Context: In January I will be taking a concurrent programming examination, part of which will involve calculating the number of interleavings based on a formula which divides two sets of factorials.
The problem I have is that calculators are prohibited, so it must be calculated on pen and paper, so I wonder what the best strategy is here?
The professor's suggestion was to simplify the factorial division, but the example he used didn't show how he simplified it, but also the numbers he was using were smaller.
One example I worked on is as follows:
12! / (6! x 6!)
The smallest I can simplify this to is as follows (although let me know if it can be simplified further as I may be wrong):
(2 * 11 * 10 * 3 * 4 * 7) \ (5 * 4)
This still seems like an excessive calculation for pen and paper (the question will be worth a single mark, also).
What would you suggest as a strategy for calculating the division of two factorials on pen and paper? (the goal being to come up with a strategy which takes the least amount of time to work out using pen and paper).
The result must be expressed as a single number, so using this example the result would be 924.