Freshmen Math Topics
Written by Kevin Hu, Naperville Central High School Class of 2011
Contents
1 Introduction 
3 

2 Number Theory and Divisibility 
4 

2.1 
Basics 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
4 

2.2 
LCM and GCD 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
5 

2.2.1 LCM and GCD of multiple numbers 
5 

2.2.2 The Euclidean algorithm . 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
6 

2.3 Divisibility Rules 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
6 

2.4 Trailing Zeros 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
7 

2.5 Exercises 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
8 

2.6 Points of Interest 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
8 

3 Counting Basics and Simple Probability 
10 

3.1 
Trees 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
10 

3.2 Permutations and Combinations 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
11 

3.3 Miscellaneous Probability 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
11 

3.4 
Exercises 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
12 

3.5 
Points of Interest 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
12 

4 Number Bases 
14 

4.1 b to 10 . 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
14 

4.2 10 to b . 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
14 

4.3 Exercises 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
15 

4.4 Points of Interest 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
15 

1 
CONTENTS
2
5 
Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities 
16 

5.1 Vocabulary . 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
16 

5.2 The abs 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
16 

5.3 Inequalities . 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
17 

5.4 Exercises 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
17 

5.5 Points of Interest 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
. 
18 
Chapter 1
Introduction
The paper you are now reading should cover much of what you need to succeed in the 20102011 math team season as a freshman. The chapters are based on topics from the North Suburban Math League contest, and will likely correspond to subjects in this sea son’s ICTM (Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics) contests. The “Points of Inter est” sections are not necessary for competition, but if you ﬁnd a topic interesting, it may be enriching to read the sections. The problems marked “(Open)” are open problems, meaning that they have not yet been solved by mathematicians.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.
Kevin Hu
10thsymphony@gmail.com
This work was produced with L A T _{E} X2 _{ε} , an open source typesetting system for scientiﬁc and mathematical documents of high typographic quality.
You are free to use any part of this work, but please attribute it appropriately.
3
Chapter 2
Number Theory and Divisibility
Number theory deals with properties of integers. It has been studied since the time of ancient Greece. Legendre and Gauss fathered modern number theory at the turn of the nineteenth century, and ever since, mathematicians have explored ideas like prime num bers, Fermat’s Last Theorem, cryptography (codes), and programming. But before we get to advanced topics, let’s start basic.
2.1
Basics
We start with one of the most important facts in number theory.
Theorem 1. [Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic]. Any integer greater than 1 can be written uniquely, up to the ordering of the factors, as the product of prime numbers.
Basically, this means that any integer greater than 1 has exactly one prime factorization. For example, the number 5 can be written as 5 ^{1} ; the number 12 can be written as 2 ^{2} × 3; the number 28 can be written as 2 ^{2} × 7. This is basic, but crucial. Remember that every integer greater than 1 has a unique factorization. It cannot be written as the product of primes in any other way.
Now let’s introduce two terms: the least common multiple and the greatest common divisor. The least common multiple of a and b, abbreviated as lcm(a, b) or sometimes written in shorthand as [a, b], is the smallest positive integer that is divisible by both a and b. You can calculate it as follows: Write the prime factorizations of a and b. Find every distinct prime that divides either a or b. For each prime, look at what power of it divides a and what power of it divides b. Take the larger of the two and write that power down. Repeat.
