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Project Euler – Problem 264

July 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Today I managed to solve problem 264 from Project Euler. This is my highest rating problem until now: 85%. You can click the link for the full text of the problem. The main idea is to find all triangles ABC with vertices having integer coordinates such that

  • the circumcenter O of each of the triangles is the origin
  • the orthocenter H (the intersection of the heights) is the point of coordinates (0,5)
  • the perimeter is lower than a certain bound

I will not give detailed advice or codes. You can already find a program online for this problem (I won’t tell you where) and it can serve to verify the final code, before going for the final result. Anyway, following the hints below may help you get to a solution.

The initial idea has to do with a geometric relation linking the points A, B, C, O and H. Anyone who did some problems with vectors and triangles should have come across the needed relation at some time. If not, just search for important lines in triangles, especially the line passing through O and H (and another important point).

Once you find this vectorial relation, it is possible to translate it in coordinates. The fact that points A, B, C are on a circle centered in O shows that their coordinates satisfy an equation of the form x^2+y^2=n, where n is a positive integer, not necessarily a square… It is possible to enumerate all solutions to the following equation for fixed n, simply by looping over x and y. This helps you find all lattice points on the circle of radius \sqrt{n}.

Once these lattice points are found one needs to check the orthocenter condition. The relations are pretty simple and in the end we have two conditions to check for the sum of the x and y coordinates. The testing procedure is a triple loop. We initially have a list of points on a circle, from the previous step. We loop over them such that we dont count triangles twice: i from 1 to m, j from i+1 to m, k from j+1 to m, etc. Once a suitable solution is found, we compute the perimeter using the classical distance formula between two points given in coordinates. Once the perimeter is computed we add it to the total.

Since the triple loop has cubic complexity, one could turn it in a double loop. Loop over pairs and construct the third point using the orthocenter condition. Then just check if the point is also on the circle. I didn’t manage to make this double loop without overcounting things, so I use it as a test: use double loops to check every family of points on a given circle. If you find something then use a triple loop to count it properly. It turns out that cases where the triple loop is needed are quite rare.

So now you have the ingredients to check if on a circle of given radius there are triangles with the desired properties. Now we just iterate over the square of the radius. The problem is to find the proper upper bound for this radius in order to get all the triangles with perimeter below the bound. It turns out that a simple observation can get you close to a near optimal bound. Since in the end the radii get really large and the size of the triangles gets really large, the segment OH becomes small, being of fixed length 5. When OH is very small, the triangle is almost equilateral. Just use the upper bound for the radius for an equilateral triangle of perimeter equal to the upper bound of 100000 given in the problem.

Using these ideas you can build a bruteforce algorithm. Plotting the values of the radii which give valid triangles will help you find that you only need to loop over a small part of the radii values. Factoring these values will help you reduce even more the search space. I managed to  solve the problem in about 5 hours in Pari GP. This means things could be improved. However, having an algorithm which can give the result in “reasonable” time is fine by me.

I hope this will help you get towards the result.

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Balkan Mathematical Olympiad 2017 – Problems

May 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Problem 1. Find all ordered pairs of positive integers { (x, y)} such that:

\displaystyle x^3+y^3=x^2+42xy+y^2.

Problem 2. Consider an acute-angled triangle {ABC} with {AB<AC} and let {\omega} be its circumscribed circle. Let {t_B} and {t_C} be the tangents to the circle {\omega} at points {B} and {C}, respectively, and let {L} be their intersection. The straight line passing through the point {B} and parallel to {AC} intersects {t_C} in point {D}. The straight line passing through the point {C} and parallel to {AB} intersects {t_B} in point {E}. The circumcircle of the triangle {BDC} intersects {AC} in {T}, where {T} is located between {A} and {C}. The circumcircle of the triangle {BEC} intersects the line {AB} (or its extension) in {S}, where {B} is located between {S} and {A}.

Prove that {ST}, {AL}, and {BC} are concurrent.

Problem 3. Let {\mathbb{N}} denote the set of positive integers. Find all functions {f:\mathbb{N}\longrightarrow\mathbb{N}} such that

\displaystyle n+f(m)\mid f(n)+nf(m)

for all {m,n\in \mathbb{N}}

Problem 4. On a circular table sit {\displaystyle {n> 2}} students. First, each student has just one candy. At each step, each student chooses one of the following actions:

  • (A) Gives a candy to the student sitting on his left or to the student sitting on his right.
  • (B) Separates all its candies in two, possibly empty, sets and gives one set to the student sitting on his left and the other to the student sitting on his right.

