Use this tag when you want to determine the thinking that is needed to solve a certain type of problem, as opposed to looking for a specific answer to a question.

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2
votes
1answer
544 views

equations solved with Newton's method by finding the zeros of functions?

I found this statement in one paper I read recently: This problem can be solved by finding the zero of functions: ...
6
votes
3answers
159 views

Find all real solutions of $6^x+1=8^x-27^{x-1}$

Find all real solutions of $6^x+1=8^x-27^{x-1}$. Things I tried: We want solutions of $$2^x3^x+1 = (2^x)^3-\frac{(3^x)^3}{27}.$$ Write $a=2^x$ and $b=3^x$. This gives $$ab+1 = a^3-\frac{b^3}{27}$$ or ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Solve for “lucky” numbers

A rational number is called "lucky" if it equals both $a+\frac{b}{c}$ and $a\times\frac{b}{c}$ for some positive integers $a,b,c$. How many lucky numbers are there between $5$ and $10$? Here's what I ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

Question involving square equality between fractions and square roots [closed]

Find the values of the constants $p$ and $q$ such that $$\frac{\sqrt{p}}{\sqrt{p}+2p} = \frac{2\sqrt{p}-q}{3p+q} \tag{$p,q\ge0$}$$ How would you solve this? I've tried everything...
1
vote
0answers
274 views

Vieta jumping with non-monic polynomials

I have recently discovered Vieta jumping as a problem-solving technique. In order to teach myself about it, I have located most (all of?) the standard references, both here on MSE and "out there" (via ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Finding the number of solutions satisfying an equation?

Given one condition $x_1+x_2+x_3=n$ where n is known number. Given a set of data X={$a_1,a_2....a_n$}. Can you help me find all possible cases satisfying the above condition $x_1+x_2+x_3=n$ ???
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Solving two systems with two unknown?

Let's say if we are giving the following two equations: $$ 1= X/(X^2 +Y^2) $$ $$ 2= Y/(X^2 +Y^2) $$ How are we going to solve for X and Y [ by HAND ] ? Why would Summing the squares of the two ...
2
votes
4answers
165 views

Challenge: “Dividing” a number above 0 and ending up with the same, or a greater number (creative task)

Here's a question/challenge for those of you who know quite a bit about math, or enjoy to be creative with what you do know (just for reference: I'm virtually illiterate when it comes to any math more ...
1
vote
5answers
72 views

$|x| + |x-1| = 3$ how come its cases?

$$|x| + |x-1| = 3$$ in my textbook, they say that for this equation, there are 3 cases: $x\geq1$, $0 \leq x < 1$ and $ x < 0$ where do these come from and why? i thought, there are 4 cases ...
3
votes
2answers
32 views

$5-3|x-6|\leq 3x -7$

I have this inequation: $$5-3|x-6|\leq 3x -7$$ i solved this this way: i said, for $x\geq6$ is the modulus positive, so I made 2 cases in which the modulus gives + or - : 1) for $x\geq6$ ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Word problem with $p$

In the year 2000, there are $p$ penguins. After $t$ years, the number of penguins is given by $$ 2500 \times 1.02^t$$ Calculate the number of penguins in the year $2000$. I tried to substitute random ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Manipulating series

I have come across this in a solution for a BMO problem where you have to find $a_{2013}$ for: $a_n$ = $\frac{n+1}{n-1}$($a_1 + a_2 + ... + a_{n-1}$) where $a_1$ = 1. It says that you manipulate it ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Find a graph with at least two vertices and no self-loops in which all vertices have different degrees

I am an high-school senior interested in Graph Theory, on a web forum a CS teacher teased me with ("an easy but non-trivial") a terrific Graph Theory problem: Find a graph with at least two ...
2
votes
2answers
196 views

Olympiad Modulo Problem

I have begun preparing for the British Mathematical Olympiad and hope to do well. However, I have been working on the first problem in the book: A Mathematical Olympiad Primer by Geoff Smith, captain ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Improving concentration and stamina when solving difficult problems.

I am trying to improve my problem solving skills by solving olympiad problems (Putnam, IMO, etc). So far, I have discovered that problem solving is somewhat like panning for gold: you think of all the ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Vector force application problem

I'm having trouble starting off this question. Any help would be appreciated! "Lisa is trying to hold on to her toy car. Her sister Ruby is pulling with a force of 8 N on a bearing of 023° and her ...
5
votes
2answers
150 views

why is $\int_{\pi/2}^{5\pi/2}\frac{e^{\arctan(\sin x)}}{e^{\arctan(\sin x)}+e^{\arctan(\cos x)}}=\pi$?

