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Volume 13, Number 4 November-December, 2008

Olympiad Corner Double Counting

The following were the problems of
the Hong Kong Team Selection Test 2, Law Ka Ho, Leung Tat Wing and Li Kin Yin
which was held on November 8, 2008
There are often different ways to The simplest combinatorial identity
for the 2009 IMO.
count a quantity. By counting it in two is perhaps Crn = Cnn− r . While this can be
Problem 1. Let f:Z→Z (Z is the set of ways (i.e. double counting), we thus verified algebraically, we can give a
all integers) be such that f(1) = 1, f(2) = obtain the same quantity in different proof in a more combinatorial flavour:
20, f(−4) = −4 and forms. This often yields interesting to choose r objects out of n, it is
equalities and inequalities. We begin equivalent to choosing n − r objects out
f(x+y) = f(x) + f(y) + axy(x+y) + bxy
with some simple examples. of n to be discarded. There are Crn
+ c(x+y) + 4
ways to do the former and Cnn− r ways to
for all x,y ∊Z, where a, b and c are Below we will use the notation do the latter. So the two quantities must
certain constants. Crn = n!/( r!(n − r )!). be equal.
(a) Find a formula for f(x), where x is Example 1. (IMO HK Prelim 2003)
any integer. Fifteen students join a summer course. Example 3. Interpret the following
Every day, three students are on duty equalities from a combinatorial point of
(b) If f(x) ≥ mx2 + (5m+1)x + 4m for all view:
after school to clean the classroom.
non-negative integers x, find the greatest
After the course, it was found that every (a) Ckn = Ckn−−11 + Ckn −1
possible value of m.
pair of students has been on duty
(b) C1n + 2C2n + L + nCnn = n ⋅ 2n −1
Problem 2. Define a k-clique to be a set together exactly once. How many days
of k people such that every pair of them does the course last for?
Solution. (a) On one hand, the number
know each other (knowing is mutual). Solution. Let the answer be k. We of ways to choose k objects out of n
At a certain party, there are two or more count the total number of pairs of objects is C kn . On the other hand, we
3-cliques, but no 5-clique. Every pair of students were on duty together in the k may count by including the first object
3-cliques has at least one person in days. Since every pair of students was or not. If we include the first object, we
common. Prove that there exist at least on duty together exactly once, this is need to choose k − 1 objects from the
one, and not more than two persons at equal to C215 × 1 = 105 . On the other remaining n − 1 objects and there are
the party, whose departure (or hand, since 3 students were on duty per Ckn−−11 ways to do so.
simultaneous departure) leaves no day, this is also equal to C23 × k = 3k .
3-clique remaining. Hence 3k = 105 and so k = 35. If we do not include the first object, we
(continued on page 4) need to choose k objects from the
Editors: 張 百 康 (CHEUNG Pak-Hong), Munsang College, HK
Example 2. (IMO 1987) Let pn (k ) be remaining n − 1 objects and there are
高 子 眉 (KO Tsz-Mei) the number of permutations of the set Ckn −1 ways to do so. Hence
梁 達 榮 (LEUNG Tat-Wing) {1, 2, …, n}, n ≥ 1 , which have exactly Ckn = Ckn−−11 + Ckn −1 .
李 健 賢 (LI Kin-Yin), Dept. of Math., HKUST k fixed points. Prove that
吳 鏡 波 (NG Keng-Po Roger), ITC, HKPU n
(b) Suppose that from a set of n people,
Artist: 楊 秀 英 (YEUNG Sau-Ying Camille), MFA, CU ∑ k ⋅ p (k ) = n ! .
k =0
we want to form a committee with a
Acknowledgment: Thanks to Elina Chiu, Math. Dept.,
HKUST for general assistance. (Remark: A permutation f of a set S is a chairman of the committee. On one
one-to-one mapping of S onto itself. An hand, there are n ways to choose a
On-line: element i in S is called a fixed point of chairman, and for each of the remaining
The editors welcome contributions from all teachers and the permutation f if f (i ) = i .) n − 1 persons we may or may not
students. With your submission, please include your name, include him in the committee. Hence
address, school, email, telephone and fax numbers (if Solution. Note that the left hand side of there are n ⋅ 2n −1 ways to finish the task.
available). Electronic submissions, especially in MS Word,
are encouraged. The deadline for receiving material for the
the equality is the total number of fixed
next issue is January 10, 2009. points in all permutations of {1,2,…, n}. On the other hand, we may choose k
For individual subscription for the next five issues for the To show that this number is equal to n!, people to form a committee (1≤ k ≤ n),
05-06 academic year, send us five stamped self-addressed note that there are (n − 1)! permutations which can be done in Ckn ways, and for
envelopes. Send all correspondence to:
of {1, 2, …, n} fixing 1, (n − 1)! each of these ways there are k ways to
Dr. Kin-Yin LI
Department of Mathematics
permutations fixing 2, and so on, and select the chairman. Hence the number
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (n − 1)! permutations fixing n. It of ways to finish the task is also equal to
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong follows that the total number of fixed
Fax: (852) 2358 1643 points in all permutations is equal to C 1n + 2 C 2n + L + nC nn .
n ⋅ (n − 1)! = n ! .
Mathematical Excalibur, Vol. 13, No. 4, Nov.-Dec. 08 Page 2

