABCD?

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Since both AB and CD are perpendicular to AD, they are


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parallel.
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Is there anything we can say about the diagram now?


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We want to find the product AB * CD. We don't see any


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Since CD = 6, CM = 6.
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way of calculating AB or CD directly, so what can we


do?
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We can use variables. Let x = AB and y = CD.


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Now what can we say about the diagram?


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What else can we express in terms of x and y?


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We are given that BC = AB + CD, so BC = x + y.


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This simplifies to 4xy = 49. So what is AB * CD?


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We have that AB * CD = xy = 49/4 = 12.25. The


answer is (B).
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What piece of information haven't we used yet?


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We haven't used the fact that AD = 7. How can we use


this?

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Let's start by drawing a diagram:


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We can drop a perpendicular from B to CD.


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How can we find the areas of trapezoids ABEF and


FECD?
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What can we say about the diagram?


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We can use the formula for the area of a trapezoid.


First, let's label the bases.
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Since ABED is a rectangle, BE = AD = 7 and DE = AB =


x. Then CE = CD - DE = y - x.
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Since E and F are the midpoints of BC and AD,


respectively, EF = (x + y)/2.
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Now what can we say about the diagram?


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This simplifies to y = 5x. We see that AB/DC = y/x = 5.


The answer is (C).
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Let's start by drawing a diagram:


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What can we say about the heights of trapezoids ABEF


and FECD?
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They are equal, so we can let them be h.


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How can we start?


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We can start by naming the side length of the regular


octagon. Let s be side length of the regular octagon.
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What is the area of trapezoid ABEF?


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What can we add to the diagram that will help?


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We can add diagonals AF, BE, CH, and DG.


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By drawing these diagonals, we have created right


triangles which we can use to find lengths.
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For example, what is AP?


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Multiplying both sides by 3x + y, we get x + 3y = 2(3x


+ y) = 6x + 2y. What does this simplify to?

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Here is another way to solve the problem.


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We draw diagonals AE and BF.


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What is the area of rectangle ABQP?


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Note that the area of rectangle ABEF is four times the


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But what else do we know?


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area of triangle OEF.


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But how does the area of triangle OEF compare to the


area of regular octagon ABCDEFGH?
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Since O is the center of the octagon, the area of


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triangle OEF is 1/8th the area of regular octagon


ABCDEFGH.
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Therefore, the area of rectangle ABEF is half the area of


regular octagon ABCDEFGH, so it has area 1/2.
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That's another way as well.


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What is AF?
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So what is the area of rectangle ABEF?


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First, let's draw a diagram. What can we say about


hexagon ABCDEF that will help us draw it?
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We are given that hexagon ABCDEF is equiangular, so


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every angle is 120 degrees.


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The answer is (D).

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We are given that the area of triangle ACE is 70% the


area of hexagon ABCDEF. To turn this into a useful
equation, we must express both areas in terms of r.
How can we do that?
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Is there anything we can do with the figure that will


help us find the area of hexagon ABCDEF?
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We can extend the sides of the hexagon to form an


equilateral triangle.

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We can take the area of equilateral triangle PQR, and


subtract the areas of triangles PAC, QCE, and REA.
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How can we find the area of triangle PAC?


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We can use the formula from the triangle class,


comparing the areas of two triangles.
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What is the area of equilateral triangle PQR?


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How can we get the area of hexagon ABCDEF?


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We can get the area of hexagon ABCDEF by subtracting


the areas of equilateral triangles PAB, QCD, and REF.
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How can we find the area of triangle ACE?


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We can now use the fact that the area of triangle ACE is

We start our exploration of three-dimensional

70% the area of hexagon ABCDEF.

geometry by working with common solids, such as

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pyramids, cones, and spheres.


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What does this simplify to?


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What are the roots of this equation?


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The circular sector has radius 10. What length does this
correspond to in the cone?
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This corresponds to the slant height of the cone.


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Notice that both of these numbers are positive and


therefore acceptable.

What is the circumference of the circular sector?


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We could have computed the sum of the roots using

The circular sector contains an angle of 252 degrees,


which is 252/360 = 7/10 of the full circle.
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Vieta's formulas, but how do we know that both roots


are possible values? What if one of the roots is
negative? By computing both roots and seeing that
they are positive, we see that they are viable.
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THREE-DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY

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What does this correspond to in the cone?

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This corresponds to the circumference of the base of


the cone. So what is the radius of the base of the cone?
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so each face has area 24/6 = 4. Hence, the side length


of the outer cube is 2.
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Next, we work with the sphere. What is the radius of


the sphere?
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The sphere is inscribed in a cube with side length 2.


