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Putnam Problem Set 3

September 8th

1. (YZ) Meet Alice. She has a number stuck to her forehead. Meet Bob.
He has one, too. They are aware that their numbers are consecutive positive
integers, and can clearly see the others number, but do not know what their
own is. YET.
Alice says Dont know yet
Bob says Dont know yet
Alice says Dont know yet
The conversation continues in this fashion for a while until finally
Alice says I KNOW WHAT MY NUMBER IS!
Bob says YEAH! AND MINES 295!

Whats Alices number, how many times did she say Dont know yet before
figuring it out?

2. (M) There are three switches in a hallway. One switch controls a light
fixture in a room at the far end of the hall. The door to the room is closed,
and you cant see whether the light is on or off. You need to find out which
of the three switches controls the light. How can you be certain of finding
out, making just one trip to the room?

3. You have 8 pencils which all look alike. One of the pencils is special and
weighs more than the other seven (which all have the same weight). How
can you use a balance two times to find the special pencil?

4. Let A be an m n matrix with every entry either 0 or 1. How many

such matrices A are there for which the number of 1s in each row and each
column is even?
5. (P 1998 A2) Let s be any arc of the unit circle lying entirely in the
first quadrant. Let A be the area of the region lying below s and above the
x-axis and let B be the area of the region lying to the left of s and to the
right of the y-axis. Prove that A + B depends only on the arc length, and
not on the position, of s.

6. (P 1995 A2)ZFor what pairs (a, b ) ofqpositive real numbers does the
q

improper integral x+a x x x b dx converge?
b

7. (P 2000 B4) Let f (x) be a continuous function such that

f (2x2 1) = 2xf (x) for all x. Show that f (x) = 0 for 1 x 1.

8. (P 1975 A6) Let P1 , P2 and P3 be the vertices of an acute-angled

triangle situated in three-dimensional space. Show that it is always possible
to locate two additional points P4 and P5 in such a way that no three of the
points are collinear and so that the line through any two of the five points is
perpendicular to the plane determined by the other three. In writing your
answer, state clearly the locations at which you place the points P4 and P5 .