Example 4. (IMO 1989) Let n and k be

( xi + yi ) 2 / 2 xi + yi S ≤ 2007000+2007000=4014000,
positive integers and let S be a set of n ≥ −
points in the plane such that: 2 2
a contradiction.
(i) no three points of S are collinear, 1 2 n 1⎡
n − = ( n − 1) − 1⎤ .
and 4 2 4⎣ ⎦ Example 7. (2004 IMO Shortlisted
Problem) There are 10001 students at a
(ii) for every point P of S, there are at Since n is odd and C 2xi + C 2yi is an university. Some students join together
least k points of S equidistant from P. integer, it is at least (n − 1)2/4. to form several clubs (a student may
belong to different clubs). Some clubs
Prove that k < 1 + 2n . On the other hand, there are n judges and
join together to form several societies (a
2 each pair of judges agree on at most k
contestants. Hence the number of pairs of club may belong to different societies).
Solution. Solving for n, the desired There are a total of k societies. Suppose
judges who agree on a certain contestant is
inequality is equivalent to n > k(k−1)/2 n the following conditions hold:
at most kC2 . Thus,
+ 1/8. Since n and k are positive
integers, this is equivalent to n − 1 ≥ m
m(n − 1) 2 (i) Each pair of students is in exactly
kC2n ≥ ∑ (C2xi + C2yi ) ≥ , one club.
C 2k . Now we join any two vertices of i =1 4
S by an edge and count the number of (ii) For each student and each society,
which can be simplified to obtain the
edges in two ways. the student is in exactly one club of the
desired result.
On one hand, we have C 2n edges. On
Some combinatorial problems in (iii) Each club has an odd number of
the other hand, from any point of S
mathematical competitions can be solved students. In addition, a club with 2m+1
there are at least k points equidistant
by double counting certain ordered triples. students (m is a positive integer) is in
from it. Hence if we draw a circle with
The following are two such examples. exactly m societies.
the point as centre and with the
distance as radius then there are at least Find all possible values of k.
Example 6. (CHKMO 2007) In a school
C 2k chords as edges. The total number
there are 2007 male and 2007 female
of such chords, counted with Solution. An ordered triple (a, C, S) will
students. Each student joins not more
multiplicities, is at least nC 2k . Any be called acceptable if a is a student, C
than 100 clubs in the school. It is known
two circles can have at most one
that any two students of opposite genders is a club and S is a society such that a∊C
common chord and hence there could
have joined at least one common club. and C∊S. We will count the number of
be a maximum C 2n chords (for every acceptable ordered triples in two ways.
Show that there is a club with at least 11
possible pairs of circles) counted twice.
male and 11 female members.
Therefore, On one hand, for every student a and
nC − C ≤ C ,
k n n
Solution. Assume on the contrary that society S, by (ii), there is a unique club
2 2 2
every club either has at most 10 male C such that (a, C, S) is acceptable.
which simplifies to n − 1 ≥ C 2k . (Note members or at most 10 female members. Hence, there are 10001k acceptable
that collinearity was not needed.) We shall get a contradiction via double ordered triples.
counting certain ordered triples.
Example 5. (IMO 1998) In a On the other hand, for every club C, let
competition, there are m contestants Let S be the number of ordered triples of the number of members in C be denoted
and n judges, where n ≥ 3 is an odd the form (m, f, c), where m denotes a male by |C|. By (iii), C is in exactly (|C|−1)/2
integer. Each judge rates each student, f denotes a female student and c societies. So there are |C|(|C|−1)/2
contestant as either “pass” or “fail”. denotes a club. On one hand, since any acceptable ordered triples with C as the
Suppose k is a number such that, for two students of opposite genders have second coordinates. Let Γ be the set of
any two judges, their ratings coincide joined at least one common club, we have all clubs. Hence, there are
for at most k contestants. Prove that
S ≥ 2007 2 = 4028049 . | C | (| C | −2)
k n −1
≥ .

