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# Volume 8, Number 1 February 2003 – March 2003

Olympiad Corner
Functional Equations
The Fifth Hong Kong (China) Kin Y. Li
Mathematical Olympiad was held on
December 21, 2002. The problems are as
follow. A functional equation is an equation Solution. Step 1 Taking x = 0 = y, we get
whose variables are ranging over f (0) = f (0) + f (0) + f (0) , which implies
functions. Hence, we are seeking all f (0) = 0.
Problem 1. Two circles intersect at points
possible functions satisfying the
A and B. Through the point B a straight Step 2 We will prove f (kx) = k f (x) for
equation. We will let ℤ denote the set of
line is drawn, intersecting the first circle at k∊ ℕ, x∊ℚ by induction. This is true for
all integers, ℤ+ or ℕ denote the positive
K and the second circle at M. A line k = 1. Assume this is true for k. Taking y
integers, ℕ0 denote the nonnegative
parallel to AM is tangent to the first circle = kx, we get
integers, ℚ denote the rational numbers,
at Q. The line AQ intersects the second
ℝ denote the real numbers, ℝ+ denote f ((k+1) x) = f (x + kx) = f (x) + f (kx)
circle again at R.
the positive real numbers and ℂ denote = f (x) + k f (x) = (k+1) f (x).
the complex numbers.
(a) Prove that the tangent to the second Step 3 Taking y = –x, we get
circle at R is parallel to AK. In simple cases, a functional equation 0 = f (0) = f (x+ (–x)) = f (x) + f (–x),
(b) Prove that these two tangents are can be solved by introducing some
which implies f (–x) = – f (x). So
concurrent with KM. substitutions to yield more information
or additional equations. f (–kx) = – f (kx) = – k f (x) for k∊ℕ.
Problem 2. Let n ≥ 3 be an integer. In a
Therefore, f (kx) = k f (x) for k ∊ℤ, x∊ℚ.
conference there are n mathematicians. Example 1. Find all functions f : ℝ → ℝ
Every pair of mathematicians such that Step 4 Taking x = 1/ k, we get
communicate in one of the n official 2 4
languages of the conference. For any x f (x) + f (1 – x) = 2 x – x f (1) = f (k (1/ k)) = k f (1/ k),
three different official languages, there for all x ∊ℝ. which implies f (1/ k) = (1/ k ) f (1).
exist three mathematicians who
communicate with each other in these Step 5 For m∊ℤ, n∊ℕ,
Solution. Replacing x by 1 – x, we have
three languages. Determine all n for f (m/ n) = m f (1/ n) = (m/ n) f (1).
which this is possible. Justify your (1– x)2 f (1– x) + f ( x ) =2 (1–x) – (1–x)4.
claim. Therefore, f (x) = cx with c = f (1).
Since f (1 – x) =2 x – x4– x2 f (x) by the
(continued on page 4) given equation, substituting this into the Check: For f (x) = cx with c∊ℚ ,
last equation and solving for f (x), we
f (x+y) = c(x+y) = cx + cy = f (x) + f (y).
Editors: 張 百 康 (CHEUNG Pak-Hong), Munsang College, HK get f (x) = 1– x2.