I cannot make progress on the definite integral $$\int_{\pi/2}^{5\pi/2}\frac{e^{\arctan(\sin x)}}{e^{\arctan(\sin x)}+e^{\arctan(\cos x)}}\,dx=\pi$$ I know the result is $\pi$ from numerical ...
6
votes
1answer
84 views

Tricky Integral equation - where to start?

How would you go about solving this? $$p(x,t)=C\exp\left[-x+\int_0^t\int_0^\infty y\,p(y,\tau)\,\mathrm{d}y\,\mathrm{d}\tau\right]$$ Here $p(x,t)$ is the time-dependent probability distribution of a ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

bounding the sum of squares of lengths of a quadrilateral inscribed in a unit square

Consider this nice little problem: if $ABCD$ is a quadrilateral inscribed in a unit square, then $$2\leq AB^2+BC^2+CD^2+DA^2\leq4$$ (Evidently this is problem 1 on paper 1 of the 1989 Irish ...
1
vote
3answers
134 views

How many $a$-nary sequences of length $b$ never have $c$ consecutive occurrences of a digit?

Let $S(a,b,c): = \#\{a$-nary sequences of length $b$ without $c$ consecutive occurrences of a digit$\}$. For example, $S(2,n,3)$ would be the number of binary sequences of length $n$ without $3$ ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

How to solve this equation or system of equations?

I want to solve the equation $$(5 x-4) \cdot\sqrt{2 x-3}-(4 x-5)\cdot \sqrt{3 x-2}=2.$$ I tried. Put $a = \sqrt{2 x-3}\geqslant 0$ and $b =\sqrt{3 x-2}\geqslant 0 $. Suppose $$5x-4=m(2x-3)+n(3x-2)$$ ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Find the solution of this differential equation

I want to solve $\dot{\xi}(s)=\sqrt{\frac{(n-2)^2}{4}\xi(s)^2-\frac{n-2}{n}\xi(s)^{\frac{2n}{n-2}}}$ with the condition $\xi(0)=\biggl(\frac{n(n-2)}{4}\biggl)^{\frac{n-2}{4}}$. I know that ...
9
votes
1answer
234 views

Computing $\int {\dfrac{\csc^{2014}x-2014}{\cos^{2014}x} dx}$

I don't know how to compute: $$\int {\dfrac{\csc^{2014}x-2014}{\cos^{2014}x} dx}$$ I have tried substituting $t=\tan ^{2} x$ but got nothing out of it. I know there's some trick involved, but ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

A problem related to Vectors.

A few days ago I posted an answer to a question on Phys.SE. The question is: Three particles $A,B$ and $C$ are at the vertices of an equilateral trinagle $ABC$. Each of the particle moves with ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

How can I find $x$ such that $ax \equiv 1 \pmod{bx+c}$, given $a,b,c$?

Everything I've read about modular arithmetic generally concerns doing things in some "mod m" world where "m" is some constant. But I'm perplexed how to tackle modular arithmetic problems where the ...
2
votes
3answers
176 views

Equilateral triangle inscribed in a ellipse

"Given any point on a ellipse, is it always possible to inscribe an equilateral triangle, with a vertex coincident with that point, in the ellipse?" I thought I could use analytical geometry, but ...
1
vote
4answers
100 views

Find the minimum value of this expression with absolute values

The expression is $$|x-3| + |x-1| + |x| + |x+2| + |x+4|$$ I know that the minimum values for this expression is when x = 0 but is there any algebraic way to find this out? I did it on the ...
1
vote
1answer
324 views

Calculating completed percentage of a jigsaw puzzle

At first I thought the solution for this problem was simple…maybe to you it will be, but it evades me at present. I need to figure out how to calculate the completed percentage of a jigsaw puzzle. ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Acceptable Arrangements

A flagpole has spaces for seven colored flags arranged in a vertical line. Two of the flags are yellow, two are green, one is red, one is orange, and one is brown. Flags are to be placed on the pole ...
0
votes
1answer
637 views

Expected number of swaps required to get a palindrome out of a given string

Given a string, you keep swapping any two characters in the string randomly till the string becomes a palindrome. What is the expected number of swaps you will make? There will always be at least ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

How do I evaluate this integral by hand?

TL;DR how do I evaluate $\int_0^{2 \pi } \frac{1}{\cos ^2(\theta )+1} \, d\theta$ by hand? I'm trying to solve this problem: Find the volume of the region defined by $x^2+xy+y^2+yz+z^2\le1$. ...
5
votes
4answers
877 views

Complicated but easy problem solving?

