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Want to try out some of this year's math league tournament questions? Here are some sample questions.

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You are on page 1of 17

CD so that

CE = EF = FD. What is the measure of

FAD?

(30 seconds)

SOLUTION

Let AB = 2 so that AD = 1. Then DC =

3 and FD =

3

3

.

tan FAD

( )

3

3

, so

m FAD

30 (or

6

).

2. North Branch High School is 46.2 miles from South St. Paul High School.

How many complete round trips can light make between the two schools

during the time limit of this question?

(Use

c 3 10

8

m/s as the speed of light, and the conversion 1 mile = 1609 m.)

(45 seconds)

SOLUTION

45 s

3 10

8

m

1 s

1 mile

1609 m

1 round trip

92.4 miles

90804.1617,

so light makes

90804 complete round trips.

Congratulations to Ron Moberg, a light shining out of North Branch for

many years. He is a retiring coach who cannot join us at the Tournament.

3. (For the purposes of this problem, a word is a unique arrangement of letters.)

Let k = the # of 8-letter words that can be formed from the letters of KILKELLY;

Let n = the # of 5-letter words that can be formed from the letters of NITTI;

Let o = the # of 6-letter words that can be formed from the letters of OLESEN.

Find the GCD of the set {k, n, o}.

(60 seconds)

SOLUTION

k =

8!

3!2!

87654

2

2

5

357;

n =

5!

2!2!

235;

o =

6!

2!

6543 2

3

3

2

5.

The GCD is therefore

235 30

.

Congratulations and thanks for many years of service to Tom Kilkelly of

Wayzata HS, Don Nitti of Cotter HS, and Karl Olesen of Esko HS.

Please recognize these coaches who are retiring this year!

NO CALCULATORS

4. Compute

log

2

2013

( )

2

.

(60 seconds)

SOLUTION

This is an estimation problem.

log

2

2013 is only slightly less than

log

2

2048 11, so our answer must be less than

11

2

121.

10.9

2

11 0.1

( )

2

121 2.2 +0.01 118.81, so we are confined to 119 or

120. However, it sure feels like

2

10.9

isnt going to even get close to 2013. (In fact,

its only about 1911.)

log

2

2013

( )

2

is therefore between

120 and 121.

(

log

2

2013

( )

2

120.45.)

5. In regular 40-gon

A

1

A

2

A

3

A

40

, diagonals

A

1

A

11

and

A

9

A

29

intersect at

point P. Determine exactly the degree measure of acute

A

1

PA

29

.

(75 seconds)

SOLUTION

A

1

PA

29

subtends a

12

40

360 108 arc along the circumcircle of the 40-gon, and

A

9

PA

11

subtends an arc of

2

40

360 18.

Thus the degree measure of

A

1

PA

29

is

1

2

108 + 18

( )

63 .

NO CALCULATORS

6. Express

tan

11

12

in the form

a b, where a and b are positive integers.

(75 seconds)

SOLUTION

Method 1: Are you familiar with the lesser-known half-angle formula for tangent?

tan

2

1 cos

sin

tan

11

12

1 cos

11

6

sin

11

6

1

3

2

1

2

.

Method 2:

Let

tan

11

12

tan

3

12

+

8

12

tan

4

+

2

3

tan

4

+tan

2

3

1 tan

4

( )

tan

2

3

( )

1+ 3

( )

1 1

( )

3

( )

1 3

1+ 3

.

3 2

Rationalizing,

1 3

1+ 3

1 3

1 3

1 2 3 + 3

1 3

4 2 3

2

3 2

.

7. A quadratic polynomial function in x has the values 3, 5, and 8 at x = 1, 2, and 3

respectively. What value does this function have at x = 1?

(2 minutes)

SOLUTION

Method 1: Input the points (1, 3), (2, 5), and (3, 8) into a calculators statistical lists, and

perform a quadratic regression to obtain the equation

y

1

2

x

2

+

1

2

x + 2 . Substituting

x = 1 yields

y

1

2

1

( )

2

+

1

2

1

( )

+ 2

1

2

1

2

+ 2

2 .

Method 2: Let the polynomial be

ax

2

+bx +c . Then substitute x = 1, 2, and 3 to form

the system

a + b + c 3

4a + 2b +c 5

9a + 3b +c 8

3a +b 2

5a +b 3

2a 1 a,b,c

( )

1

2

,

1

2

, 2

.

As above, substituting x = 1 yields

y

1

2

1

( )

2

+

1

2

1

( )

+ 2

1

2

1

2

+ 2

2 .

NO CALCULATORS

8. In examining the numbers of years that Mr. Kilkelly, Mr. Nitti, and Mr. Olesen

have been coaching Math League teams, I noticed that one of the integers was a

perfect square, another was a perfect cube, and the third was equal to the

product of the first 2 numbers divided by the degree-measure of

sec

1

4 2 2

.

Together, for how many total years have all three men coached?

(2 minutes)

SOLUTION

sec

1

4 2 2 cos

1

1

4 2 2

cos

1

1

4 2 2

4

+

2 2

4

+

2 2

cos

1

4

+

2 2

16 8

cos

1

4+ 2 2

8

cos

1

1+

2

2

2

cos

1

cos

45

2

22.5,

So, we have

22.5n p

2

q

3

. n must certainly be even, in which case

p

2

q

3

is a multiple of

45 3

2

5. The only realistic perfect square numbers of years coaching are 1, 4, 9, 16,

25, and 36; and the only realistic perfect cubes are 1, 8, and 27. The factor of 5 can only

be generated by 25, and consequently the factors of 3 must be contained within 27.