Then the diameter of the sphere is 2, so its radius is 1.
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Now, we need the side length of the inner cube. Let x


be the side length of the inner cube. How can we
determine x?
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Perhaps the easiest way is to consider a diagonal of the


inner cube going from one vertex to an opposite vertex.
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We are looking for a cone with slant height 10 and base


radius 7, so the correct answer is (C).
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This diagonal is also equal to a diameter of the sphere,


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which is 2.
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First, let's work with the outer cube. What is the side
length of the outer cube?
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The outer cube has surface area 24 (in square meters),

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use the usual two-dimensional geometry techniques,

Let the radius of the sphere of vanilla ice cream be r.

such as building right triangles and looking for similar

What is its volume?

triangles.

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AMC 10 PROBLEM SERIES


WEEK 9: COUNTING
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We know the radius of the cone is the same as the


radius of the ice cream, namely r. Let h be height of the
cone. Then what is the volume of the cone?
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In today's class, we will cover techniques for solving


problems in counting. Counting problems come in a
wide variety of forms, and accordingly there are a wide
variety of techniques for solving them. We will try to
cover as many of these techniques as we can.
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PRODUCT PRINCIPLE
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One of the simplest principles in counting is the

We are told that when the ice cream melts, it fills the

product principle. Suppose I own three shirts, four

cone exactly. We are also told that the melted ice

pairs of pants, and two pairs of shoes. Then how many

cream takes up 75% the volume of the frozen ice

different outfits can I wear?

cream. So what equation can we write down?


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I just multiply the number of choices for each piece of


clothing, giving me 3 * 4 * 2 = 24 different outfits.
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More generally, if I want to choose a number of


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objects, then the number of ways is simply the product


of the numbers of ways of choosing each individual
object.
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So what is the ratio h/r?


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We see that h/r = 3. The answer is (B).


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SUMMARY
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In today's lecture, we looked at techniques to solve


problems involving polygons and three-dimensional
geometry. However, none of these techniques were
really new.

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What do we need to compute?


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We need to compute the number of license plates


under the old scheme, and the number of license plates
under the new scheme.
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How many license plates are there under the old


scheme?
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For example, when dealing with polygons, one useful


approach is to break them up into triangles, and then
apply what we know about triangle geometry. In threedimensional geometry, we can take cross-sections, and

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How many license plates are there under the new


scheme?
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How can we start?


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Let a, b, and c be the three digits. We want these digits


to satisfy (a + c)/2 = b, or a + c = 2b.
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Equivalently, the digits a, b, and c form an arithmetic


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The answer is (C).


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sequence. How can we count the number of such


arithmetic sequences?
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There are many ways to approach this problem. For


example, we can ask how many arithmetic sequences
have a first term of 0, a first term of 1, and so on.
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We can also ask how many arithmetic sequences have


a certain common difference. For example, we can ask
how many arithmetic sequences have a common
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The problem itself tells us how to apply the product


principle. Each tourist must choose one of the two
guides.
7:37:55 pm

So the first tourist chooses one of the two guides, the


second tourist chooses one of the two guides, and so
on. How many groupings does this give us?
7:38:44 pm

difference of 0, a common difference of 1, and so on.


(And don't forget negative common differences.)
7:45:43 pm

Both approaches will work, but they involve dividing


into cases. Let's see if we can find an approach that
avoids casework.
7:45:48 pm

To get a feel for the problem, let's look at a certain


example. How many such three-digit numbers start
with the digit 3?
7:46:21 pm

7:39:03 pm

The three-digit numbers that start with the digit 3 are

The problem also tells us that in each grouping, each

321, 333, 345, 357, and 369. Do you see anything

guide must take at least one tourist. So we must

interesting about these numbers?

subtract the number of groupings in which a guide has


no tourists. How many such groupings are there?
7:39:31 pm

If a guide has no tourists, then the other guide gets all

7:47:28 pm

What is interesting to me about these numbers are the


last digits, namely 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.
7:47:35 pm

the tourists. There are two ways this can happen, one

These digits are all odd. Is there something we can say

for each guide.

more generally?

7:39:34 pm

7:49:11 pm

Hence, there are 64 - 2 = 62 possible groupings. The

In every three-digit number that we want to count, the

answer is (D).

first and last digits are either both even or both odd.

7:39:38 pm

When we obtain a number in a counting problem, it is

(This follows from the equation a + c = 2b.)


7:49:17 pm

common that because of some condition in the

So let's look at the even case and odd case. (So we are

problem, we must adjust the answer somehow. In any

using casework, but it's only two cases, so it's not that

counting problem, make sure you read the problem

bad.)

carefully for any particular conditions.


7:40:50 pm

7:49:23 pm

How many possible first digits are even?


7:50:20 pm

The possible first digits that are even are 2, 4, 6, and 8


(but not 0), for a total of 4. How many possible last
digits are even?

