2014 AMC 12B Problems/Problem 16

Problem

Let $P$ be a cubic polynomial with $P(0) = k$, $P(1) = 2k$, and $P(-1) = 3k$. What is $P(2) + P(-2)$ ?

$\textbf{(A)}\ 0\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ k\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 6k\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 7k\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 14k$

Solution

Let $P(x) = Ax^3+Bx^2 + Cx+D$. Plugging in $0$ for $x$, we find $D=k$, and plugging in $1$ and $-1$ for $x$, we obtain the following equations: \[A+B+C+k=2k\] \[-A+B-C+k=3k\] Adding these two equations together, we get \[2B=3k\] If we plug in $2$ and $-2$ in for $x$, we find that \[P(2)+P(-2) = 8A+4B+2C+k+(-8A+4B-2C+k)=8B+2k\] Multiplying the third equation by $4$ and adding $2k$ gives us our desired result, so \[P(2)+P(-2)=12k+2k=\boxed{\textbf{(E)}\ 14k}\]

Solution 2

If we use Gregory's Triangle, the following happens. \[P(-1), P(0), P(1)\] \[3k ,  k  ,  2k\] \[-2k , k\] \[3k\]

Since this is cubic, the common difference is $3k$ for the linear level so the string of $3k$s are infinite in each direction. If we put a $3k$ on each side of the original $3k$, we can solve for $P(-2)$ and $P(2)$.

\[P(-2), P(-1), P(0), P(1), P(2)\] \[8k ,   3k ,  k  ,  2k ,  6k\] \[-5k  , -2k ,  k  ,  4k\] \[3k   ,  3k ,  3k\]

The above shows us that $P(-2)$ is $8k$ and $P(2)$ is $6k$ so $8k+6k=14k$.

See also

2014 AMC 12B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 15
Followed by
Problem 17
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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

Invalid username
Login to AoPS