2013 USAMO Problems/Problem 3
Let be a positive integer. There are marks, each with a black side and a white side, arranged into an equilateral triangle, with the biggest row containing marks. Initially, each mark has the black side up. An operation is to choose a line parallel to the sides of the triangle, and flipping all the marks on that line. A configuration is called admissible if it can be obtained from the initial configuration by performing a finite number of operations. For each admissible configuration , let denote the smallest number of operations required to obtain from the initial configuration. Find the maximum value of , where varies over all admissible configurations. The problems on this page are copyrighted by the Mathematical Association of America's American Mathematics Competitions.