C∈Γ 2
m 2n On the other hand, we can consider two
types of clubs: let X be the set of clubs acceptable ordered triples. By (i), this is
Solution. We begin by considering
with at most 10 male members, and Y be equal to the number of pairs of students,
pairs of judges who agree on certain
the set of clubs with at least 11 male which is 10001×5000. Therefore,
contestants. We study this from two
members (and hence at most 10 female | C | (| C | −2)
members). Note that there are at most 10001k = ∑
C∈Γ 2
For contestant i, 1≤ i ≤ m, suppose 10×2007×100=2007000 triples (m, f, c)
there are xi judges who pass him, and yi with c ∈ X , because there are 2007 = 10001×5000,
judges who fail him. On one hand, the choices for f, then at most 100 choices for
number of pairs of judges who agree on c (each student joins at most 100 clubs), which implies k = 5000.
him is and then at most 10 choices for m (each
club c ∈ X has at most 10 male
xi2 − xi + yi2 − yi members). In exactly the same way, we
C2xi + C2y i = can show that there are at most 2007000
2 (continued on page 4)
triples (m, f, c) with c ∈ Y . This gives
Mathematical Excalibur, Vol. 13, No. 4, Nov.-Dec. 08 Page 3

Solution. G.R.A. 20 Problem Solving D`Elhuyar, Spain), G.R.A. 20 Problem

Problem Corner Group (Roma, Italy) and LKL Problem Solving Group (Roma, Italy), Ozgur
Solving Group (Madam Lau Kam Lung KIRCAK and Bojan JOVESKI
(Jahja Kemal College, Skopje,
We welcome readers to submit their Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist Macedonia), LKL Problem Solving
solutions to the problems posed below Monastery). Group (Madam Lau Kam Lung
for publication consideration. The Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist
For such an integer n, we will say cubes Monastery), NG Ngai Fung (STFA
solutions should be preceded by the Leung Kau Kui College, Form 6), O
solver’s name, home (or email) address are n-decomposable. Let r-cube mean a Kin Chit Alex (G.T. Ellen Yeung
and school affiliation. Please send cube with sidelength r. If a r-cube C is College) and Fai YUNG.
submissions to Dr. Kin Y. Li, n-decomposable, then we can first
decompose C into 8 r/2-cubes and then For such polynomial f(x), let k be
Department of Mathematics, The Hong
decompose one of these r/2-cubes into n largest such that ak≠0. Then
Kong University of Science &
cubes to get a total of n+7 cubes so that C
Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, f (x) f (2x2 ) = a02 2n x3n +L+ ak2 2n−k x3(n−k) ,
Hong Kong. The deadline for sending is (n+7)-decomposable.
solutions is January 10, 2009. f (2 x3 + x) = a0 2n x3n + L + ak xn − k ,
Let C be a 1-cube. All we need to show is where the terms are ordered by
Problem 311. Let S = {1,2,…,2008}. C is n-decomposable for 48 ≤ n ≤ 54. decreasing degrees. This can happen
Prove that there exists a function only if n − k = 0. So f(0) = an ≠ 0.
For n=48, decompose C to 27 1/3-cubes
f : S → {red, white, blue, green} such Assume f (x) has a real root x0 ≠ 0. The
and then decompose 3 of these, each into 8
that there does not exist a 10-term equation f (x) f (2x2) = f (2x3+x) implies
arithmetic progression a1,a2,…,a10 in S that if xn is a real root, then
satisfying f(a1) = f(a2) = ⋯ = f(a10). For n=49, cut C by two planes parallel to xn +1 = 2 xn3 + xn is also a real root.
the bottom at height 1/2 and 1/6 from the Since this sequence is strictly
Problem 312. Let x, y, z > 1. Prove bottom, which can produce 4 1/2-cubes at monotone, this implies f(x) has
that the top layer, 9 1/3-cubes in the middle infinitely many real roots, which is a
