2010 AIME II Problems/Problem 4


Dave arrives at an airport which has twelve gates arranged in a straight line with exactly $100$ feet between adjacent gates. His departure gate is assigned at random. After waiting at that gate, Dave is told the departure gate has been changed to a different gate, again at random. Let the probability that Dave walks $400$ feet or less to the new gate be a fraction $\frac{m}{n}$, where $m$ and $n$ are relatively prime positive integers. Find $m+n$.


Solution 1

There are $12 \cdot 11 = 132$ possible situations ($12$ choices for the initially assigned gate, and $11$ choices for which gate Dave's flight was changed to). We are to count the situations in which the two gates are at most $400$ feet apart.

If we number the gates $1$ through $12$, then gates $1$ and $12$ have four other gates within $400$ feet, gates $2$ and $11$ have five, gates $3$ and $10$ have six, gates $4$ and $9$ have have seven, and gates $5$, $6$, $7$, $8$ have eight. Therefore, the number of valid gate assignments is \[2\cdot(4+5+6+7)+4\cdot8 = 2 \cdot 22 + 4 \cdot 8 = 76\] so the probability is $\frac{76}{132} = \frac{19}{33}$. The answer is $19 + 33 = \boxed{052}$.

Solution 2

As before, derive that there are $132$ possibilities for Dave's original and replacement gates.

Now suppose that Dave has to walk $100k$ feet to get to his new gate. This means that Dave's old and new gates must be $k$ gates apart. (For example, a $100$ foot walk would consist of the two gates being adjacent to each other.) There are $12-k$ ways to pick two gates which are $k$ gates apart, and $2$ possibilities for gate assignments, for a total of $2(12-k)$ possible assignments for each $k$.

As a result, the total number of valid gate arrangements is \[2\cdot 11 + 2\cdot 10 + 2\cdot 9 + 2\cdot 8 = 76\] and so the requested probability is $\tfrac{19}{33}$ for a final answer of $\boxed{052}$.

See also

2010 AIME II (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 3
Followed by
Problem 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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