7:51:15 pm

The possible last digits that are even are 0, 2, 4, 6, and


8, for a total of 5.
7:51:20 pm

So how many ways can we choose the first and last


digits to be even?

7:56:13 pm

7:51:45 pm

We can choose the first and last digits to be even in 4 *


5 = 20 different ways.
7:52:28 pm

Notice that when both first and last digits are even, for
any choice of the first and last digits the middle digit is
uniquely determined.
7:52:32 pm

Now we look at the odd case. How many possible first


digits are odd?

7:56:25 pm

This symbol is known as a binomial coefficient, and it is


read "n choose k." In counting, many answers depend
in some form on a combination.
7:56:38 pm

7:52:44 pm

The possible first digits that are odd are 1, 3, 5, 7, and


9, for a total of 5.
7:52:47 pm

The possible last digits that are odd are the same, for
another 5. So how many ways can we choose the first
and last digits to be odd?
7:53:01 pm

We can choose the first and last digits to be odd in 5 *


5 = 25 different ways.
7:53:08 pm

Similar to the even case notice that when both first and
last digits are odd, for any choice of the first and last

7:56:49 pm

How can we specify a line segment, where both


endpoints are vertices of the cube?
7:57:31 pm

We specify such a line segment by choosing two


vertices of the cube. How many ways are there to
choose two vertices of the cube?
7:57:55 pm

digits the middle digit is uniquely determined.


7:53:11 pm

So how many such three-digit numbers are there?


7:53:23 pm

7:58:03 pm

The total number of such three-digit numbers is 20 +


25 = 45. The answer is (E).
7:53:27 pm

Not every counting problem can be solved by using the


product principle, but if you can use it, then it is usually
the easiest way to solve the problem.
7:53:43 pm

COMBINATIONS
7:53:56 pm

In a combination, we are selecting objects from a set,


where the order of the objects does not matter. For

7:58:37 pm

What do we want to compute in this problem?


8:00:39 pm

We want to compute the number of ways of arranging


three Xs and two Os in a row. How can we do this?
8:01:12 pm

example, how many ways can we select three different

It's not hard to simply list by hand all the ways of

letters of the alphabet? The order of the letters does

arranging three Xs and two Os in a row, but using

not matter, so selecting A, B, and C is the same as

combinations makes things even easier. How can we

selecting B, C, and A.

use combinations?

7:55:56 pm

8:01:56 pm

Let's think about how can specify an arrangement of


three Xs and two Os in a row. We have five tiles to
order, so how can we specify such an arrangement?

8:02:48 pm

8:09:46 pm

We can specify such an arrangement by placing the


three Xs first (or we can go with the Os if you want -same idea.)
8:02:54 pm
8:09:52 pm

Therefore, Pat can make 15 different selections. The


answer is (D).
8:10:01 pm
8:02:59 pm

Therefore, the probability that the arrangement reads


XOXOX is 1/10. The answer is (B).
8:03:10 pm

STARS AND BARS


8:03:32 pm

We now present a method for counting certain kinds of

COMPLEMENTARY COUNTING
8:10:45 pm

In some counting problems, it is easier to count the


objects that we don't want, rather that the objects that
we do want. This is technique is called complementary
counting.
8:11:13 pm

distributions, which we call stars and bars. (It goes by


other names too, like balls and urns.)
8:03:40 pm

To illustrate the method, we look at a specific example.


8:03:46 pm

8:11:46 pm

What is the difficult part about this problem?


8:12:37 pm

The difficult part about this problem is that there are


many ways that a four-digit number that can have at
least one digit that is a 2 or a 3. For example, the
8:06:26 pm

For example, Pat can buy two glazed, one chocolate,

number can be 7201, or 3587, or 2322.


8:13:23 pm

and one powdered. It's not hard to list all the possible

The number can have a 2, or a 3, or a 2 and a 3, leading

ways, but stars and bars make this problem a snap.

to many possible combinations. It is difficult to know

8:06:32 pm

To apply stars and bars, we represent each donut with

where to start. So what can we try?


8:14:21 pm

a star, and we divide the groups of donuts (by type)

We can try looking at numbers that do not satisfy the

with bars. For example, if Pat buys two glazed, one

given condition.

chocolate, and one powdered, then we represent this


with the following row of stars and bars:
8:06:47 pm

**|*|*
8:06:54 pm

8:14:28 pm

If the number does not satisfy the given condition, then


the number does not contain at least one digit that is a
2 or a 3. In other words, none of the digits are 2 or 3.
8:14:38 pm

The first, second, and third groups represent glazed,

Already this seems like an easier condition to deal with.

chocolate, and powdered, respectively. What does the

How can we count the number of four-digit number

following row represent?

where none of the digits are 2 or 3?

