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University of Melbourne - School Mathematics Competition 2004SS

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Senior Solutions

1. Jane and her friends are standing in a circle. It turns out that both neighbours of

each child are the same gender. If there are six boys in the circle, how many girls

are there?

Solution: Suppose that two boys are standing next to each other. Then for the

neighbours of each child to be of the same gender, the next child in the circle must

also be a boy. Similarly, all children in the circle must be boys, contradicting the

fact that Jane, who is a girl, is standing in the circle. The same argument shows

that no two girls can stand next to each other. Therefore, the circle contains

alternating boys and girls. We conclude that there are equally many girls as boys

so the circle contains six girls in total.

2. Suppose that it takes Mary and Jane two hours to do a certain job, it takes Mary

and Sue three hours to do the job and that it takes Jane and Sue four hours to

do the same job. How long would it take all three girls working together to do

the same job? (Of course you should assume that each girl has an individual work

rate that remains constant.)

Solution: Mary and Jane do 21 a job in one hour, Mary and Sue do 13 a job in one

hour and Sue and Jane do 41 a job in one hour. So if it were possible to gather two

Marys, two Janes and two Sues together, then they would do 12 + 13 + 14 = 13

12 jobs

in one hour. This means that one Mary, one Jane and one Sue would manage to

1

13

do 13

12 2 = 24 jobs in one hour. Hence, the time taken for all three girls working

24

together to do one job would be 1 13

24 = 13 hours.

3. The elements of a set of n consecutive integers sum to 2n. The elements of another

set, with 2n consecutive integers, sum to n. The difference between the largest

elements of the two sets is 99. Find n.

Solution: Let the n consecutive integers be a, a + 1, a + 2, . . . , a + n 1 and let the

2n consecutive integers be b, b + 1, b + 2, . . . , b + 2n 1. By considering the sums

of these two sets, we have the following two equations.

a + (a + 1) + (a + 2) + + (a + n 1) = 2n

n(2a+n1)

= 2n

2

2a + n 1 = 4

a = 5n

2

b + (b + 1) + (b + 2) + + (b + 2n 1) =

2n(2b+2n1)

=

2

2b + 2n 1 =

b =

1

n

n

1

1n

Since the difference between the largest elements of the two sets is 99, we also have

the equation

(a + n 1) (b + 2n 1) = 99

a b n = 99

Now we can substitute the values for a and b determined earlier.

5n

2

(1 n) n

(5 n) 2(1 n) 2n

3n

n

n

=

=

=

=

=

99

198

198

3 198

195 or 201

Since there are n numbers in the first set, n cannot be negative and we deduce

that n = 201.

4. Tamrefs theorem says that na + nb = nc has no solutions for n, a, b, c positive

integers and n > 2. Prove it.

Solution 1: Suppose that there do exist positive integers n, a, b, c which satisfy the

equation na + nb = nc . For this to occur, it is clear that c > a and c > b. Without

loss of generality, we may assume that a b. Now we have the inequality

2nb na + nb = nc 2 ncb .

Since c b is positive and n > 2, it is not possible for this inequality to hold.

Hence, we have the desired contradiction.

Solution 2: (Provided by Stephen Muirhead, Scotch College) We can consider the

equation modulo n 1

na + nb nc (mod n 1) 1a + 1b 1c (mod n 1) 2 1(mod n 1)

This cannot hold for n > 2, so Tamrefs Theorem is proven.

5. A partition of a positive integer n is a sum of positive integers that add to n.

Thus n = p1 + p2 + p3 + . . . + pk . For example, possible partitions of 4 include:

4 = 1 + 3, 4 = 4, 4 = 1 + 1 + 1 + 1. Consider partitions into non-decreasing parts,

p1 p2 p3 . . . pk such that pk = p1 or pk = p1 + 1. For example, under these

restrictions we exclude the partition 4 = 1+3. How many such restricted partitions

of n are there?

Solution: We can calculate the number of restricted partitions for the first few

values of n.

n

1

2

3

4

5

Restricted Partitions

1

2, 1+1

3, 1+2, 1+1+1

4, 2+2, 1+1+2, 1+1+1+1

5, 2+3, 1+2+2, 1+1+1+2, 1+1+1+1+1

Number

1

2

3

4

5

From this evidence, it seems reasonable to conjecture that there are n restricted

partitions of n. In fact, the table seems to indicate that for every k which satisfies

1 k n, there is a unique restricted partition of n with k parts. This is exactly

what we will try to prove.