x4 y4 z4 layer and 36 1/6-cubes at the bottom layer. contradiction.
+ + ≥ 48.
( y − 1) 2
( z − 1) 2
( x − 1) 2 For n=50, decompose C to 8 1/2-cubes Commended solvers: Simon YAU Chi
and then decompose 6 of these, each into 8 Keung (City U).
Problem 313. In Δ ABC, AB < AC 1/4-cubes.
and O is its circumcenter. Let the Problem 308. Determine (with proof)
For n=51, decompose C into 8 1/2-cubes,
tangent at A to the circumcircle cut line the greatest positive integer n >1 such
then take 3 of these 1/2-cubes on the top
BC at D. Let the perpendicular lines to that the system of equations
half to form a L-shaped prism and cut out
line BC at B and C cut the (x +1)2 + y12 = (x + 2)2 + y22 = L= (x + n)2 + yn2.
5 1/3-cubes and 41 1/6-cubes.
perpendicular bisectors of sides AB and
AC at E and F respectively. Prove that For n=52, decompose C into 1 3/4-cube has an integral solution (x,y1, y2, ⋯, yn).
D, E, F are collinear. and 37 1/4-cubes, then decompose 2 Solution. Glenier L. BELLO-
1/4-cubes, each into 8 1/8-cubes. BURGUET (I.E.S. Hermanos
Problem 314. Determine all positive D`Elhuyar, Spain), Ozgur KIRCAK
For n=53, decompose C to 27 1/3-cubes and Bojan JOVESKI (Jahja Kemal
integers x, y, z satisfying x3 − y3 = z2, College, Skopje, Macedonia) and LKL
where y is a prime, z is not divisible by and then decompose 1 of these into 27 Problem Solving Group (Madam Lau
3 and z is not divisible by y. 1/9-cubes. Kam Lung Secondary School of Miu
Fat Buddhist Monastery).
For n=54, decompose C into 8 1/2-cubes,
Problem 315. Each face of 8 unit then take 2 of the adjacent 1/2-cubes, We will show the greatest such n is 3.
cubes is painted white or black. Let n which form a 1×1/2×1/2 box, from which For n = 3, (x, y1, y2, y3) = (−2, 0, 1, 0) is a
be the total number of black faces. we can cut 2 3/8-cubes, 4 1/4-cubes and solution. For n ≥ 4, assume the system
Determine the values of n such that in 42 1/8-cubes. has an integral solution. Since x+1,
every way of coloring n faces of the 8 x+2, …, x+n are of alternate parity, so
unit cubes black, there always exists a Comments: Interested readers may find y1, y2, …, yn are also of alternate parity.
way of stacking the 8 unit cubes into a more information on this problem by Since n ≥ 4, yk is even for k = 2 or 3.
2×2×2 cube C so the numbers of black visiting and by Consider
squares and white squares on the searching for Cube Dissection . (x+k −1)2 + yk2−1 =(x−k)2 + yk2 =(x+k +1)2 + yk2+1.
surface of C are the same.
The double of the middle expression
Problem 307. Let
***************** equals the sum of the left and right
Solutions f (x) = a0xn + a1xn−1 + ⋯ + an expressions. Eliminating common
be a polynomial with real coefficients terms in that equation, we get
such that a0 ≠ 0 and for all real x, 2 yk2 = yk2−1 + yk2+1 + 2. (*)
Problem 306. Prove that for every Now yk−1 and yk+1 are odd. Then the left
f (x) f (2x2) = f (2x3+x).
integer n ≥ 48, every cube can be side of (*) is 0 (mod 8), but the right
decomposed into n smaller cubes, Prove that f(x) has no real root. side is 4 (mod 8), a contradiction.
where every pair of these small cubes Solution. José Luis DÍAZ-BARRERO
does not have any common interior (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Commended solvers: O Kin Chit Alex
point and has possibly different Barcelona, Spain), Glenier L. (G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College), Raúl A.
BELLO-BURGUET (I.E.S. Hermanos SIMON (Santiago, Chile) and Simon
Mathematical Excalibur, Vol. 13, No. 4, Nov.-Dec. 08 Page 4