x f (x) + f (1–x) = x (1– x )+(1– (1– x) )
finish the problem by using the
= 2 x – x4.
Artist: 楊 秀 英 (YEUNG Sau-Ying Camille), MFA, CU following fact.
Acknowledgment: Thanks to Elina Chiu, Math. Dept., HKUST For certain types of functional equations, Density of Rational Numbers For every
for general assistance.
a standard approach to solving the real number x, there are rational
On-line: http://www.math.ust.hk/mathematical_excalibur/
problem is to determine some special numbers p1, p2, p3, … increase to x and
The editors welcome contributions from all teachers and values (such as f ( 0 ) or f ( 1 ) ), then there are rational numbers q1, q2, q3, …
students. With your submission, please include your name,
address, school, email, telephone and fax numbers (if available). inductively determine f ( n ) for n ∊ ℕ0, decrease to x.
Electronic submissions, especially in MS Word, are encouraged. follow by the values f ( 1 / n ) and use
This can be easily seen from the decimal
The deadline for receiving material for the next issue is density to find f ( x ) for all x ∊ ℝ. The
February 28, 2003. representation of real numbers. For
following are examples of such
For individual subscription for the next five issues for the 02-03 example, the number π = 3.1415… is the
academic year, send us five stamped self-addressed envelopes. approach.
limits of 3, 31/10, 314/100, 3141/1000,
Send all correspondence to:
31415/10000, … and also 4, 32/10,
Dr. Kin-Yin LI Example 2. Find all functions f : ℚ → ℚ
315/100, 3142/1000, 31416/10000, ….
Department of Mathematics such that the Cauchy equation
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong f(x+y)=f(x)+ f(y) (In passing, we remark that there is a
Fax: (852) 2358 1643 similar fact with rational numbers
Email: makyli@ust.hk holds for all x, y ∊ℚ.
replaced by irrational numbers.)
Mathematical Excalibur, Vol. 8, No. 1, Feb 03- Mar 03 Page 2

