2018 AMC 10A Problems/Problem 18

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Problem

How many nonnegative integers can be written in the form \[a_7\cdot3^7+a_6\cdot3^6+a_5\cdot3^5+a_4\cdot3^4+a_3\cdot3^3+a_2\cdot3^2+a_1\cdot3^1+a_0\cdot3^0,\] where $a_i\in \{-1,0,1\}$ for $0\le i \le 7$?

$\textbf{(A) } 512 \qquad  \textbf{(B) } 729 \qquad  \textbf{(C) } 1094 \qquad  \textbf{(D) } 3281 \qquad  \textbf{(E) } 59,048$

Solution

This looks like balanced ternary, in which all the integers with absolute values less than $\frac{3^n}{2}$ are represented in $n$ digits. There are 8 digits. Plugging in 8 into the formula gives a maximum bound of $|x|=3280.5$, which means there are 3280 positive integers, 0, and 3280 negative integers. Since we want all nonnegative integers, there are $3280+1=\boxed{3281}$ integers or $\boxed{D}$.

$QED\blacksquare$

Solution 2

Note that all numbers formed from this sum are either positive, negative or zero. The number of positive numbers formed by this sum is equal to the number of negative numbers formed by this sum, because of symmetry. There is only one way to achieve a sum of zero, if all $a_i=0$. The total number of ways to pick $a_i$ from $i=1, 2, 3, ... 7$ is $3^8=6561$. $\frac{6561-1}{2}=3280$ gives the number of possible negative integers. The question asks for the number of nonnegative integers, so subtracting from the total gives $6561-3280=\boxed{3281}$.

~RegularHexagon

See Also

2018 AMC 10A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 17
Followed by
Problem 19
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AMC 10 Problems and Solutions
2018 AMC 12A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 12
Followed by
Problem 14
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
All AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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