8:07:00 pm

***||*
8:08:24 pm

This row represents three glazed and one powdered.

8:16:25 pm

We look at each digit individually. What are the


possible first digits?
8:17:33 pm

There are no stars between the two dividers, so there

The possible first digits are 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, for a

are no chocolate donuts.

total of 7. What are the possible second digits?

8:08:33 pm

8:18:45 pm

Thus, every combination of four donuts can be

The possible second digits are 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9,

represented by a row of four stars and two bars. How

for a total of 8.

many ways can we arrange four stars and two bars?

8:19:15 pm

The possible third and fourth digits are the same as the
possible second digits. So how many four-digit
numbers do not contain a 2 or 3?
8:19:40 pm

The number of four-digit numbers that do not contain a


2 or 3 is 7 * 8 * 8 * 8 = 3584. What do we want to do
with this number?
8:20:32 pm

We want to subtract it from the total number of fourdigit numbers.


8:20:43 pm

Using the same method of counting digit by digit, we

8:29:17 pm

find there are 9 * 10 * 10 * 10 = 9000 four-digit

Next, we look at the men. Assume that the married

numbers.

couples are W1 and M1, W2 and M2, and so on.

8:20:52 pm

Subtracting, we get 9000 - 3584 = 5416 numbers. The


answer is (E).
8:20:59 pm

CASEWORK
8:21:14 pm

As much as we've tried to avoid using casework, in

8:29:22 pm

Let's look at man M1. Where can man M1 sit?


8:30:26 pm

No one can sit next to or directly across from his or her


spouse, so man M1 can only sit between W2 and W3, or
W4 and W5.
8:30:59 pm

many counting problems, it is inevitable. So let's work

Let's consider the case where M1 sits between W2 and

through a counting problem using casework.

W3.

8:21:29 pm

8:31:04 pm

8:22:54 pm

How can we get started?


8:24:50 pm

As is customary in society, we seat the ladies first. How


many ways can the first woman be seated?
8:25:49 pm

8:31:10 pm

The first woman can be seated in ten ways, in each of

Is there anything we can say that would help us fill in

the ten chairs. Where can the remaining four women

the diagram?

sit?
8:26:31 pm

The men and women must alternate, so there are only


four chairs that the remaining four women can sit in.
How many ways are there to seat the remaining four
women?
8:27:59 pm

There are 4! = 24 ways to seat the remaining four


women.
8:28:02 pm

We label the five women as follows.


8:29:11 pm

8:32:25 pm

Man M4 can only sit between women W1 and W5.


8:33:01 pm

8:33:04 pm

Now what can we say about the diagram?


8:33:53 pm

Man M2 can only sit between women W3 and W4.

8:36:10 pm

The case is symmetric with the first case, so again


there is only one way to seat the rest of the men, which
we can derive as follows.

8:33:57 pm

8:36:22 pm

8:34:03 pm

8:36:29 pm

Then man M5 must sit between women W1 and W2,


and then man M3 must sit between women W4 and W5.
8:34:45 pm

Let's recap.
8:36:35 pm

There are 10 ways to seat the first women, then 24


ways to seat the remaining women.
8:36:39 pm

Then there are 2 ways to seat the first man, then only
one way to seat the remaining men. So how many
seating arrangements are there?
8:38:09 pm

There are 10 * 24 * 2 = 480 different seating


arrangements. The answer is (C).
8:38:13 pm

When dividing into cases, make sure that your cases


are exhaustive (in other words, your cases cover all
possibilities), and that you work all your cases through
8:35:15 pm

to the end. Sometimes, it may be necessary to divide

So after man M1 sits between women W2 and W3,

your cases into sub-cases. The key is to be diligent and

there is only one way to seat the rest of the men.

thorough.

8:35:19 pm

What if man M1 sits between women W4 and W5? How


many ways are there to seat the rest of the men then?
8:35:24 pm

8:38:19 pm

THINK ABOUT IT!


8:38:32 pm

The last technique we want to discuss is called "think

about it." When solving a counting problem (or any

in the tournament, but it has no effect on the number

problem in mathematics), it is easy to become

of matches that must be played.

conditioned to look for the right formula or technique

8:45:47 pm

that seems to fit the situation. However, in some


counting problems, the best way to solve the problem
is to put your pencil down and simply think about what
it is really asking for.
8:39:08 pm

8:46:19 pm

How can we start?


8:46:56 pm

We can start by drawing a diagram.


8:47:03 pm

8:40:11 pm

How can we solve this problem?