Example 3. Find all functions f (x + y) = f (x) + f (y) ≥ f (x), = f (x). Since f (x) is not the zero
f :ℝ→ℝ such that function, f (1) = 1. Setting z = 0, t = 0,
which implies f is increasing. Now for
we get f (x) f (y) = f (xy) for all x,y. In
f ( x + y) = f ( x ) + f ( y ) any x∊A∖ℚ, by the density of rational
particular, f (w) = f (w1/2)2 ≥ 0 for
for all x, y ∊ ℝ and f (x) ≥ 0 for x ≥ 0. numbers, there are pn, qn∊ℚ such that pn
w > 0.
< x < qn, the pn’s increase to x and the
Solution. Step 1 By example 2, we qn’s decrease to x. As f is increasing, we
Setting x = 0, y = 1 and t = 1, we have
have f (x) = x f (1) for x∊ℚ. have pn = f (pn) ≤ f (x) ≤ f (qn) = qn.
2 f (1) f (z) = f (−z) + f (z), which
Taking limits, the sandwich theorem
Step 2 If x ≥ y, then x – y ≥ 0. So implies f (z) = f (−z) for all z. So f is
gives f (x) = x for all x∊A.
even.
f (x) = f ((x–y)+y) = f (x–y)+f (y )≥ f (y).
Fact 2. If a function f : ( 0, ∞ ) → ℝ
Hence, f is increasing. Define the function g: (0, ∞) →ℝ by
satisfies f (xy) = f (x) f ( y) for all x, y >
g(w)= f (w1/2) ≥ 0. Then for all x,y>0,
Step 3 If x ∊ℝ, then by the density of 0 and f is monotone, then either f(x)=0
rational numbers, there are rational pn, for all x > 0 or there exists c such that g (xy) = f ((xy)1/2) = f (x1/2 y1/2)
qn such that pn ≤ x ≤ qn, the pn’s f (x) = xc for all x > 0. = f (x1/2) f (y1/2) = g (x) g (y).
increase to x and the qn’s decrease to x.
So by step 2, pn f (1) = f (pn) ≤ f (x) ≤ Proof. For x > 0, f (x) = f (x1/2)2 ≥ 0. Also Next f is even implies g (x2) = f (x) for
f (qn) = qn f (1). Taking limits, the f (1) = f (1) f (1) implies f (1) = 0 or 1. If all x. Setting z = y, t = x in the given
sandwich theorem gives f (x) = x f (1) f (1) = 0, then f (x) = f (x) f (1) = 0 for all equation, we get
for all x. Therefore, f (x) = cx with c ≥ 0. x > 0. If f (1) = 1, then f (x) > 0 for all x >
( g (x2) + g (y2) )2 = g ( (x2 + y2)2 )
The checking is as in example 2. 0 (since f (x) = 0 implies f (1) = f (x(1/x))
= g ( x2 + y2 )2
= f (x) f (1/x) = 0, which would lead to a
Remarks. (1) In example 3, if we contradiction). for all x,y. Taking square roots and
replace the condition that “f (x) ≥ 0 for letting a = x2, b = y2, we get g(a)+g (b)
x ≥ 0” by “f is monotone”, then the Define g: ℝ→ℝ by g (w) = ln f (ew ). = g(a+ b) for all a, b > 0.
answer is essentially the same, namely Then
f (x) = cx with c = f (1). Also if the By fact 1, we have g (w) = w for all w
g (x+y) = ln f (ex+y) = ln f (ex ey)
condition that “f (x) ≥ 0 for x ≥ 0” is > 0. Since f (0) = 0 and f is even, it
=ln f (ex) f (ey)
replaced by “f is continuous at 0”, then follows f (x) = g (x2) = x2 for all x.
= ln f (ex) + ln f (ey)
steps 2 and 3 in example 3 are not = g(x) + g(y).
necessary. We can take rational pn’s Check: If f (x) = x2, then the equation
increase to x and take limit of pn f (1) = Since f is monotone, it follows that g is reduces to
f (pn) = f (pn–x) + f (x) to get x f (1) = f (x) also monotone. Then g (w) = cw for all w.
(x2 + z2)(y2 + t2) = (xy−zt)2 + (xt+yz)2,
since pn–x increases to 0. Therefore, f (x) = xc for all x > 0.
which is a well known identity and
(2) The Cauchy equation f ( x + y ) = As an application of these facts, we look can easily be checked by expansion
f ( x ) + f ( y ) for all x, y ∊ ℝ has at the following example. or seen from | p |2 | q |2 = | pq |2, where
noncontinuous solutions (in particular, p = x + iz, q = y + it ∊ℂ.
solutions not of the form f (x) = cx). Example 4. (2002 IMO) Find all
This requires the concept of a Hamel functions f from the set ℝ of real The concept of fixed point of a
basis of the vector space ℝ over ℚ numbers to itself such that function is another useful idea in
from linear algebra. solving some functional equations.
( f (x) + f (z))( f (y) + f (t))
Its definition is very simple. We say
The following are some useful facts = f ( xy − zt ) + f ( xt + yz )
w is a fixed point of a function f if and
related to the Cauchy equation. for all x, y, z, t in ℝ. only if w is in the domain of f and
f (w) = w. Having information on the
Fact 1. Let A = ℝ, [0, ∞) or (0, ∞). If Solution. (Due to Yu Hok Pun, 2002 fixed points of functions often help to
f :A→ℝ satisfies f ( x + y ) = f ( x ) Hong Kong IMO team member, gold solve certain types of functional
+ f (y) and f (xy) = f (x) f (y) for all medalist) Suppose f (x) = c for all x. equations as the following examples
x, y ∊ A, then either f (x) = 0 for all x Then the equation implies 4c2 = 2c. So c will show.
∊ A or f (x) = x for all x ∊ A. can only be 0 or 1/2. Reversing steps, we
can also check f (x) = 0 for all x or f (x) = Example 5. (1983 IMO) Determine
Proof. By example 2, we have f (x) = 1/2 for all x are solutions. all functions f : ℝ+ → ℝ+ such that
f (1) x for all x∊ℚ. If f (1) = 0, then f ( x f (y) ) = y f (x) for all x, y ∊ ℝ+
f (x) = f (x·1) = f (x) f (1)=0 for all Suppose the equation is satisfied by a and as x → + ∞ , f (x) → 0.
x∊A. nonconstant function f. Setting x = 0 and
z = 0, we get 2 f (0) (f (y) + f(t)) = 2 f (0), Solution. Step 1 Taking x = 1 = y, we
Otherwise, we have f (1) ≠ 0. Since which implies f (0) = 0 or f (y) + f (t) = 1 get f ( f (1)) = f (1). Taking x = 1 and y
f (1) = f (1) f (1), we get f (1) = 1. for all y, t. In the latter case, setting y = t, = f (1), we get f ( f ( f (1))) = f (1)2.
Then f (x) = x for all x ∊ A ∩ ℚ. we get the constant function f (y) = 1/2 Then f (1)2 = f ( f ( f (1))) = f ( f (1)) =
for all y. Hence we may assume f (0) = 0. f (1), which implies f (1) = 1. So 1 is a
If y ≥ 0, then f (y) = f ( y1/2 )2 ≥ 0 and fixed point of f.
Setting y = 1, z = 0, t = 0, we get f (x) f (1) (continued on page 4)
Mathematical Excalibur, Vol. 8, No. 1, Feb 03- Mar 03 Page 3

