Difference between revisions of "2021 AMC 12A Problems/Problem 16"

Problem

In the following list of numbers, the integer $n$ appears $n$ times in the list for $1 \leq n \leq 200$.$$1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, \ldots, 200, 200, \ldots , 200$$What is the median of the numbers in this list?

Solution 1

There are $1+2+..+199+200=\frac{(200)(201)}{2}=20100$ numbers in total. Let the median be $k$. We want to find the median $k$ such that $$\frac{k(k+1)}{2}=20100/2,$$ or $$k(k+1)=20100.$$ Note that $\sqrt{20100} \approx 142$. Plugging this value in as $k$ gives $$\frac{1}{2}(142)(143)=10153.$$ $10153-142<10050$, so $142$ is the $152$nd and $153$rd numbers, and hence, our desired answer. $\fbox{(C) 142}$.

Note that we can derive $\sqrt{20100} \approx 142$ through the formula $$\sqrt{n} = \sqrt{a+b} \approx \sqrt{a} + \frac{b}{2\sqrt{a} + 1},$$ where $a$ is a perfect square less than or equal to $n$. We set $a$ to $19600$, so $\sqrt{a} = 140$, and $b = 500$. We then have $n \approx 140 + \frac{500}{2(140)+1} \approx 142$. ~approximation by ciceronii

Solution 2

The $x$th number of this sequence is $\left\lceil\frac{-1\pm\sqrt{1+8x}}{2}\right\rceil$ via the quadratic formula. We can see that if we halve $x$ we end up getting $\left\lceil\frac{-1\pm\sqrt{1+4x}}{2}\right\rceil$. This is approximately the number divided by $\sqrt{2}$. $\frac{200}{\sqrt{2}} = 141.4$ and since $142$ looks like the only number close to it, it is answer $\boxed{(C) 142}$ ~Lopkiloinm

Video Solution by OmegaLearn (Using Algebra)

 2021 AMC 10A (Problems • Answer Key • Resources) Preceded byProblem 15 Followed byProblem 17 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
 2021 AMC 12A (Problems • Answer Key • Resources) Preceded byProblem 15 Followed byProblem 17 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