8:41:36 pm

We can think about how the tournament proceeds, and


the number of players left in each round.
8:41:40 pm

We are told that the top 28 players get a bye, meaning

8:48:14 pm

they automatically get to the second round. How many

We get... a messy diagram. Trying to count all the

games do the 72 remaining players play?

triangles based on the diagram is going to be difficult,

8:42:32 pm

The remaining players play 72/2 = 36 games. So how


many players advanced to the second round?
8:42:37 pm

A player is eliminated in each of the 36 games, so 36 +


28 = 64 players advance to the second round.
8:43:41 pm

We can continue to analyze the tournament round by

if not impossible. So what can we do?


8:48:41 pm

Ouch, no.
8:49:02 pm

Smart but they won't let you do it during the AMC


8:49:37 pm

That's a lot of letters. We're going for simple.


8:50:03 pm

round, counting the number of games played, and the

We can now look at one individual triangle, and see if

number of players who advance. But there is a much

we can determine anything interesting.

faster way.

8:50:10 pm

8:43:46 pm

The tournament goes from 100 players down to 1


player, so we need to eliminate 99 players. How does a
player get eliminated?
8:44:44 pm

Exactly one player gets eliminated in each game. So


how many games must there be?
8:45:12 pm

There must be 99 games. Of the answer choices, only


(E) is true. That's it.
8:45:40 pm

The fact that the top 28 players get a bye is completely


irrelevant. This condition impacts the number of rounds

8:51:08 pm

Since we are trying to count the number of triangles,

we should figure out how such a triangle is created in

work, you can always try complementary counting and

the first place. How does this triangle get created?

casework. And last but not least... just think about it.

8:51:17 pm

This triangle is created by three chords.


8:51:27 pm

Valentin Vornicu

7:30:58 pm

AMC 10 PROBLEM SERIES


WEEK 10: PROBABILITY
Valentin Vornicu

7:31:05 pm

In today's lecture, we look at various types of


probability problems and the techniques for solving
them. We start with the most common definition of
probability.
Valentin Vornicu

7:31:10 pm

PROBABILITY BY COUNTING
Valentin Vornicu
8:52:33 pm

In turn, the three chords are specified by six points on


the circle. So how can we count the number of
triangles?
8:54:05 pm

7:32:05 pm

In probability, we typically work with "events." For


example, flipping a coin and getting three heads in a
row can be an event.
Valentin Vornicu

7:32:10 pm

In situations where all outcomes are regarded as

Every triangle is created by choosing six points on the

equally likely, the probability of an event is the number

circle. Furthermore, it is not hard to see that there is

of ways that event can occur divided by the total

only one triangle that can be created from these six

number of possible outcomes. Thus, we use counting

points. In order to form a triangle with the vertices in

when applying this definition.

the interior of the circle, each of the 6 points must be


connected to the one opposite.

Valentin Vornicu

7:32:16 pm

Valentin Vornicu

7:32:37 pm

8:54:13 pm

8:54:34 pm

SUMMARY

What do we need to compute in this problem?

8:54:37 pm

Today, we saw many concepts for solving problems in

Valentin Vornicu

counting. You may be wondering, when we face a

We need to compute the number of integers between 1

problem in counting, how do we know which concept is

and 100 that are divisible by 2 but not divisible by 3.

the right one to apply?


8:54:43 pm

Do not start, for example, by trying to guess the right


binomial coefficient that seems to fit. The right way to
start solving a counting problem is to consider what it
is you are trying to count. Is there a simple way of
describing the objects you want to count? Is there a

Valentin Vornicu

7:33:23 pm

7:33:26 pm

How many of these numbers are divisible by 2?


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7:33:45 pm

We see that 100/2 = 50 of these numbers are divisible


by 2. These numbers are {2, 4, 6, ..., 100}.

simple process that generates the objects? Only after

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you find the right approach should you start working

How many of these numbers are not divisible by 3?

7:33:57 pm

with the actual numbers.


8:54:56 pm

Valentin Vornicu

7:34:16 pm

The most important thing is to keep your approach as

It is not so easy to determine how many of the

simple as possible. Start by looking for a way to use the

numbers {2, 4, 6, ..., 100} are not divisible by 3.

product principle or combinations. If these do not

Instead of trying to find how many are not divisible by


3, what else can we ask?

Valentin Vornicu

7:35:25 pm

We can ask how many of the numbers {2, 4, 6, ..., 100}

Valentin Vornicu

7:40:26 pm

What is the numerator of the probability?

are divisible by 3.
Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:35:32 pm

7:41:05 pm

The numerator is the number of ways of choosing two

A number is divisible by both 2 and 3 if and only if it is

bills so that the sum of the bills is $20 or more. Which

divisible by 6. How many numbers between 1 and 100

combinations of bill will work?

are divisible by 6?
Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:35:47 pm

When we divide 100 by 6, we get 16 with a reminder of

7:42:55 pm

We need at least one twenty or two tens. Sounds like


casework!

4, so there are 16 multiples of 6 between 1 and 100.


Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:36:14 pm

7:43:27 pm

Let's start with the two tens. If the two tens are

So how many of the numbers {2, 4, 6, ..., 100} are not

distinguishable and order matters, how many counts is

divisible by 3?

that?

Valentin Vornicu

7:36:40 pm

Valentin Vornicu

7:44:33 pm

Since 16 of these numbers are divisible by 3, 50 - 16 =

We can draw 10A and then 10B or vice versa. So that's

34 of these numbers are not divisible by 3. So what is

two cases.

the answer?
Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:37:07 pm

7:44:37 pm

Two twenties also has 2 possibilities.

The probability that a number from 1 to 100 is divisible


by 2 and not divisible by 3 is 34/100 = 17/50. The

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answer is (C).

What about if we have two different bills? Let's say one

7:44:46 pm

and twenty. How many possibilities is that?


Valentin Vornicu

7:37:14 pm

Valentin Vornicu

7:45:17 pm

We can draw a twenty then a smaller bill, or vice versa.


Also, we have 2 possibilities for which 20 we draw and
6 possibilities for which smaller denomination bill we
draw. How many possibilities is this altogether?

Valentin Vornicu

7:38:30 pm

So we'll need to count the numerator and denominator.


But before we do that, we have to decide a couple
things: Are the bills distinguishable? Does order
matter? No matter what we choose, the probability will
be the same (it better be). We would get different
counts that have the same ratio.
Valentin Vornicu

7:39:02 pm

So the question is: what choices do we make to make


counting easy? Let's try distinguishable, order does
matter.
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7:39:10 pm

What is the denominator of the probability?


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7:40:06 pm

There are 8 possibilities for the first bill, and 7


possibilities for the second bill, for a total of 56.

Valentin Vornicu

7:47:06 pm

There are 2*2*6=24 possibilities for drawing bills of


different denomination with total value over 20 dollars.
Altogether there are 24 + 4 = 28 successful outcomes.
Since there were 56 outcomes in total, the probability
is 28/56 = 1/2.
Valentin Vornicu

7:47:48 pm

Valentin Vornicu

7:48:30 pm

First, we look at the probability p. What is the

choose two slips with the number a in 4 choose 2 = 6


ways.

numerator of p?
Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:49:32 pm

The numerator of p is the number of ways of choosing

7:56:13 pm

Similarly, we can choose two slips with the number b in


4 choose 2 = 6 ways.

four slips so that they all have the same number.


Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:49:35 pm

There are only 10 ways to do this, one for each number

7:56:17 pm

The numerator of q is 45 * 6 * 6 = 1620. So what is


q/p?

from 1 to 10.
Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:49:38 pm

We see that q/p = (1620/N)/(10/N) = 162. The

What is the denominator of p?

answer is (A).

Valentin Vornicu

Valentin Vornicu

7:50:16 pm

The denominator of p is the number of ways of

7:57:42 pm

7:58:22 pm

ALGEBRAIC PROBABILITY

choosing four slips. But do we need to compute this


Valentin Vornicu

number?

7:58:25 pm

In some probability problems, we must use the


Valentin Vornicu

7:50:58 pm

algebraic properties of probability. For example, if we

The denominators of p and q are the same, so when we

toss a coin and roll a die, then what is the probability

compute q/p, they cancel. Hence, there is no need to

that we get heads and we roll a number that is less

compute the denominator of p. Let's just call this large

than or equal to 2?

number N.
Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

7:51:01 pm

What is the numerator of q?

7:59:20 pm

The probability that we get heads is 1/2, and the


probability that we roll a number that is less than or
equal to 2 is 2/6 = 1/3, so the probability that both

Valentin Vornicu

7:52:29 pm

occur is 1/2 * 1/3 = 1/6.

The numerator of q is the number of ways of choosing


four slips of the form a, a, b, b, where a and b are

Valentin Vornicu

different numbers. How can we start counting this

In this example, we are using

number?

the independence property of probability: if two events

7:59:24 pm

are independent, then the probability that both occur is


Valentin Vornicu

7:53:22 pm

the product of their probabilities.

First, we can determine the number of ways of


choosing the numbers a and b. How many ways can we

Valentin Vornicu

7:59:30 pm

Valentin Vornicu

8:00:01 pm

choose the numbers a and b?


Valentin Vornicu

7:54:25 pm

The number of ways of choosing the numbers a and b is


10 choose 2 = 45.
Valentin Vornicu

7:54:42 pm

Now that we have determined a and b, we must


determine the number of ways of choosing two slips
with the number a, and two slips with the number b.
Valentin Vornicu

7:54:45 pm

How many ways can we choose two slips with the


number a?
Valentin Vornicu

What do we want to do in this problem?


Valentin Vornicu

We want to find the value of p.