Problem Corner In the last issue, problems 166, 167 and = ∠SRK imply ∆SMB ~ ∆SKR and
We welcome readers to submit their 169 were stated incorrectly. They are MB/KR = BS/RS. Replacing M by A and
solutions to the problems posed below revised as problems 171, 172, 173, K by Q, similarly ∆SAB ~ ∆SQR and
for publication consideration. The respectively. As the problems became AB/QR = BS/RS. Since AB = 2MB, we
solutions should be preceded by the easy due to the mistakes, we received get QR = 2KR. So K is the midpoint of
solver’s name, home (or email) address many solutions. Regretfully we do not QR.
and school affiliation. Please send have the space to print the names and
submissions to Dr. Kin Y. Li, affiliations of all solvers. We would like to Problem 169. 300 apples are given, no
Department of Mathematics, The Hong apologize for this.
one of which weighs more than 3 times
Kong University of Science &
Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon. any other. Show that the apples may be
Problem 166. Let a, b, c be positive
The deadline for submitting solutions integers, [x] denote the greatest integer divided into groups of 4 such that no
is February 28, 2003. less than or equal to x and min{x,y} group weighs more than 11/2 times any
denote the minimum of x and y. Prove or other group.
Problem 171. (Proposed by Ha Duy disprove that
Solution. Almost all solvers used the
Hung, Hanoi University of Education,
c [a/b] – [c/a] [c/b] ≤ c min{1/a, 1/b}. following argument. Let m and M be
Hanoi City, Vietnam) Let a, b, c be
the weights of the lightest and heaviest
positive integers, [x] denote the Solution. Over 30 solvers disproved the
apple(s). Then 3m≥ M. If the problem
greatest integer less than or equal to x inequality by providing different counter-
is false, then there are two groups A
and min{x,y} denote the minimum of x examples, such as (a, b, c) = (3, 2, 1).
and B with weights wA and wB such that
and y. Prove or disprove that
(11/2) wB < wA. Since 4m≤ wB and wA ≤
Problem 167. Find all positive integers
 c   c c  1 1 4M, we get (11/2)4m < 4M implying
c
ab  −  a   b  ≤ c min  a , b  . such that they are equal to the sum of their
       digits in base 10 representation. 3m≤ (11/2)m < M , a contradiction.