where the
In mathematical form, we can say that if a = p ^{e} ^{1} p ^{e} ^{2} p
exponents can be equal to zero and the p _{i} are all of the prime numbers, then:
e
3
3
and b = p ^{f} ^{1} p p
1
f
2
2
f
3
3
1
2
4
CHAPTER 2. NUMBER THEORY AND DIVISIBILITY
5
[a, b] = p max(e _{1} ,f _{1} ) p max(e _{2} ,f _{2} ) p max(e _{3} ,f _{3} )
1
2
_{3}
.
.
.
Similarly, the greatest common divisor or greatest common factor of a and b, abbreviated as gcd(a, b) or sometimes written in shorthand as (a, b), is the largest positive integer that divides both a and b.
(a, b) = p min(e _{1} ,f _{1} ) p min(e _{2} ,f _{2} ) p min(e _{3} ,f _{3} )
1
2
_{3}
.
.
.
2.2 LCM and GCD
Recall the following: if a = p ^{e} ^{1} p ^{e} ^{2} p
equal to zero and the p _{i} are all of the prime numbers, then:
e
3
3
and b = p ^{f} ^{1} p
1
f 2 f 3
2
p
1
2
3
[a, b] = p max(e _{1} ,f _{1} ) p max(e _{2} ,f _{2} ) p max(e _{3} ,f _{3} )
1
2
_{3}
where the exponents can be
.
.
.
(a, b) = p min(e _{1} ,f _{1} ) p min(e _{2} ,f _{2} ) p min(e _{3} ,f _{3} )
1
2
_{3}
.
.
.
Notice that max(e _{i} , f _{i} )+min(e _{i} , f _{i} ) = e _{i} +f _{i} . Why? Because either e _{i} < f _{i} and max(e _{i} , f _{i} ) =
f _{i} , min(e _{i} , f _{i} ) =
max(e _{i} , f _{i} ) = e _{i} , min(e _{i} , f _{i} ) = f _{i} . This leads
Theorem 2. [a, b] × (a, b) = a × b
f _{i} and
e _{i} , or e _{i}
=
f _{i} and max(e _{i} , f _{i} ) =
min(e _{i} , f _{i} ) =
e _{i}
=
f _{i} , or e _{i}
>
to an interesting fact.
2.2.1 LCM and GCD of multiple numbers
What about least common multiples and greatest common divisors of multiple numbers? The LCM and GCD have the following property:
Theorem 3. (a, b, c) = ((a, b), c) and [a, b, c] = [[a, b], c].
Now, notice that Theorem 2 can be written as [a, b] = a × b ÷ (a, b). This is suspiciously similar to a formula you may know from set theory and Venn diagrams:
A ∪ B = A + B − A ∩ B
where A, B are sets, A ∩ B is their intersection, A ∪ B is their union, and S is the number of elements in S.
This principle in set theory is known as the Principle of Inclusion and Exclusion, or the PIE. It can be extended to include more than just 2 sets. For three sets,
CHAPTER 2. NUMBER THEORY AND DIVISIBILITY
6
X ∪ Y ∪ Z = (A + B + C) − (A ∩ B + B ∩ C + C ∩ A) + A ∩ B ∩ C
Interestingly, we can say a similar fact for the LCM and GCD of three integers.
Theorem 4. [a, b, c] = a × b × c ÷ ((a, b) × (b, c) × (c, a)) × (a, b, c)
The relationship between set theory and LCM/GCD extends to any number of sets and the corresponding number of integers.
2.2.2 The Euclidean algorithm
There is an alternate method for calculating a GCD by hand without prime factorization. This is useful if you’re trying to ﬁnd the GCD of two very large numbers that don’t have obvious factors.
Theorem 5. (a, b) = (a − kb, b)
where k is an integer.
This is known as the Euclidean algorithm. It makes the numbers you are trying to ﬁnd the GCD of smaller; but, as it is an algorithm, it can require multiple steps. You are ﬁnished when you ﬁnd that one of the numbers is a factor of the other; then this number is the GCD. Let’s do a simple example. What is the GCD of 140 and 300?
(140, 300) = (140, 300 − 2(140)) = (140, 300 − 280) = (140, 20) = 20
As you can see, we stopped at (140, 20) because 20 is a factor of 140.
2.3 Divisibility Rules
The section title should not be interpreted as a complete sentence.
Divisibility rules are often taught as a list to memorize. While this is efﬁcient, you should know why the rules work.
Divisibility by 1: not worth explaining.
Divisibility by 2: the units digit is divisible by 2. This is because any positive integer can be written as 10x + y where y is a positive integer and x is a nonnegative integer. 10x is divisible by 2, so as long as y is divisible by 2, 10x + y is as well.
Divisibility by 3: the sum of the digits is divisible by 3. This is because any positive integer can be written as 10x + y where y is a positive integer and x is a nonnegative
CHAPTER 2. NUMBER THEORY AND DIVISIBILITY
7
If you
continue this process, you ﬁnd that if the sum of digits is divisible by 3, so is the number.