Valentin Vornicu

7:56:06 pm

Since there are four slips with the number a, we can

8:01:20 pm

8:01:25 pm

We can choose any number from 1 to 100.

Valentin Vornicu

8:01:31 pm

Consider the probability of choosing 1, the probability

Valentin Vornicu

8:09:49 pm

How many perfect squares are between 51 and 100?

of choosing 2, and so on, up to the probability of


choosing 100. What can we say about all these

Valentin Vornicu

8:10:10 pm

Valentin Vornicu

8:10:40 pm

probabilities that will help us find p?


Valentin Vornicu

8:02:32 pm

Hint: they are NOT all equal.


Valentin Vornicu

So what is the probability of choosing a perfect square?

8:03:36 pm

All of these probabilities must add up to 1, because

Valentin Vornicu

8:11:37 pm

Valentin Vornicu

8:12:13 pm

they cover all the possible values.


Valentin Vornicu

8:03:54 pm

The probabilities for each of the numbers from 1 to 50


is p, and the probabilities from each of the numbers
from 51 to 100 is 3p. So what is the sum of these
probabilities?
Valentin Vornicu

8:04:29 pm

The answer is (C).


Valentin Vornicu

8:12:17 pm

Valentin Vornicu

8:13:33 pm

The sum of these probabilities is 50 * p + 50 * 3p =


50p + 150p = 200p. So what is p?
Valentin Vornicu

8:05:32 pm

The sum of these probabilities is 1, so 200p = 1, which


means p = 1/200.
Valentin Vornicu

8:05:58 pm

We want to compute the probability of choosing a

In how many ways can exactly one voter approve the

perfect square. How can we compute the probability of

mayor's work?

choosing a perfect square?


Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

8:07:16 pm

Usually, we might compute this probability by finding

8:15:15 pm

There are three ways exactly one voter approve the


mayor's work, one for each voter.

the number of perfect squares from 1 to 100, then


dividing by 100. However, this won't work here.

Valentin Vornicu

8:15:20 pm

Suppose the first voter approves the mayor's work, and


Valentin Vornicu

8:08:39 pm

Because not every number from 1 to 100 has the same

the other two do not. What is the probability of this


occurring?

probability of being chosen. The probability of choosing


a number from 1 to 50 is p, and the probability of

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choosing a number from 51 to 100 is 3p. So what must

If there is a 70% chance that a voter approves the

we do?

mayor's work, then there is a 30% chance that a voter

8:16:01 pm

does not approve the mayor's work.


Valentin Vornicu

8:09:33 pm

We must find the number of perfect squares from 1 to

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50, and the number of perfect squares from 51 to 100.

Hence, the probability that the first voter approves the

8:16:04 pm

mayor's work and the other two do not is 0.7 * 0.3 *


Valentin Vornicu

8:09:36 pm

0.3 = 0.063.

How many perfect squares are between 1 and 50?


Valentin Vornicu
Valentin Vornicu

8:09:48 pm

8:16:09 pm

The other two scenarios have the same probability of


occurring. So what is the answer?

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The probability that exactly one voter approve the


mayor's work is 3 * 0.063 = 0.189. The answer is (B).
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TREE ANALYSIS
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Many probability problems involve a process, such as a

If 2 is the second term, then what are the possible

coin being flipped over and over again, or balls being

values of the third term?

drawn from an urn. One systematic way of dealing with


such processes is constructing a tree, where the

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branches represent different possible outcomes.

The possible values of the third term are 2 * 2 - 1 = 3

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and 2/2 - 1 = 0.
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8:23:28 pm

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Then for each possible third term, we compute the


possible fourth terms.
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8:18:51 pm

Jacob starts with a 6. What are the possible values of

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8:24:23 pm

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the second term?


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The possible values of the second term are 2 * 6 - 1 =


11 and 6/2 - 1 = 2.
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8:20:47 pm

Accordingly, we draw a tree with a 6 at the top,


branching to 11 and 2.
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So what is the probability that Jacob's fourth term is an


integer?
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8:22:03 pm

If 11 is the second term, then what are the possible


values of the third term?
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8:24:50 pm

Of the eight possible fourth terms, five are integers, so


the probability is 5/8. The answer is (D).
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8:25:18 pm

CASEWORK

The possible values of the third term are 2 * 11 - 1 =

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21 and 11/2 - 1 = 9/2. We add these values to the tree.