## Solution. Over 30 solvers sent in solutions Problem 170. (Proposed by

Problem 172. (Proposed by José Luis similar to the following. For a positive Abderrahim Ouardini, Nice, France)
Díaz-Barrero, Universitat Politècnica integer N with digits an, … , a0 (from left For any (nondegenerate) triangle with
to right), we have sides a, b, c, let ∑’ h (a, b, c) denote the
de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain) Find
all positive integers such that they are N = an 10n + an−1 10n−1 + ⋯ + a0 sum h (a, b, c) + h (b, c, a )+ h (c, a, b).
equal to the square of the sum of their ≥ an + an−1 + ⋯ + a0 Let f (a, b, c) = ∑’ ﴾a / (b + c – a)﴿2 and
digits in base 10 representation. g (a, b, c) =∑’ j(a, b, c), where j(a,b,c)=
because 10k > 1 for k> 0. So equality holds (b + c – a) / ( c + a − b )( a + b − c ) .
if and only if an=an−1=⋯=a1=0. Hence,
Problem 173. 300 apples are given, Show that f (a, b, c)≥ max{3,g(a, b, c)}
N=1, 2, …, 9 are the only solutions.
no one of which weighs more than 3 and determine when equality occurs.
times any other. Show that the apples (Here max{x,y} denotes the maximum
Problem 168. Let AB and CD be of x and y.)
may be divided into groups of 4 such nonintersecting chords of a circle and let
that no group weighs more than 3/2 K be a point on CD. Construct (with Solution. CHUNG Ho Yin (STFA
times any other group. straightedge and compass) a point P on Leung Kau Kui College, Form 6),
CHUNG Tat Chi (Queen Elizabeth
the circle such that K is the midpoint of the School, Form 6), D. Kipp JOHNSON
Problem 174. Let M be a point inside part of segment CD lying inside triangle (Valley Catholic High School,
acute triangle ABC. Let A′, B′, C′ be the ABP. (Source: 1997 Hungarian Math Beaverton, Oregon, USA), LEE Man
mirror images of M with respect to BC, Olympiad) Fui (STFA Leung Kau Kui College,
CA, AB, respectively. Determine (with Form 6), Antonio LEI (Colchester
Solution. SIU Tsz Hang (STFA Leung Kau Royal Grammar School, UK, Year 13),
proof) all points M such that A, B, C, A′, Kui College, Form 7) SIU Tsz Hang (STFA Leung Kau Kui
B′, C′ are concyclic. College, Form 7), TAM Choi Nang
Draw the midpoint M of AB. If AB || CD, Julian (SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary
Problem 175. A regular polygon with then draw ray MK to intersect the circle at P. School) and WONG Wing Hong (La
Let AP, BP intersect CD at Q,R, respectively. Salle College, Form 5).
n sides is divided into n isosceles
triangles by segments joining its center Since AB || QR, ∆ABP ~ ∆QRP. Then M Let x = b + c − a, y = c + a − b and z = a +
to the vertices. Initially, n + 1 frogs are being the midpoint of AB will imply K is the b − c. Then a = (y + z)/2, b = (z + x)/2 and
placed inside the triangles. At every midpoint of QR. c = (x + y)/2.
second, there are two frogs in some Substituting these and using the AM-GM
common triangle jumping into the If AB intersects CD at E, then draw the
inequality, the rearrangement inequality
interior of the two neighboring circumcircle of EMK meeting the original
and the AM-GM inequality again, we find
triangles (one frog into each neighbor). circle at S and S′. Draw the circumcircle of
Prove that after some time, at every BES meeting CD at R. Draw the f ( a, b, c )
second, there are at least [ (n + 1) / 2 ] circumcircle of AES meeting CD at Q. Let 2
triangles, each containing at least one  y + z 
2
 z + x   x + y 
2
AQ, BR meet at P. Since ∠PBS = ∠RBS = =   +   +  
frog.  2x   2y  2z 
∠RES = ∠QES = ∠QAS = ∠PAS, P is on 