YAU Chi Keung (City U). Problem 310. (Due to Pham Van Thuan) Olympiad Corner
Prove that if p, q are positive real numbers (continued from page 1)
Problem 309. In acute triangle ABC, such that p + q = 2, then
AB > AC. Let H be the foot of the
3pqqp + ppqq ≤ 4. Problem 3. Prove that there are
perpendicular from A to BC and M be
infinitely many primes p such that Np =
the midpoint of AH. Let D be the point
p2, where Np is the total number of
where the incircle of ∆ABC is tangent Solution 1. Proposer’s Solution.
solutions to the equation
to side BC. Let line DM intersect the As p, q > 0 and p + q = 2, we may assume
incircle again at N. Prove that ∠ BND 2 > p ≥ 1 ≥ q > 0. Applying Bernoulli’s 3x3+4y3+5z3−y4z ≡ 0 (mod p).
= ∠ CND. inequality, which asserts that if x > −1 and
Problem 4. Two circles C1, C2 with
Solution. r∊ [0,1], then 1+rx ≥ (1+x)r, we have
different radii are given in the plane,
A pp = ppp−1 ≥ p(1+(p−1)2) = p(p2−2p+2), they touch each other externally at T.
qq ≤ 1+q(q−1) = 1+(2−p)(1−p) = p2−3p+3, Consider any points A∊C1 and B∊C2,
pq ≤1+q(p−1)=1+(2−p)(p−1) = −p2+3p−1, both different from T, such that ∠ ATB
qp = qqp−1 ≤ q(1+(p−1)(q−1)) = p(2−p)2. = 90°.
Then (a) Show that all such lines AB are
B 3pqqp + ppqq −4 concurrent.
≤ 3(−p2+3p−1)p(2−p)2
(b) Find the locus of midpoints of all
+p(p2−2p+2)(p2−3p+3) − 4
such segments AB.
= −2p5+16p4 −40p3+36p2 −6p −4
= −2(p −1)2(p −2)((p −2)2 −5) ≤ 0.
Let I be the center of the incircle. Let
the perpendicular bisector of segment (To factor with p−1 and p−2 was
BC cut BC at K and cut line DM at P. suggested by the observation that (p,q) = Double Counting
To get the conclusion, it is enough to (1,1) and (p,q) → (2,0) lead to equality
cases.) (continued from page 2)
show DN·DP=DB·DC (which implies
B,P,C,N are concyclic and since PB = Comments: The case r = m/n∊ℚ∩[0,1]
PC, that will imply ∠ BND = ∠ CND). Example 8. (2003 IMO Shortlisted
of Bernoulli’s inequality follows by Problem) Let x1, …, xn and y1, …, yn be
applying the AM-GM inequality to real numbers. Let A =(aij)1≤i,j≤n be the
Let sides BC=a, CA=b and AB=c. Let a1,…,an, where a1 = ⋯ = am = 1+x and am+1
s = (a+b+c)/2, then DB = s−b and DC matrix with entries
= ⋯ = an = 1. The case r∊[0,1]∖ℚ follows
= s−c. Let r be the radius of the by taking rational m/n converging to r. ⎧1, if xi + y j ≥ 0;
aij = ⎨
incircle and [ABC] be the area of ⎩0, if xi + y j < 0.
triangle ABC. Let α = ∠ CDN and AH Solution 2. LKL Problem Solving
= ha. Then [ABC] equals Group (Madam Lau Kam Lung Suppose that B is an n×n matrix with
Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist entries 0 or 1 such that the sum of the
aha / 2 = rs = s ( s − a )( s − b)( s − c) . Monastery). elements in each row and each column
Now Suppose 2 > p ≥ 1 ≥ q > 0. Applying of B is equal to the corresponding sum
Bernoulli’s inequality with 1+x = p/q and for the matrix A. Prove that A=B.
a +c −b a c −b r = p/2, we have
DK = DB − KB = − = ,
2 2 2 ⎛ p⎞
p ⎛ p ⎞ p2 + q2
Solution. Let A = (aij)1≤i,j≤n. Define
⎜⎜ q ⎟⎟ ≤ 1+ ⎜ − 1⎟ =
2 ⎜⎝ q ⎟⎠ 2q
. n n
⎝ ⎠
DH = DC − HC =
− b cos∠ACB S = ∑∑ ( xi + y j )( aij − bij ).
2 Multiplying both sides by q and squaring
i =1 j =1