Since much of probability is based on counting (or at

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8:23:01 pm

8:25:19 pm

least the principles of counting), it should not be


surprising that we must sometimes employ casework in
probability.
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8:25:25 pm

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8:36:52 pm

So what is the probability of rolling at least five high


rolls?
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A lot of this problem is in the wording! So let's make


sure that we understand the problem.
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We are interested in rolls that are at least a five, or in

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8:37:26 pm

The probability of rolling at least five high rolls is


4/243 + 1/729 = 13/729. The answer is (A).
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other words rolls that are fives or sixes, so let's call a


five or a six a "high roll," and everything else a "low
roll." Which probability do we want to compute?
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8:27:14 pm

We want to compute the probability that we roll at


least five high rolls. In other words, we want to
compute the probability that we roll five or six high
rolls. How can we compute this probability?

How can we start on this problem?


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8:29:19 pm

We can divide into the cases of rolling exactly five high

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rolls, and exactly six high rolls.

We can divide into cases. Which cases can we divide

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into?
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8:30:20 pm

First, in how many different ways can we roll exactly

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five high rolls?

We can divide into cases based on the number of red

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faces.
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8:31:42 pm

We can roll exactly five high rolls in six ways. If there

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are exactly five high rolls, then there is exactly one low

Let n be the number of faces that are red, so n must be

roll. We choose one of the six rolls to be the low roll,

between 0 and 6. What is the probability that there are

then all the other rolls must be high rolls.

exactly n red faces?

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8:31:45 pm

What is the probability of rolling a high roll?

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8:43:33 pm

We can choose n of the six faces to be red in 6 choose n


ways. The probability of each face being either color is

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1/2.

The probability of rolling a high roll is 2/6 = 1/3, so the


probability of rolling a low roll is 1 - 1/3 = 2/3. So

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8:43:38 pm

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what is the probability of rolling exactly five high rolls?


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8:34:43 pm

Now let's go through the cases. Given that there are 0


red faces, what is the probability that the cube can be
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8:35:36 pm

What is the probability of rolling exactly six high rolls?


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8:36:31 pm

placed on the surface, so that all four vertical faces are


all the same color?

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If there are 0 red faces, then all faces are blue, so the
probability is 1.
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Given that there is one red face, what is the probability


that the cube can be placed on the surface?
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If there is only one red face, then again the probability


is 1.
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What do we want to do with these probabilities?

Given that there are two red faces, what is the

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probability that the cube can be placed on the surface?

We want to multiply the probabilities in each row, then

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8:49:20 pm

If we paint one face of the cube red, then there are five

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add the products.


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other faces to choose from for the other red face.


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8:49:24 pm

Only face is opposite, so the probability that the two


red faces are opposite each other is 1/5. This is also
the probability that the cube can be placed on the
surface.
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What does this simplify to?

Given that there are three red faces, what is the


probability that the cube can be placed on the surface?

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This simplifies to (1 + 6 + 3 + 3 + 6 + 1)/64 = 20/64 =


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5/16. The answer is (B).

To place the cube on the surface, we must have at least


four faces with the same color. There are only three red

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faces and three blue faces, so the probability is 0.

GEOMETRIC PROBABILITY

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8:53:59 pm

8:54:05 pm

Given that there are four red faces, what is the

All the problems we have seen so far involve quantities

probability that the cube can be placed on the surface?

that we can count, like the number of rolls of a die. But


what if we have a probability problem involving a

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8:51:19 pm

continuous quantity, like choosing a number from an

This is the same as for the case of two red faces,

interval? In these problems, we must take a geometric

because we can flip the colors.

point of view.

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Hence, the probability in this case is also 1/5.


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8:51:25 pm

Similarly, the probabilities for five red faces and six red
faces are also 1.
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Here's a summary of what we have found.

Let the two real numbers be x and y. When is their


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product xy greater than zero?

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The product xy is greater than zero if and only if both x


and y are greater than zero, or both x and y are less
than zero.
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9:00:30 pm

So what is the probability that the product xy is greater


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What is the probability that a number chosen from the


interval [-20,10] is greater than zero?
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than zero?
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9:01:19 pm

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8:57:33 pm

The portion of the interval [-20,10] that is greater than


0 is (0,10]. The length of the interval (0,10] is 10, and
the length of the interval [-20,10] is 30, so the
probability of choosing a number greater than zero is
10/30 = 1/3.
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8:58:20 pm

It follows that the probability of choosing a number


less than zero is 1 - 1/3 = 2/3.
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8:58:24 pm

What is the probability that both x and y are positive?


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SUMMARY
9:02:00 pm

When solving a probability problem, the first step


should be to determine what kind of probability you are
dealing with. In some cases, all you have to do is
compute the number of "successful" outcomes, and
divide by the total number of outcomes. However, in
other cases, you may have to use other techniques,
such as tree analysis or geometric probability.

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9:02:03 pm

Also, make sure you read the problem carefully. In


probability, simply relying on intuition can easily lead
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9:00:19 pm

What is the probability that both x and y are negative?


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9:00:29 pm

to incorrect answers. Therefore, you should make sure


you understand why your steps are correct.