Consider a positive integer n and an integer k which satisfies 1 k n. By the

division algorithm, we can uniquely write n = ka + b where 0 b < k. From

this, we can construct a restricted partition of n consisting of k b occurrences

of the number a followed by b occurrences of the number a + 1. This clearly has

(kb)+b = k parts and has the sum (kb)a+b(a+1) = kaba+ab+b = ka+b = n.

This shows that there exists a restricted partition of n with k parts.

We still have to show that the restricted partition of n with k parts is unique. To

do this, suppose that we have the two restricted partitions of n with k parts. They

must both have the following form, where we can impose the condition 0 x, y < k.

p, . . . , p, p + 1, . . . , p + 1

| {z } |

{z

}

x

kx

q, . . . , q , q + 1, . . . , q + 1

| {z } |

{z

}

y

ky

Now for these two partitions to have the same sum, the following equality must

hold.

x(p + 1) + (k x)p = y(q + 1) + (k y)q kp + x = kq + y

But the division algorithm states that there is a unique way to write an integer

in the form kp + x where 0 x < k, so we conclude that p = q, x = y and

the two restricted partitions are actually the same. So we have proven that for

every positive integer n and 1 k n, there exists a restricted partition of n

with k parts. Hence, we can conclude that the number of restricted partitions of

n altogether is simply n.

6. 200 students took an exam comprising 6 questions. Every question was correctly

answered by at least 120 students. Show that there must be two students such

that every question was correctly answered by at least one of them.

Solution: There were at least 6 120 = 720 correct solutions submitted in the

exam. By the pigeonhole principle, we deduce that at least one student, whom

well call X, correctly solved at least 4 of the questions. Suppose that student

X solved questions 1, 2, 3 and 4. Note that at least 120 students solved each

of questions 5 and 6. But since there are only 200 students altogether, at least

120 + 120 200 = 40 students must have solved both questions 5 and 6. If we call

one of these students Y , then it is clear that students X and Y together solved all

of the six questions between them.

7. ABC is an equilateral triangle with the circumcentre O. P is a point inside the

circumcircle. Show that there is a triangle with side lengths |P A|, |P B|, |P C| and

that its area depends only on |P O|.

Solution 1: Let AB = x, P A = a, P B = b, P C = c and consider a rotation of 60

anticlockwise about the point A. This takes B to C and P to a point which we

will call PA . This rotation takes the segment P B to the segment PA C so we have

PA C = P B = b. The rotation also takes the segment P A to the segment PA A so

we have PA A = P A = a. Since we also know that P APA = 60 , the triangle

P APA must be equilateral. In particular, P PA = a. Therefore, the triangle P PA C

has side lengths P PA = a, PA C = b and P C = c, as required.

Let the rotation of 60 anticlockwise about the points B and C take the point P

to PB and PC , respectively. By a similar argument to the one above, we find that

the shaded triangles P PA C, P PB A, P PC B are all congruent to each other, since

they have sides of length a, b and c. Denote the area of these triangles by T . We

also note that the unshaded triangles P APA , P BPB and P CPC are all equilateral,

with sides of length a, b and c, respectively.

The rotation about A takes triangle AP B to APA C, so the two triangles are

congruent. Similarly, triangle BP C is congruent to triangle BPB A and triangle

CP A is congruent to triangle CPC B. In particular, this means that the area of

the hexagon APB BPC CPA is twice the area of triangle ABC.

area(APB BPC CPA )

= area(APB B + BPC C + CPA A + AP B + BP C + CP A)

= 2area(AP B + BP C + CP A)

= 2area(ABC)

3 2

=

x

2

We can calculate the area of the hexagon in another way as follows.

area(APB BPC CPA )

= area(P PA C + P PB A + P PC B + P APA + P BPB + P CPC )

3 2

= 3T +

(a + b2 + c2 )

4

Equating these two expressions gives us an expression for the area of T .

3 2

3 2

2

2

x

3T +

(a + b + c ) =

4

2

1

1

x2 (a2 + b2 + c2 )

T =

2 3

4 3

Since x is constant, we need to show now that a2 + b2 + c2 depends only on P O.

We do this using vectors by setting O to be the origin.

a2 + b2 + c2

= PA2 + PB2 + PC2

= (PO + OA)2 + (PO + OB)2 + (PO + OC)2

= PO2 + 2PO OA + OA2 + PO2 + 2PO OB + OB2 + PO2 + 2PO OC + OC2

= 3P O2 + 2PO (OA + OB + OC) + 3OA2

= 3P O2 + 3OA2

This is true since OA + OB + OC = 0 and the lengths OA = OB = OC are

constant. Hence, we conclude that the triangle with side lengths a, b and c has an

area that depends only on P O.

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