# 2017 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 17

The following problem is from both the 2017 AMC 12B #11 and 2017 AMC 10B #17, so both problems redirect to this page.

## Problem

Call a positive integer $monotonous$ if it is a one-digit number or its digits, when read from left to right, form either a strictly increasing or a strictly decreasing sequence. For example, $3$, $23578$, and $987620$ are monotonous, but $88$, $7434$, and $23557$ are not. How many monotonous positive integers are there? $\textbf{(A)}\ 1024\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ 1524\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ 1533\qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 1536\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ 2048$

## Solution 1

Case 1: monotonous numbers with digits in ascending order

There are $\Sigma_{n=1}^{9} \binom{9}{n}$ ways to choose n digits from the digits 1 to 9. For each of these ways, we can generate exactly one monotonous number by ordering the chosen digits in ascending order. Note that 0 is not included since it will always be a leading digit and that is not allowed. Also, $\emptyset$ (the empty set) isn't included because it doesn't generate a number. The sum is equivalent to $\Sigma_{n=0}^{9} \binom{9}{n} -\binom{9}{0} = 2^9 - 1 = 511.$

Case 2: monotonous numbers with digits in descending order

There are $\Sigma_{n=1}^{10} \binom{10}{n}$ ways to choose n digits from the digits 0 to 9. For each of these ways, we can generate exactly one monotonous number by ordering the chosen digits in descending order. Note that 0 is included since we are allowed to end numbers with zeros. However, $\emptyset$ (the empty set) still isn't included because it doesn't generate a number. The sum is equivalent to $\Sigma_{n=0}^{10} \binom{10}{n} -\binom{10}{0} = 2^{10} - 1 = 1023.$ We discard the number 0 since it is not positive. Thus there are $1022$ here.

Since the 1-digit numbers 1 to 9 satisfy both case 1 and case 2, we have overcounted by 9. Thus there are $511+1022-9=\boxed{\textbf{(B)} 1524}$ monotonous numbers.

## Solution 2

Like Solution 1, divide the problem into an increasing and decreasing case: $\bullet$ Case 1: Monotonous numbers with digits in ascending order.

Arrange the digits 1 through 9 in increasing order, and exclude 0 because a positive integer cannot begin with 0.

To get a monotonous number, we can either include or exclude each of the remaining 9 digits, and there are $2^9 = 512$ ways to do this. However, we cannot exclude every digit at once, so we subtract 1 to get $512-1=511$ monotonous numbers for this case. $\bullet$ Case 2: Monotonous numbers with digits in descending order.

This time, we arrange all 10 digits in decreasing order and repeat the process to find $2^{10} = 1024$ ways to include or exclude each digit. We cannot exclude every digit at once, and we cannot include only 0, so we subtract 2 to get $1024-2=1022$ monotonous numbers for this case.

At this point, we have counted all of the single-digit monotonous numbers twice, so we must subtract 9 from our total.

Thus our final answer is $511+1022-9 = \boxed{\textbf{(B) } 1524}$.

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