Divisibility by 4: the last two digits concatenated form a number divisible by 4. This is because 100 is divisible by 4.
Divisibility by 5: the last digit is 0 or 5.
Divisibility by 6: the number is divisible by 2 and by 3.
Divisibility by 7: the divisibility tests are a pain. If you really want one, write the digits in reverse order, and multiply each digit in the new order by 1, 3, 2, 6, 4, 5, 1, 3, 2, 6, 4, 5, etc. Add these products together. If this is divisible by 7, so is the old number. (But hey, if the sum is still huge, you have to do it again. This is why dividing by 7 sucks.)
Divisibility by 8: the last three digits concatenated form a number divisible by 8. This is because 1000 is divisible by 8.
Divisibility by 9: the sum of digits is divisible by 9. This is because you can write the number in expanded notation, and every power of 10 is one more than a multiple of 9.
Divisibility by 10: the last digit is a 0.
Divisibility by 11: Remove the rightmost digit. Subtract it from the remaining number. Do this over and over again; if you get to a multiple of 11, the original is a multiple of 11.
The rest: Not worth memorizing.
integer.
10x + y = 9x + x + y, so as long as x + y is divisible by 3, so is 10x + y.
2.4 Trailing Zeros
A math contest favorite: How many trailing zeros are there in x! Note that the “!” symbol is the factorial (product of all positive integers less than or equal to x) sign, not the sign of excitement.
Well, for small numbers, you can do factorials out pretty easily. You can do 7! = 5040, 8! = 40320, 9! = 362880, and 10! = 3628800, but then things get annoying, slow, and mistakeprone. So when a math contest asks you for the number of trailing zeros in 1000!, you better not try to multiply it out.
For each trailing zero, there must be a factor of 10. “So,” you think, “let’s just ﬁnd how many multiples of 10 there are from 1 to 1000.” But, alas, that would be inadequate, because 2 × 5 = 10, but 2 and 5 are not multiples of ten. Now what? Notice that we can count the number of multiples of 5, because for each multiple of 5 there is inevitably a multiple of 2. Is that it?
No. Each multiple of 5 contributes 1 trailing zero, but each multiple of 25 contributes 2 trailing zeros because 25 × 4 = 100. Each multiple of 125 contributes 3 trailing zeros, and so on. Then, we ﬁnd that the number of trailing zeros in x! is equal to:
CHAPTER 2. NUMBER THEORY AND DIVISIBILITY
8
2.5 Exercises
^{} x
5
+
2 +
x
5
_{3} ^{+}
x
5
.
.
.
1. 
List all primes less than 100. How many are there? 
2. 
Determine the prime factorizations of 2010 and 2011. Memorize these. 
3. 
Prove Theorem 3. Hint: use prime factorizations. 
4. 
Prove Theorem 4. Hint: use prime factorizations. 
5. 
Evaluate [168, 144] by hand. 
6. 
Evaluate (168, 144) by hand. 
7. 
How do you use your calculator to ﬁnd the GCD and LCM of two numbers? 
8. 
How do you use your calculator to ﬁnd the GCD and LCM of more than two num bers? 
9. 
Evaluate [720, 500] × (500, 720) by hand. Use prime factorizations. 
10. 
Evaluate [720, 500] × (500, 720) by hand. Do not use prime factorizations. 
11. 
Evaluate (144, 168, 180). 
12. 
Evaluate [144, 168, 180]. 
13. 
Calculate (18084533, 20418113). The Euclidean Algorithm may be helpful. 
14. 
How many trailing zeros are there in 1000!? 
2.6 Points of Interest
1. How many right rectangular prisms are there with integral edge lengths, integral face diagonal lengths, and integral space diagonal lengths? In other words, how
many ordered triples (x, y, z) are there for which x, y, z, ^{} x ^{2} + y ^{2} , ^{} y ^{2} + z ^{2} ,
^{√} z ^{2} + x ^{2} , ^{} x ^{2} + y ^{2} + z ^{2} are all integers? (Open)
2. An inﬁnite sum converges if it approaches a ﬁnite limit. Prove that the sum of the reciprocals of primes converges.
3.
Twin primes are prime numbers that differ by two. Are there an inﬁnite number of pairs of twin primes? (Open)
CHAPTER 2. NUMBER THEORY AND DIVISIBILITY
9
4. Is every even number greater than 2 the sum of two primes? (Open)
5. Is there a prime between n and 2n inclusive for each positive n?
6. Is there a prime between n ^{2} and (n + 1) ^{2} for each positive n? (Open)
Chapter 3
Counting Basics and Simple Probability
