2017 AIME I Problems/Problem 5

Problem 5

A rational number written in base eight is $\underline{ab} . \underline{cd}$, where all digits are nonzero. The same number in base twelve is $\underline{bb} . \underline{ba}$. Find the base-ten number $\underline{abc}$.

Solution 1

First, note that the first two digits will always be a positive number. We will start with base twelve because of its repetition. List all the positive numbers in base twelve that have equal tens and ones digits in base 8.






We stop because we only can have two-digit numbers in base 8 and 101 is not a 2 digit number. Compare the ones places to check if they are equal. We find that they are equal if $b=2$ or $b=4$. Evaluating the places to the right side of the decimal point gives us $22.23_{12}$ or $44.46_{12}$. When the numbers are converted into base 8, we get $32.14_8$ and $64.30_8$. Since $d\neq0$, the first value is correct. Compiling the necessary digits leaves us a final answer of $\boxed{321}$

Solution 2

The parts before and after the decimal points must be equal. Therefore $8a + b = 12b + b$ and $c/8 + d/64 = b/12 + a/144$. Simplifying the first equation gives $a = (3/2)b$. Plugging this into the second equation gives $3b/32 = c/8 + d/64$. Multiplying both sides by 64 gives $6b = 8c + d$. $a$ and $b$ are both digits between 1 and 7 (they must be a single non-zero digit in base eight) so using $a = 3/2b$, $(a,b) = (3,2)$ or $(6,4)$. Testing these gives that $(6,4)$ doesn't work, and $(3,2)$ gives $a = 3, b = 2, c = 1$, and $d = 4$. Therefore $abc = \boxed{321}$

Video Solution

https://youtu.be/Mk-MCeVjSGc?t=298 ~Shreyas S

See Also

2017 AIME I (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 4
Followed by
Problem 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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