# 2011 AIME I Problems/Problem 8

## Problem

In triangle $ABC$, $BC = 23$, $CA = 27$, and $AB = 30$. Points $V$ and $W$ are on $\overline{AC}$ with $V$ on $\overline{AW}$, points $X$ and $Y$ are on $\overline{BC}$ with $X$ on $\overline{CY}$, and points $Z$ and $U$ are on $\overline{AB}$ with $Z$ on $\overline{BU}$. In addition, the points are positioned so that $\overline{UV}\parallel\overline{BC}$, $\overline{WX}\parallel\overline{AB}$, and $\overline{YZ}\parallel\overline{CA}$. Right angle folds are then made along $\overline{UV}$, $\overline{WX}$, and $\overline{YZ}$. The resulting figure is placed on a level floor to make a table with triangular legs. Let $h$ be the maximum possible height of a table constructed from triangle $ABC$ whose top is parallel to the floor. Then $h$ can be written in the form $\frac{k\sqrt{m}}{n}$, where $k$ and $n$ are relatively prime positive integers and $m$ is a positive integer that is not divisible by the square of any prime. Find $k+m+n$.

$[asy] unitsize(1 cm); pair translate; pair[] A, B, C, U, V, W, X, Y, Z; A[0] = (1.5,2.8); B[0] = (3.2,0); C[0] = (0,0); U[0] = (0.69*A[0] + 0.31*B[0]); V[0] = (0.69*A[0] + 0.31*C[0]); W[0] = (0.69*C[0] + 0.31*A[0]); X[0] = (0.69*C[0] + 0.31*B[0]); Y[0] = (0.69*B[0] + 0.31*C[0]); Z[0] = (0.69*B[0] + 0.31*A[0]); translate = (7,0); A[1] = (1.3,1.1) + translate; B[1] = (2.4,-0.7) + translate; C[1] = (0.6,-0.7) + translate; U[1] = U[0] + translate; V[1] = V[0] + translate; W[1] = W[0] + translate; X[1] = X[0] + translate; Y[1] = Y[0] + translate; Z[1] = Z[0] + translate; draw (A[0]--B[0]--C[0]--cycle); draw (U[0]--V[0],dashed); draw (W[0]--X[0],dashed); draw (Y[0]--Z[0],dashed); draw (U[1]--V[1]--W[1]--X[1]--Y[1]--Z[1]--cycle); draw (U[1]--A[1]--V[1],dashed); draw (W[1]--C[1]--X[1]); draw (Y[1]--B[1]--Z[1]); dot("A",A[0],N); dot("B",B[0],SE); dot("C",C[0],SW); dot("U",U[0],NE); dot("V",V[0],NW); dot("W",W[0],NW); dot("X",X[0],S); dot("Y",Y[0],S); dot("Z",Z[0],NE); dot(A[1]); dot(B[1]); dot(C[1]); dot("U",U[1],NE); dot("V",V[1],NW); dot("W",W[1],NW); dot("X",X[1],dir(-70)); dot("Y",Y[1],dir(250)); dot("Z",Z[1],NE);[/asy]$

## Solution

Note that the area is given by Heron's formula and it is $20\sqrt{221}$. Let $h_i$ denote the length of the altitude dropped from vertex i. It follows that $h_b = \frac{40\sqrt{221}}{27}, h_c = \frac{40\sqrt{221}}{30}}, h_a = \frac{40\sqrt{221}}{23}$ (Error compiling LaTeX. ! Extra }, or forgotten \$.). From similar triangles we can see that $\frac{27h}{h_a}+\frac{27h}{h_c} \le 27 \rightarrow h \le \frac{h_ah_c}{h_a+h_c}$. We can see this is true for any combination of a,b,c and thus the minimum of the upper bounds for h yields $h = \frac{40\sqrt{221}}{57} \rightarrow \boxed{318}$.

## See also

 2011 AIME I (Problems • Answer Key • Resources) Preceded byProblem 7 Followed byProblem 9 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 All AIME Problems and Solutions

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

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