Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 Mathcounts State Prep: Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick

Check out Mathcounts here, the best competition math program for middle school students.
Download this year's Mathcounts handbook here.

The most common cases of Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick are:

I:  \(xy+x+y+1=\left( x+1\right) \left( y+1\right)\)

II:  \(xy-x-y+1=\left( x-1\right) \left( y-1\right)\)

It's easy to learn. Here is the best tutorial online, by none other than Richard Rusczyk.
The method Rusczyk uses at the second half is very nifty. Thanks!!

Questions to ponder:(answer key below)
#1: Both x and y are positive integers and \(x>y\). Find all positive integer(s) that \(xy+x+y=13\) 
#2: Both x and y are positive integers and \(x>y\). Find all positive integer(s) that \(2xy+2x-3y=18\)
#3: Find the length and the width of a rectangle whose area is equal to its perimeter.
#4: Twice the area of a non-square rectangle equals triple it's perimeter, what is the area of the rectangle? 













Answer key:
#1:  x = 6 and y = 1
#2: ( x, y ) = (4, 2) 
#3: Don't forget square is a kind of rectangle (but not the other way around) so there are two answers: 
4 by 4 and 3 by 6 units. 
#4: One side is 4 units and the other 12 units so the answer is 4 x 12 or 48 square units. 
There is another one, 6 by 6 that would fit if the question doesn't specify non-square rectangle. 

1 comment:

  1. The problems are really challenging. I like that.

    ReplyDelete