both sides, we have On one hand, we have

a + b − c a 2 + b2 − c2
= −
2 2a p p q q ≤ ( p 2 + q 2 ) 2 / 4. n ⎛n n ⎞ n ⎛n n

S = ∑xi ⎜⎜∑aij − ∑bij ⎟⎟ + ∑y j ⎜∑aij − ∑bij ⎟
Similarly, applying Bernoulli’s inequality i=1 ⎝ j =1 j =1 ⎠ j=1 ⎝ i=1 i=1 ⎠
(c − b)(b + c − a ) (c − b)( s − a )
= = . with 1+x = q/p and r = p/2, we can get ppqq = 0.
2a a ≤ p2q2. So
On the other hand, if xi+yj ≥ 0, then aij =
Moreover, DN = 2r sin α, DP = 3 p q q p + p p q q ≤ ( p 4 + 14 p 2 q 2 + q 4 ) / 4 1, which implies aij−bij ≥ 0; if xi+yj < 0,
DK/(cos α) = (c −b)/(2cos α). So then aij = 0, which implies aij−bij ≤ 0.
= (p4+6p2q2+q4+4pq(2pq))/4 Hence, (xi+yj)(aij−bij) ≥ 0 for all i,j.
DN ⋅ DP = r (c − b) tan α = r (c − b)
DH ≤ ( p4+6p2q2+q4+4pq(p2 +q2))/4 Since S = 0, all (xi+yj)(aij−bij) = 0.
= (p+q)4/4 = 4. In particular, if aij=0, then xi+yj < 0 and
ha / 2
= r (c − b)
(c − b)( s − a ) / a Commended solvers: Paolo Perfetti so bij = 0. Since aij, bij are 0 or 1, so aij ≥
(Dipartimento di Matematica, Università bij for all i,j. Finally, since the sum of the
aha / 2 rsrs [ ABC ]2 degli studi di Tor Vergata Roma, via della elements in each row and each column
=r = = of B is equal to the corresponding sum
s − a s( s − a) s( s − a) ricerca scientifica, Roma, Italy).
for the matrix A, so aij = bij for all i,j.
= ( s − b)( s − c) = DB ⋅ DC.