2012 AIME I Problems/Problem 2

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The terms of an arithmetic sequence add to $715$. The first term of the sequence is increased by $1$, the second term is increased by $3$, the third term is increased by $5$, and in general, the $k$th term is increased by the $k$th odd positive integer. The terms of the new sequence add to $836$. Find the sum of the first, last, and middle terms of the original sequence.

Solution 1

If the sum of the original sequence is $\sum_{i=1}^{n} a_i$ then the sum of the new sequence can be expressed as $\sum_{i=1}^{n} a_i + (2i - 1) = n^2 + \sum_{i=1}^{n} a_i.$ Therefore, $836 = n^2 + 715 \rightarrow n=11.$ Now the middle term of the original sequence is simply the average of all the terms, or $\frac{715}{11} = 65,$ and the first and last terms average to this middle term, so the desired sum is simply three times the middle term, or $\boxed{195}.$


Alternatively, notice that in the original sequence, $11a_1 + 55d = 715$, from which $a_1 + 5d = 65$. Since we are tasked to find $a_1 + a_6 + a_{11} = 3(a_1 + 5d)$, the desired answer is $3 \cdot 65 = \boxed{195}.$

Solution 2

After the adding of the odd numbers, the total of the sequence increases by $836 - 715 = 121 = 11^2$. Since the sum of the first $n$ positive odd numbers is $n^2$, there must be $11$ terms in the sequence, so the mean of the sequence is $\dfrac{715}{11} = 65$. Since the first, last, and middle terms are centered around the mean, our final answer is $65 \cdot 3 = \boxed{195}$

Video Solution by Richard Rusczyk


~ dolphin7

Video Solution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8Ox412AkZc ~Shreyas S

See also

2012 AIME I (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 1
Followed by
Problem 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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