## ***************** the original circle.  

2
 
2
 
2
yz zx xy
≥   +   + 
Solutions Next, ∠SMB = ∠SME = ∠SKE = ∠SKR 
 x 
  y 

 z 

**************** and ∠SBM = 180° − ∠SBE = 180° − ∠SRE
Mathematical Excalibur, Vol. 8, No. 1, Feb 03- Mar 03 Page 4

## have any fixed point x in (0,1). = f ( f (m) ) + f (n) .

yz zx zx xy xy yz
≥ + +
xy yz zx Other than the fixed point concept, in
Step 5 Steps 1, 3, 4 showed the only fixed
solving functional equations, the
x y z point of f is 1. By step 2, we get x f (x) = 1
= + + = g (a, b, c) injectivity and surjectivity of the
for all x ∊ ℝ+. Therefore, f (x) = 1 / x for
yz zx xy functions also provide crucial
all x ∊ ℝ+.
informations.
xyz
≥ 33 = 3. Check: For f (x) = 1/x, f (x f (y)) = f (x/y) =
yz zx xy Example 7. (1987 IMO) Prove that
y/x =y f (x). As x →∞ , f (x) = 1/x → 0.
there is no function f: ℕ0 → ℕ0 such
So f (a,b,c)≥ g(a,b,c) = max{3,g(a,b,c)} that f ( f (n)) = n + 1987.
with equality if and only if x = y = z, Example 6. (1996 IMO) Find all functions f :
which is the same as a = b = c. ℕ0 → ℕ0 such that
Solution. Suppose there is such a
f ( m + f (n) ) = f ( f (m) ) + f (n) function f. Then f is injective because
f (a) = f (b) implies
for all m, n∊ℕ0.
a = f ( f (a))−1987 = f ( f (b))−1987 = b.
Olympiad Corner Solution. Step 1 Taking m = 0 = n, we get
f ( f (0)) = f ( f (0) ) + f (0), which implies Suppose f (n) misses exactly k distinct
(continued from page 1) f (0) = 0. Taking m = 0, we get f ( f ( n )) = values c1, … , ck in ℕ0 , i.e. f (n)≠ c1, …,
f (n), i.e. f (n) is a fixed point of f for every ck for all n∊ ℕ0. Then f ( f ( n )) misses
Problem 3. If a ≥ b ≥ c ≥ 0 and a + b +
n ∊ℕ0. Also the equation becomes the 2k distinct values c1, …, ck and
c =3, then prove that ab2 + bc2 + ca2 ≤ f ( m + f (n) ) = f (m) + f (n). f (c1), …, f (ck) in ℕ0. (The f (cj)’s are
27/8 and determine the equality distinct because f is injective.) Now if
case(s). Step 2 If w is a fixed point of f, then we w≠ c1, … , ck, f (c1), … , f (ck), then
will show kw is a fixed point of f for all k there is m ∊ ℕ0 such that f (m) = w.
Problem 4. Let p be an odd prime ∊ℕ0. The cases k = 0, 1 are known. If kw Since w≠ f (cj), m≠ cj, so there is n ∊
is a fixed point, then f ((k + 1) w) = f ( kw + ℕ0 such that f (n) = m, then f ( f (n)) = w.
such that p ≡ 1 (mod 4). Evaluate
w ) = f ( kw ) + f (w) = kw + w = (k + 1) w This shows f ( f (n)) misses only the 2k
(with reason) and so (k + 1) w is also a fixed point. values c1, … , ck, f (c1), … , f (ck) and no
p −1 others. Since n + 1987 misses the 1987
2 k2  Step 3 If 0 is the only fixed point of f, then values 0, 1, …, 1986 and 2k ≠ 1987,
∑  ,
f (n) = 0 for all n ∊ℕ0 by step 1. Obviously,
k =1  p  this is a contradiction.