The branch of mathematics that counting and probability fall under is called “Combina torics.” It is the bane of contest mathematics students around the world. Students affec tionately abbreviate it as “combo,” although it is usually accompanied with expletives if responsible adults are not around. What’s there to fear?
Combinatorics problems have a multitude of correct solution methods. Some are faster than others. The problem is that many combo problems have a multitude of incorrect solution methods as well, which may be tantalizingly logical. As a math team competitor, your goal is to stay organized, stay logical, and stay alert.
3.1
Trees
You can use trees to organize outcomes in probability. For example, if a problem asks, What is the probability that you ﬂip exactly 3 heads when you ﬂip 6 coins?, if you don’t know how to proceed (ahem, see next section), you can use a tree. On every ﬂip, you can get a head or a tail, so the tree branches out. Then along each “branch” of the tree, since the coin has a 1/2 chance of getting a head or a tail, you multiply by 1/2 on each branch. This is only a very basic usage of trees.
In complex problems with multiple conditions, trees are more effective. Conditional prob ability problems are an example. V. C. can press either the “g” or the “l” key on his computer keyboard. His ﬁrst press is random. If he presses the “l” key ﬁrst, the probability he presses the “l” key again is 50%. If he presses the “g” key ﬁrst, the probability he presses the “g” key again is 95%. V. C. presses two keys, one at a time. If the second press is a “g,” what’s the probability he pressed “g” the ﬁrst time? Here we draw a tree. There are two ﬁrstlevel branches — one for pressing “g” ﬁrst, one for pressing “l” ﬁrst. From each of these branches, there are two secondlevel branches — one for pressing “g,” and one for pressing “l.” We know he presed “g” second, so we can get rid of the secondlevel branches with “l” presses. The probability he pressed “lg” is 50% × 50%, or 25%; we calculate this by multiplying across
10
CHAPTER 3. COUNTING BASICS AND SIMPLE PROBABILITY
11
the branch. The probability he pressed “gg” is 50% × 95%, or 47.5%. Then the probability he pressed “g” ﬁrst is 47.5 ÷ (25 + 47.5) ≈ 65.5%.
There are better ways to do that problem, but trees are a good way to organize your work. Things get hairy when there are too many branches, or too many levels.
3.2 Permutations and Combinations
Let’s get the formulas over with ﬁrst:
Theorem 6. _{n} P _{k} = P
n
k
n!
(n−k)!
=
= C(n, k) = ^{} ^{n} ^{} =
Theorem 7. _{n} C _{k} = C
n
k
n!
k!(n−k)!
k
A permutation is an arrangement of objects or values into a particular order. Thus, order
matters. A combination is a grouping of objects or values. Thus, order does not matter.
For example, the set {1, 2, 3} has permutations (1, 2, 3), (1, 3, 2), (2, 1, 3), (2, 3, 1), (3, 1, 2), and (3, 2, 1). (Check that this is the correct number of permutations). On the other hand, the combinations of 2 numbers from that set are {1, 2}, {1, 3}, {2, 3}. Notice the difference
in punctuation — a permutation has parentheses to denote that order matters (just like
coordinates have parentheses), while combinations have curly braces to denote that order does not matter.
People often get confused about the meaning of “order matters” and “order does not matter.” Clear up all this confusion: “order matters” means that the order is important; a different order just isn’t the same.
Make sure you use the correct formula. Always.
3.3 Miscellaneous Probability
To ﬁnd the expected value, add together Event Value × Event Probability for each event.
For example, suppose a lottery system is run so that 100 tickets are sold for 1 dollar each. There is 1 fortydollar prize, 2 twentyﬁvedollar prizes, and 3 threedollar prizes. What
is the expected value of proﬁt if you enter the lottery? Well, in the event you do not win,
you proﬁt $ − 1; there is a 0.94 probability of this occurring. In the event that you win a threedollar prize, you proﬁt $2; there is a 0.03 probability of this occurring. In the event that you win a twentyﬁvedollar prize, you proﬁt $24; there is a 0.02 probability of this occurring. In the event that you win a fortydollar prize, you proﬁt $39; there is a 0.01 probability of this occurring. Then your expected proﬁt is:
(−1)(0.94) + (2)(0.03) + (24)(0.02) + (39)(0.01) = −.01
