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Sarah vontersch

Hannah Starbuck 4
Pow 4

Problems Statement:

This problem was a simple population growth problem. Two rats start the process and have a

litter six of 6 3 males and 3 females. The pattern continues with the new additions of rats every

40 days, and the new rats can begin the process after 120 days. The question is how many rats

are there after 1 year including the original pair if none of them die in that year.


At first looking at the problem I wanted to build chart of dots and place a dot for every rat but

very quickly the idea seemed unnecessary and decided to find a pattern. Thinking about the

problem,when observed every 40 days there are essentially 4 types of rats. The newly born

which I put as variable , 40 days old , 80 day olds , and breeders . For the first round with

the two breeders or adults the problem begins with and the 6 newborns they have had together.

Hence row 0- 6,0,0,2. If the first row were in variables it would look like this: 0,, , , , for the

next row variables will look like row 1: 3,,, + . 3d base for every 40 days there will be 6

new babies for every 2 breeders. Therefor 3 new babies for every individual breeder. The and

will both move over one for every progression of 40 days, and the total number of breeders will

be the number of 80 day olds plus the number of breeders already. When this whole process

was done for 10 total rounds the table was complete and the answer can be found in adding the

number in the last row together.

Visual Representation:
Breading Newborns 40 day olds 80 day olds Breeders

0 6 0 0 2

1 6 6 0 2

2 6 6 6 2

3 24 6 6 8

4 42 24 6 14

5 60 42 24 20

6 132 60 42 44

7 258 132 60 86

8 438 258 132 146

9 843 438 258 278


Including the original pair, after a year, there will be 9 + 834 + 438 + 258 + 278 =1808
One thousand eight hundred and eight rats!

This POW was pretty fun to solve especially once I had the idea of looking at it in types of rats
and not the generations of them because that was overwhelming. It was a good level complexity
wise though I did not learn anything new I had never look at a problem this way before because
I usually use equations especially for population growth. I do not think I would change the
problem that much because I enjoyed solving this but maybe I would pick a different animal.

Self assessment:

If I were to grade this POW I would think it looks like A work because a method and answer was
found that made sense to me as long as the explanations and full table from my method.