the zero function is a solution.
where {x} = x − [x], [x] being the Example 8. (1999 IMO) Determine all
greatest integer not exceeding x. Otherwise, f has a least fixed point w > 0. functions f : ℝ → ℝ such that
We will show the only fixed points are kw,
f (x − f (y)) = f (f (y)) + x f (y) + f (x) − 1
k∊ℕ0. Suppose x is a fixed point. By the
division algorithm, x = kw + r, where 0≤ r for all x, y ∊ ℝ.
<w. We have
Functional Equations Solution. Let c = f (0). Setting x = y = 0,
x = f (x) = f (r + kw) = f (r + f (kw)) we get f (−c) = f (c) + c − 1. So c≠ 0.
(continued from page 2)
= f (r) + f (kw) = f (r) + kw. Let A be the range of f, then for x = f (y)
Step 2 Taking y = x, we get f ( x f ( x)) = ∊ A, we get c = f (0) = f (x) + x2 + f (x) −
So f (r) = x − kw = r. Since w is the least
x f (x). So w = x f (x) is a fixed point of f 1. Solving for f (x), this gives f (x) =
positive fixed point, r = 0 and x = kw.
for every x ∊ ℝ+. ( c + 1 − x2 ) / 2 .
Since f (n) is a fixed point for all n ∊ℕ0 by Next, if we set y = 0, we get
Step 3 Suppose f has a fixed point x > 1. step 1, f (n) = cnw for some cn ∊ ℕ0. We
By step 2, x f (x) = x2 is also a fixed { f (x − c) − f (x) : x ∊ ℝ }
have c0 = 0.
point, x2 f (x2) = x4 is also a fixed point = { cx + f ( c ) − 1 : x ∊ ℝ } = ℝ
and so on. So the xm’s are fixed points Step 4 For n∊ℕ0, by the division because c≠ 0. Then A − A = { y1 − y2 :
for every m that is a power of 2. Since x algorithm, n = kw + r, 0 ≤ r < w. We have y1, y2 ∊ A} = ℝ.
> 1, for m ranging over the powers of 2,
we have xm → ∞, but f (xm) = xm → ∞ , f (n) = f (r + kw) = f (r + f (kw))
Now for an arbitrary x∊ℝ, let y1, y2∊A
not to 0. This contradicts the given = f (r) + f (kw) = crw + kw
be such that y1 − y2 = x. Then
property. Hence, f cannot have any = (cr+ k) w = (cr + [n/w]) w.
fixed point x > 1. f (x)= f (y1−y2) = f (y2) + y1y2 + f (y1) − 1
Check: For each w > 0, let c0 = 0 and let
= (c+1−y22)/2+y1y2+(c+1−y12)/2 −1
c1. …, cw−1 ∊ℕ0 be arbitrary. The function
Step 4 Suppose f has a fixed point x in = c − ( y1−y2)2/2 = c − x2/2.
f(n)=(cr+[n/w])w, where r is the remainder
the interval (0,1). Then of n divided by w, (and the zero function) However, for x∊A, f (x) = (c + 1 − x2)/2.
1 = f ((1/x) x) = f ((1/x) f (x)) = x f (1/ x), are all the solutions. Write m = kw + r and So c = 1. Therefore, f (x) = 1 − x2/2 for
n = lw + s with 0≤ r, s < w. Then all x ∊ℝ.
which implies f (1 / x) = 1 / x. This will
lead to f having a fixed point 1 / x > 1, f (m + f (n)) = f (r + kw + (cs + l) w) Check: For f (x) = 1 − x2/2, both sides
contradicting step 3. Hence, f cannot = crw + kw + csw + lw equal 1/2 + y2/2 − y4/8 + x−xy2/2 − x2/2.
The Fifth Hong Kong (China) Mathematical Olympiad Solutions

