# 1997 AIME Problems/Problem 5

## Problem

The number $r$ can be expressed as a four-place decimal $0.abcd,$ where $a, b, c,$ and $d$ represent digits, any of which could be zero. It is desired to approximate $r$ by a fraction whose numerator is 1 or 2 and whose denominator is an integer. The closest such fraction to $r$ is $\frac 27.$ What is the number of possible values for $r$?

## Solution

The nearest fractions to $\frac 27$ with numerator $1$ are $\frac 13, \frac 14$; and with numerator $2$ are $\frac 26, \frac 28 = \frac 13, \frac 14$ anyway. For $\frac 27$ to be the best approximation for $r$, the decimal must be closer to $\frac 27 \approx .28571$ than to $\frac 13 \approx .33333$ or $\frac 14 \approx .25$.

Thus $r$ can range between $\frac{\frac 14 + \frac{2}{7}}{2} \approx .267857$ and $\frac{\frac 13 + \frac{2}{7}}{2} \approx .309523$. At $r = .2678, .3096$, it becomes closer to the other fractions, so $.2679 \le r \le .3095$ and the number of values of $r$ is $3095 - 2679 + 1 = \boxed{417}$.

The problems on this page are copyrighted by the Mathematical Association of America's American Mathematics Competitions. 