2018 UNCO Math Contest II Problems/Problem 2


[asy] pair D=(0,0),B=(0,12),C=(16,0),A=(-9,0); draw(A--B--C--A,dot); draw(D--B,dot); MP("D",D,S);MP("A",A,S);MP("C",C,S);MP("B",B,N); MP("16",(8,0),S);MP("15",(A+B)/2,NW); [/asy]

Segment AB is perpendicular to segment BC and segment AC is perpendicular to segment BD. If segment AB has length 15 and segment DC has length 16, then what is the area of triangle ABC?


Let the altitude $BD$ be called $h$, $AD$ be called $x$, and $BC$ called $y$. Since $ABC$ is a right triangle, we can write a system of equations. \[h^2=16x\] \[15^2=x(x+16)\] \[y^2=16(16+x)\]

Solving the second equation, we get $x^2+16x-225=0 \rightarrow (x-9)(x+25)=0 \rightarrow x=9$ or $-25$. Since $x$ has to be positive, $x=9$. Plugging $9$ into the first equation, we get that $h^2=4^2\cdot3^2 \rightarrow h=12$ or $-12$. Once again, side lengths must be positive, so $h=12$. Now we have an altitude and a base, so the area of $ABC$ is $\frac{(9+16)\cdot12}{2} = \boxed{150}$


See also

2018 UNCO Math Contest II (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 1
Followed by
Problem 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
All UNCO Math Contest Problems and Solutions