2016 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 25


Let $f(x)=\sum_{k=2}^{10}(\lfloor kx \rfloor -k \lfloor x \rfloor)$, where $\lfloor r \rfloor$ denotes the greatest integer less than or equal to $r$. How many distinct values does $f(x)$ assume for $x \ge 0$?

$\textbf{(A)}\ 32\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 36\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 45\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 46\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ \text{infinitely many}$

Solution 1

Since $x = \lfloor x \rfloor + \{ x \}$, we have

\[f(x) = \sum_{k=2}^{10} (\lfloor k \lfloor x \rfloor +k \{ x \} \rfloor - k \lfloor x \rfloor)\]

The function can then be simplified into

\[f(x) = \sum_{k=2}^{10} ( k \lfloor x \rfloor + \lfloor k \{ x \} \rfloor - k \lfloor x \rfloor)\]

which becomes

\[f(x) = \sum_{k=2}^{10} \lfloor k \{ x \} \rfloor\]

We can see that for each value of $k$, $\lfloor k \{ x \} \rfloor$ can equal integers from $0$ to $k-1$.

Clearly, the value of $\lfloor k \{ x \} \rfloor$ changes only when $\{ x \}$ is equal to any of the fractions $\frac{1}{k}, \frac{2}{k} \dots \frac{k-1}{k}$.

So we want to count how many distinct fractions less than $1$ have the form $\frac{m}{n}$ where $n \le 10$. Explanation for this is provided below. We can find this easily by computing

\[\sum_{k=2}^{10} \phi(k)\]

where $\phi(k)$ is the Euler Totient Function. Basically $\phi(k)$ counts the number of fractions with $k$ as its denominator (after simplification). This comes out to be $31$.

Because the value of $f(x)$ is at least $0$ and can increase $31$ times, there are a total of $\fbox{\textbf{(A)}\ 32}$ different possible values of $f(x)$.


Arrange all such fractions in increasing order and take a current $\frac{m}{n}$ to study. Let $p$ denote the previous fraction in the list and $x_\text{old}$ ($0 \le x_\text{old} < k$ for each $k$) be the largest so that $\frac{x_\text{old}}{k} \le p$. Since $\frac{m}{n} > p$, we clearly have all $x_\text{new} \ge x_\text{old}$. Therefore, the change must be nonnegative.

But among all numerators coprime to $n$ so far, $m$ is the largest. Therefore, choosing $\frac{m}{n}$ as ${x}$ increases the value $\lfloor n \{ x \} \rfloor$. Since the overall change in $f(x)$ is positive as fractions $m/n$ increase, we deduce that all such fractions correspond to different values of the function.

Solution 2

$x = \lfloor x \rfloor + \{ x \}$ so we have \[f(x) = \sum_{k=2}^{10} \lfloor k \{ x \} \rfloor.\] Clearly, the value of $\lfloor k \{ x \} \rfloor$ changes only when $x$ is equal to any of the fractions $\frac{1}{k}, \frac{2}{k} \dots \frac{k-1}{k}$. To get all the fractions, Graphing this function gives us $46$ different fractions but on an average, $3$ in each of the $5$ intervals don’t work. This means there are a total of $\fbox{\textbf{(A)}\ 32}$ different possible values of $f(x)$.

Video Solution


See Also

2016 AMC 10B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
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