You expect to lose 1 penny for each ticket you buy.
CHAPTER 3. COUNTING BASICS AND SIMPLE PROBABILITY
12
3.4 Exercises
1. How many ways are there to arrange the letters “ABCDE”?
2. How many ways are there to misspell the word “MISSPELL” using all of the same letters (e.g. MISPSELL, LLEPSMIS)? (Hint: Treat each S as a different letter, and treat each L as a different letter. Then think about how much you’ve overcounted by.)
3. Did you make the error of counting “MISSPELL” as a misspelling? Watch out for tricks.
4. How many subsets are there in a set with 3 elements, including the empty set? In a set with 4 elements? n elements? Why?
5. Shuhao is playing basketball. His ﬁrst shot has a 1/2 probability of scoring. If he makes a shot, the probability he scores the next time is 3/4. If he misses a shot, the probability he scores the next time is 1/10. What’s the expected value of his score after 5 shots?
6. J. Z. is playing basketball. His ﬁrst shot has a 1/10 probability of scoring. If he makes a shot, the probability he scores the next time is 3/4. If he misses a shot, the probability he scores the next time is 1/10. What’s the expected value of his score after 5 shots?
7. In the game of Math Roulette, there are six index cards. Five of the cards have math problems on them. Two people play. One person starts by ﬂipping over one of the index cards. The next person ﬂips another. They take turns until somebody gets the card without a math problem on it. Of course, this person is the loser. Should you start or should you go second to maximize your chances of winning?
8. What if there are 8 index cards with 7 problems? 10 cards with 9? 2n cards with 2n − 1?
3.5 Points of Interest
1. A casino has a 50.0028% chance of winning a hand of Blackjack (Dealer stands on soft 17; player may double on any two cards, player may double after splitting, player may resplit aces, player gets late surrender).
2. Look up the rules of Craps and ﬁnd the house edge.
3. Prove the Binomial Theorem without expanding: (x + y) ^{n} = ^{} ^{n} ^{} x ^{n} y ^{0} + ^{} ^{n} ··· + ^{} _{n} ^{n} ^{} x ^{0} y ^{n} .
1 ^{} _{x} n−1 _{y} 1 _{+}
0
4.
Stare at Pascal’s Triangle in awe.
CHAPTER 3. COUNTING BASICS AND SIMPLE PROBABILITY
13
5. Prove Pascal’s Identity using formulas: ^{} ^{n} tually.
6. Prove the Hockey Stick Identity: ^{} ^{r}
r
k
^{} _{=} ^{} n−1 ^{} _{+} ^{} n−1
k−1
k
^{} + ··· + ^{} ^{n}
r
^{} . Then prove it concep
^{} .
r ^{} _{+} ^{} r+1
^{} _{=} ^{} n+1
r+1
Chapter 4
Number Bases
We count in base 10 because we have ten ﬁngers. What if we had a different number? What if we have to do math with strange things that only have 2 ﬁngers? Oh wait, we already do. They’re called computers.
In bases greater than 10, we use letters to represent digits. For example, the digits avail able in base 16 (hexadecimal) are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, and F. In math contest problems, make sure that your answer makes sense. Don’t answer “3” if a prob lem asks you about what base a number is in when the number has the digit 9.
4.1 b to 10
Theorem 8. d _{n} d _{n}_{−}_{1}
not factors) in base b is equal to d _{0} × b ^{0} + d _{1} × b ^{1} + d _{2} × b ^{2} + ··· + d _{n} × b ^{n} in base 10.
d _{3} d _{2} d _{1} d _{0} (the line above the d’s means that they should be read as digits,
There, that wasn’t so difﬁcult, was it?
4.2 10 to b
Theorem 9. d _{n} d _{n}_{−}_{1}
d _{3} d _{2} d _{1} d _{0} in base 10 is equal to
Right. It’s a lot more complicated now. To convert n from base 10 to base b, do the following algorithm:
Divide n by the highest possible power of b that’s less than n. Write down the quotient (not including the remainder). Take the remainder, and divide that by the next highest power of b. Write down the quotient (not including the remainder). Repeat on and on.
There, that was pretty terrible, wasn’t it?
14
CHAPTER 4. NUMBER BASES
15
When you have to convert from base c to base d, where c, d
= 10, unless you notice
something special, convert from base c to base 10, and then from base 10 to base d.
Wait. Unless you notice something special. Like, for example, 16 is a power of 2, so could there be something special relating base 2 digits with base 16 digits?
4.3 Exercises
1. 
Convert 30 from base 8 to base 10. 