At each step, students perform the actions they have chosen at the same time. A distribution of candy is called legitimate if it can occur after a finite number of steps. Find the number of legitimate distributions.

(Two distributions are different if there is a student who has a different number of candy in each of these distributions.)

Source: AoPS

Missing digit – short puzzle

April 15, 2017 Leave a comment

The number 2^{29} has 9 digits, all different; which digit is missing?

Mathematical Mind-Benders, Peter Winkler

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Monotonic bijection from naturals to pairs of natural numbers

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a cute problem I found this evening.

Suppose {\phi : \Bbb{N}^* \rightarrow \Bbb{N}^*\times \Bbb{N}^*} is a bijection such that if {\phi(k) = (i,j),\ \phi(k')=(i',j')} and {k \leq k'}, then {ij \leq i'j'}.

Prove that if {k = \phi(i,j)} then {k \geq ij}.

Proof: The trick is to divide the pairs of positive integers into families with the same product.

\displaystyle \begin{matrix} (1,1) & (1,2) & (1,3) & (1,4) & (1,5) & (1,6) & \cdots \\ & (2,1) & (3,1) & (2,2) & (5,1) & (2,3) & \cdots \\ & & &( 4,1) & & (3,2) & \cdots \\ & & & & & (6,1) & \cdots \end{matrix}

Note that the {M}-th column contains as many elements as the number of divisors of {M}. Now we just just use a simple observation. Let {\phi(k)=(i,j)} be on the {M}-th column (i.e. {ij = M}). If {n \geq 1} then {\phi(k+n)=(i',j')} cannot be on one of the first {M-1} columns. Indeed, the monotonicity property implies {M = ij \leq i'j'}. The fact that {\phi} is a bijection assures us that {\phi(1),...,\phi(k)} cover the first {M-1} columns. Moreover, one element from the {M}-th column is surely covered, namely {(i,j) = \phi(k)}. This means that

\displaystyle k \geq d(1)+...+d(M-1)+1 \geq M = ij,

where we have denoted by {d(n)} the number of positive divisors of {n}.

IMC 2014 Day 1 Problem 4

July 31, 2014 2 comments

Let {n > 6} be a perfect number and {n = p_1^{e_1}...p_k^{e_k}} be its prime factorization with {1<p_1<...<p_k}. Prove that {e_1} is an even number.

A number {n} is perfect if {s(n)=2n}, where {s(n)} is the sum of the divisors of {n}.

IMC 2014 Day 1 Problem 4

Group actions and applications to number theory

April 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Theorem. Let {G} be a finite group and {p} be a prime number. Then {|G|^{p-1} \equiv |\{x \in G : x^p=e\}|}. (we denote by {|X|} the cardinal of {X}).

Proof: Denote {X = \{(g_1,...,g_p) \in \Bbb{Z}^p : g_1...g_p=e\}}. Then {|X|=|G|^{n-1}} since if we cnoose the first {p-1} elements arbitrarily in {G} then the last element can be chosen in a unique way such that the equation is satisfied. Note that {X} is stable under cyclic permutations of the elements of a vector. Therefore the action of {\Bbb{Z}_p} on {X} by

\displaystyle j\cdot (g_1,...,g_p)=(g_{j+1},...,g_{j+p})

is well defined.

We will need the following lemma:

Lemma. If {G} is a {p} group (with {p} prime) and {G} acts on {X} then

\displaystyle |X| \equiv |\{x \in X : G\cdot x = \{x\}\}| \pmod p.

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IMO 1981 Day 1

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Problem 1. Let {P} be a point inside a given triangle {ABC} and denote {D,E,F} the feet of the perpendiculars from {P} to the lines {BC,CA,AB} respectively. Find {P} such that the quantity

\displaystyle \frac{BC}{PD}+\frac{CA}{PE}+\frac{AB}{PF}

is minimal.

Problem 2. Let {1 \leq r\leq n} and consider all subsets of {r} elements of the set {\{1,2,..,n\}}. Each of these subsets has a smallest member. Let {F(n,r)} denote the arithmetic mean of these smallest numbers. Prove that

\displaystyle F(n,r)=\frac{n+1}{r+1}.

Problem 3. Determine the maximum value of {m^3+n^3} where {m,n \in \{1,2,..,1981\}} with {(n^2-mn-m^2)^2=1}.

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