December 2 1,2002 1.

## Each problem is worth 7 marks

Two circles intersect at points A and B. Through the point B a straight line is drawn,
intersecting the first circle at K and the second circle at A4. A line parallel to AM is
tangent to the first circle at Q. The line AQ intersects the second circle again at R.

(a) Prove that the tangent to the second circle at R is parallel to AK.
(b) Prove that these two tangents are concurrent with KM.

## Let n 2 3 be an integer. In a conference there are n mathematicians. Every pair of

mathematicians communicate in one of the n official languages of the conference. For
any three different official languages, there exist three mathematicians who
communicate with each other in these three languages. Determine all n for which this
is possible. Justify your claim.
(a) (Siu Tsz Hang) Let PR be the tangent to the second circle at R. Join AB and MR. We
have LARP = LMRP + LARM = LMAR + LABK = LLQA + LABK
If aZb>c>O and atbtc=3,thenprove that ab2+bc2+ca2<y and determine
= LQBA+ LABK = 180” - LK4Q. Thus AKIIPR, i.e., the tangent to the second
the equalities case(s j. circle at R is parallel to AK.

## where (x) =x-[xl,

Evaluate with reasons,

## [x] being the greatest integer not exceeding x.

I, (b) Let the two tangents meet at J. Note that LBRP = LBAR = LBQJ
property). Thus BJRQ is cyclic. On the other hand, by (a) LKBQ = LaQJ.
means BMproduced will meet PR at J.
(tangent
This

2. (Yu Hok Pun) It is possible if and only if n is odd. The problem is equivalent to color
the edges of K,, by n colors, and such that for any three colors, there exist three
***End of Paper*** vertices such that their edges are of these three colors. Now notice that there are CT
triples of colors and there are C; triples of vertices, that means for the edges each
triple of vertices they must be colored by a unique triple of colors, and vice versa. In
particular for every triangle, the edges must be of different colors. Now fix a color S,
there exist exactly C,"-'
triangles with one edge of color S. Yet an edge of color S is
connected with n -2 vertices (hence they form n - 2 triangles). Therefore there are
c;-’ n-l
- =2 edges of color S. Now the condition that y is an integer cannot be
n-2
fulfilled if n is even.

2
Assume n is odd, denote the vertices by 1,2, e.. , n and the colors by S1,S, , . en,S, . Color b= 3(x+39 , c_ 3x By expressing a, b, and c in terms of x, y, and z , get
the edge connecting i andj by the color St with t = i + j (mod n). Then for every triple 3x+2y+z - 3x+2y+z’

of colors S,, , S(, , and St, the system 3x3 + z3 + 6x2y + 4xy2 + 3x2z + xz2 + 4y2z + 6yz2 + 18~72 2 0. As x, y, z 2 0, equality

## i+ j=ttl (rnodn) holds if and only if x = z = 0, andhence c=O, a=b=S.

j+k = t, (modn)
k+i = t, (modn)
4. First note that (-k)’ = (p - k)2 = k2 (modp). Also if x2 = y2(tnodp), where
has a unique solution, as the determinant of the coefficient matrix
llx,yl-- P-l then (x-y)(x+y) = 0 (modp). But 1~ x+y < p, hence x = y. These
110 110 110 2 ’
0 1 1= 0 1 1= 0 1 1 = 2 f 0, since n is odd. Therefore for each triple of
imply is a reduced residue system modulo p. Now since
1 0 1 0 -1 1 0 0 2
colors, there exists a unique triangle with edges of these colors.
p = 1(mod 4), by Euler’s criterion, = 1, hence -1 is a square. Because
3. Let f(a, b, c) = ab2 + bc2 + ca2. Then
f(a,b, c) + f(a, c,b) = ab2 + bc2 + cu2 + UC’ + cb2 + ba2 (\$j=(;)(;).thus b is a square if and only if -b = p-b (modp) is. Therefore
=(a+b+c)(ab+bci-ca)-3abc
= 3(ab + bc + ca - abc)
the set {12,22,..., consists of pairs {a,,~-a,,a,,p -a2,...,ap_,,p-a,_l}
= 3[(1- a)(1 - b)(l - c) + (a + b + c) - 11 -7 -7
= 3(1- a)(1 - b)(l - c) + 6.
modulop. As l<a,,p-a, <p, we have {4)+{p-a,)=a’+p-ai = 1, thus the sum
Since a>b>c>O,wehave cllla and b<z, P P P
is P-l
If bll, then (l-a)(l-b)(l-c)_<O sothat f&b,c)+f(a,c,b)<6. 4 *

If l<b<G, then

*“*End*“”
(1- a)(1 - b)(l - c) 5 (a - l)(b - 1) I = f so that

3 27
f (a, b, 4 + f (a, c, b) 5 6 - = -. Note that equality holds if and only if c = 0 and
4 4

Now fi,c,b)-f(a,b,c)=(a-b)(b-c)(a-c)>O,

## Equality holds if and only if c = 0 and a = b = +.

a-b
(AlternateSolutionbyYuHokPun)Put ~=~,y=~,,z=~.Then x+y+,z=:,

b 3(x+y+z)
x+y=-, x=5 Add together get 3x + 2y + z = 1. Thus a =
3 3 3x+2y+z ’