2. 
Convert 465 from base 7 to base 10. 

3. 
Convert 156 from base 10 to base 7. 

4. 
Convert 148 from base 10 to base 2. 

5. 
Convert 138 from base 12 to base 4. 

6. 
Convert 184 from base 16 to base 2. 

7. 
Notice that 2 ^{3} a + 2 ^{2} b + 2c + d, where a, b, c, d are each either 0 or 1, is a binary 

expression. It’s also an integer between 0 and 15, inclusive. Moreover, each ordered quadruple (a, b, c, d) uniquely deﬁnes an integer between 0 and 15, inclusive. So, is there something special relating base 2 digits with base 16 digits? 

8. 
Convert 1.5 from base 10 to base 7. 

9. 
How many bases b less than 6 are there for which 36 in base b is a perfect square? 

10. 
Did you realize that in the above problem 36 is not a valid representation in a base less than 6? Watch out for tricks. 

11. 
Mr. Young is from Planet Q, which counts in base 
oh, darn, I don’t remember! 
What I do know is that I gave Mr. Young 100 Qoins for a pencil that costs 11 Qoins, and he correctly gave me 10 Qoins in change. The reason I don’t remember what
base Planet Q uses is that it might not be an integer base. Well, tell me, what base do they use?
but of course, it’s still a valid
4.4 Points of Interest
1. The base is also known as the radix. Some mathematicians have explored having a complex numbers as a radix. The radix 2i allows every number to be expressed without any positive/negative symbols.
’08 MOP The function f is a polynomial with coefﬁcients in the set {0, 1, 2, 3}. Find, in terms of n the number of such polynomials f such that f (2) = n.
Chapter 5
Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
In this chapter we get to the heart of algebra: systems. Normally, systems can be quite easy to solve, and some problems on contests will be a cinch. But there are a few wrenches thrown in here and there.
5.1 Vocabulary
Deﬁnition 1. A consistent system of equations has at least one solution. It could have many solutions, but it deﬁnitely has at least one.
Deﬁnition 2. An inconsistent system does not have any solutions at all.
Deﬁnition 3. A dependent system means that one of the equations gives no extra information. If two lines are the same, then the system is dependent.
Deﬁnition 4. An independent system means that every equation is distinct, so that every line is different.
5.2 The abs
The absolute value function should always be a warning that you should be alert. It returns the distance from a number to 0. The graph looks like a V, going through the origin and symmetric about the yaxis.
It’s always a good idea to plug your answer into the problem to see if it makes sense. Check to make sure you don’t somehow have an absolute value of an expression equal to a negative number.
16
CHAPTER 5. SYSTEMS OF LINEAR EQUATIONS AND INEQUALITIES
17
When dealing with absolute values, break everything down into cases. If you have x, break it down into x < 0 and x ≥ 0. If you have x + 3, break it down into x < −3 and x ≥ −3. If you have x/y, life gets tougher. Just break down the problem into cases where expressions inside absolute values are either less than zero or greater than/equal to zero. You might need a lot of cases — don’t be discouraged.
A few things to keep in mind:
Theorem 10. x + y ≤ x + y
Theorem 11. xy = x × y
Theorem 10 might seem boring, but extend it to multiple dimensions, and you have the Triangle Inequality. If you treat x, y as vectors, imagine point A to be the origin and B to be A + x and C to be A + y, then you get BC ≤ AB + AC.
5.3 Inequalities
Inequalities are also tricky. They’re essentially solved with the same methods as equa tions, but beware of pesky sign changes. Multiplying or dividing by negative factors always ﬂips the sign. Make sure you check your work on these. One way to quickly check your work is to plug in the boundary or boundaries from your solution set into the problem. If you get the boundary of a condition described in the problem, that’s a good sign. Then, plug in things inside your solution set into the problem; they should satisfy the conditions. Plug in things outside your solution set into the problem; they should not satisfy the conditions. Choose easy numbers like 0.
5.4 Exercises
1. Draw a graph of a consistent system.
2. Draw a graph of an inconsistent system.
3. Draw a graph of a dependent system.
4. Draw a graph of an independent system.
5. Solve for x: x = −x. Try both graphing and casework.
6. How do you use the absolute value function on your calculator?
7. How do you graph inequalities on your calculator?
8.
Solve for x: x = −x ^{2} .
CHAPTER 5. SYSTEMS OF LINEAR EQUATIONS AND INEQUALITIES
18
9. Solve for (x, y): 3x + 2y = 4 and 24x + 16y = 31.
10. The system 8a + b = 14 and −4b − 32a = M has a solution (a, b). Find M .
5.5 Points of Interest
1. Look up Gaussian elimination with matrices. What is back substitution? How can you tell if a multivariable system is dependent or independent?
2. How can you tell if a system has solutions?
3. What is a vector space? What is a vector space dimension?
4. What is a null space?
5. Learn collegiate Linear Algebra.
Bien plus que des documents.
Découvrez tout ce que Scribd a à offrir, dont les livres et les livres audio des principaux éditeurs.
Annulez à tout moment.