I'm going to be in the UKMT Team Challenge in a few days and revising some questions used in the previous year. The questions are really bugging my mind. I know it may seem like a lot and quite easy ...
0
votes
1answer
219 views

Soccer Team- Venn Diagram

If I could get help with this problem, it would be greatly appreciated. I have been trying using Venn diagram, but can't seem to understand it with four circles. On a soccer team there are four ...
0
votes
1answer
939 views

Probability problem regarding rooks on a chessboard

Eight rooks are placed in distinct squares of an 8 x 8 chessboard, with all possible replacements being equally likely. Find the probability that all the rooks are safe from one another.
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Finding/approximating 2 unknowns using one equation

I’m doing experimental data in a chemistry lab and I have faced this mathematical problem at a point of my work. Hope you guys can help me with that. What would be the best way to find two constants m ...
-1
votes
2answers
97 views

Showing that $x^{11} \equiv 5 \pmod{47}$ has only solution $x \equiv 15$.

I don't understand the proof. Where did they get the first line from, i.e., $21 \times 11=1+5 \times 46$? Fermat's theorem in my view is $a^{46} \equiv 1 \pmod {47}$.
10
votes
6answers
470 views

Which is larger $\sqrt[99]{99!}$ or $\sqrt[100]{100!}$

Which is larger $\sqrt[99]{99!}$ or $\sqrt[100]{100!}$ I know that it is the $\sqrt[100]{100!}$ but is there a formula to figure this out instead of doing it all out by hand?
2
votes
3answers
228 views

How exactly does the response “infintely many” answer the question of “how many”?

I admit that the level of this question is roughly about middle school, but this is what the question asks: The ratio of nickels to dimes to quarters is 3:8:1. If all the coins were dimes, the ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

A question on combinations of a set of numbers

I have the set of the first $n$ primes $\{2,3,5,\ldots,p_n\}$. There are $n^n$ ways of selecting $n$ numbers from this set. Each combination has a number ($C_k$) associated with it and it is the ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Routes to a house

In this city, all the streets that run North and South have lettered names (A,B,C, etc.) and all the streets that run East-West have numbered names (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). As you drive East, the ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Olympic problem on irreducible fraction

Prove that the fraction $\frac{21n+4}{14n+3}$ is irreducible for every natural number $n$.
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Multiplying non-decreasing sequences

Let $(a_n)$ and $(b_n)$ be non-decreasing sequences of positive terms (i.e. $a_n\gt0$ and $b_n\gt0$ for all $n\ge1$). Prove that the sequence $(c_n)$ is non-decreasing, where $c_n=a_nb_n$ for all ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

Math Olympiads: GCD of terms in a sequence equals GCD of terms in other sequence

Recently, someone asked for a proof of a problem from the Russian Mathematical Olympiad, 1995. Math Olympiads: GCD of terms in a sequence equals GCD of their indices. The problem was to show that if ...
6
votes
2answers
262 views

Math Olympiads: GCD of terms in a sequence equals GCD of their indices.

The sequence $a_1 ,a_2 ,a_3 ,...$ of positive integers satisfies $\text{gcd}(a_i ,a_j ) = \text{gcd} (i, j)$ for $i \neq j$. Prove that $a_i = i$ for all $i$. Source: Russian Mathematical Olympiad, ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

Real Life Rounding Phenomena When Solving for Variables

I have a question that I've been thinking a long time about without being able to come up with an answer and would appreciate some help: I am attempting to subtract two distinct fees from a total ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Deck of playing cards

Been going through an previous exam question and came across this: 5 cards are drawn from a deck of playing cards. What is the probability of drawing 3 aces? How do you calculate it using the C(n,r)? ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

Programming Help - Solving for e(n)

I've been wrestling with this issue for a week and I just need some guidance on the math part of it. If I could just understand the math behind it I could piece together the functions to make it ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Maximum likelihood to throw exactly two 6s

One throws a dice $n$ times. For which value of $n$ is maximum the probability to obtain exactly two 6s? I get $$n=11 \text{ or } n=12.$$ My solution: the probability to obtain exactly two 6s in ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Simple Word problem question with boxes and bottles

Bottles are either packed in boxes of 6 *OR* 12. The number of small boxes must atleast be half the number of big boxes. If 240 bottles need to be packed, what's the minimum mumber of boxes needed? ...
2
votes
4answers
99 views

Contest problem involving primes and factorization

Prove that for any nonnegative integer $n$, the number $$5^{5^{n+1}}+ 5^{5^{n}}+1$$ is not prime. I want only some hints and the method to follow, but I don't need the full solution. Thanks.