22.5n 5

2

3

3

n

5

2

3

3

22.5

5

2

3

3

2

45

532 30, for a total of 25 + 27 + 30 =

82 years .

Wow 82 years? Lets have a round of applause to our retiring coaches.

NO CALCULATORS

9. If

x

1

1+

1

1+

1

1+

1

1+

1

x

, determine exactly all possible values of x.

(2 minutes)

SOLUTION

x

1

1+

1

1+

1

1+

1

1+

1

x

1

1+

1

1+

1

1+

1

x + 1

x

1

1+

1

1+

1

1+

x

x + 1

1

1+

1

1+

1

2x + 1

x + 1

1

1+

1

1+

x + 1

2x + 1

1

1+

1

3x + 2

2x + 1

1

1+

2x + 1

3x + 2

1

5x + 3

3x + 2

3x + 2

5x + 3

. So x

3x + 2

5x + 3

5x

2

+3x 3x + 2

.

Solving,

x t

2

5

t

10

5

.

10. Four congruent right triangles with integer side lengths are combined to form

the pinwheel-like concave octagon ABCDEFGH. The perimeter of the octagon is

120, and AB = 1. Calculate the octagons area.

(90 seconds)

SOLUTION

Let the legs of each right triangle have lengths x and (x + 1). The perimeter of the

octagon is comprised of four congruent hypotenuses and four segments of length 1, so

each hypotenuse has length

120 4

4

29. Pythagoras then says: x

2

+ x +1 ( )

2

29

2

,

which can be solved (or simply inspected, thinking of Pythagorean triples) to find that

x = 20. Area octagon

[ ]

4 Area triangle

[ ]

4

1

2

x x +1 ( ) 4021

840

.

11. At one point during a quiet dinner at home, I looked up to notice two candles

burning. One candle was exactly twice the length of the other. Thats funny,

I thought, I lit them before we started dinner, at which time they were brand-

new and the same length. When I bought the candles, one was guaranteed to

burn for 7 hours, but the other for only 6 hours. How long had the candles been

burning?

(2 minutes)

SOLUTION

After h hours, candle A will have burned

h

7

of its length, leaving

7 h

7

, while candle B

will have burned

h

6

of its length, leaving

6 h

6

. Candle B burns faster, so when I

looked up, candle A must have been twice as long as candle B. In other words:

7 h

7

2

6 h

6

6 7 h ( ) 14 6 h ( )42 6h 84 14h8h 42

h

21

4

hours, or

5hours,15minutes

12. In concave quadrilateral ABCD, AD = 8, AB = 10 and B D. BC bisects AD

at E, and CD intersects AB at F. The area of triangle BCF is X% larger than the

area of triangle CDE. Calculate X.

(2 minutes)

SOLUTION

by AA. Since

AB

AE

10

4

5

2

, AF

2

5

AD ( )

2

5

8 ( )

16

5

, making

BF =

34

5

. also by AA, and since

BF

DE

34

5

4

17

10

, the ratio of areas is

17

10

289

100

. Area[BCF] is therefore

189

% greater than Area[CDE].

NO CALCULATORS

13. Determine exactly all roots of the equation

6x

3

2x

2

5x 4 0.

(2 minutes)

SOLUTION

The Rational Roots Theorem suggests that we try t1, 2, 4,

1

2

,

1

3

,

2

3

,

4

3

,

1

6

. We can

quickly determine that f(1) = 5 and f(2) = 26, so there must be some kind of root on the

interval 1 < x < 2. Testing

4

3

:

4

3

6 2 5 4

6 6 3 0

A real root! The quadratic

remnant is

6x

2

+6x + 3 0 2x

2

+ 2x + 1 0 x

2 t 4 8

4

2 t 2i

4

1ti

2

,

so the three roots are

4

3

,

1

2

+

1

2

i,

1

2

1

2

i .

14. Alvin, Simon and Theodore have almost finished packing for a trip into the

Boundary Waters Canoe Area when they notice the 12-can case of birch beer (an

ancestral cousin to root beer) they intended to take with them. They begin

randomly stuffing the cans into the bags. In how many different ways might

the 12 cans end up in bags A, S, and T , if no one bag has room for more than 6

cans?

(2 minutes)

SOLUTION

This is a partitioning problem, involving 12 cans divided into 3 partitions by 2

dividers. If there were no restrictions, we could simply combine the cans and

dividers into a collection of 14 objects (stars and bars method), then place the

dividers:

X X | X X X X X | X X X X X There are

14

2

= 91 ways to do this.

We must now subtract all partitions where one partition contains 7 or more cans. We

can count these by placing 7 cans in bag A, then partitioning the remaining 5 cans

(again using 2 dividers). We have 7 total objects, and

7

2

dividers. Now we multiply by the 3 possible bags to overload (21 x 3 = 63 ways).

In total, there are 91 63 = 28

total valid partitions.

NO CALCULATORS

15. A sequence {a

n

} is defined by a

1

2; a

n+1

a

n

+ 2n. Find a

100

.

(first correct answer)

SOLUTION

a

2

a

1

2 1

a

3

a

2

2 2

a

4

a

3

2 3

a

100

a

99

=2 99

Adding,

a

100

a

1

2 1+ ... + 99 ( ) 2

(100)(99)

2

a

100

2 9900

a

100

9902

.

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