Illinois State University Mathematics Department

MAT 305: Combinatorics Topics for K-8 Teachers

Spring 2001
Dr. Roger Day (

Test #2
Possible Solutions

Please write your solutions on one side only of each piece of paper you use, and please begin each solution on a new sheet of paper. You may use factorial notation as well as combination and permutation notation where appropriate (i.e., there is no need to expand 24!).

You are to work alone on this test. You may not use anyone else's work nor may you refer to any materials as you complete the test. You may ask me questions.

Evaluation Criteria

You may earn up to 10 points on each of questions 1 through 6. For each question:

  • 6 points count toward a correct solution to the problem. I will evaluate the mathematics you use:
    • Is it accurate and appropriate?
    • Have you provided adequate justification?
  • 4 points count toward how you express your solution. I will evaluate how you communicate your results:
    • Is your solution clear and complete?
    • Have you expressed logical connections among components of your solution?


Respond to each of these questions. While you may show steps leading to your solution, you do not need to generate written explanations for questions (a) through (e) on this page. (2 points each)

(a) What value K satisfies the equation P(12,4) = KoC(12,4)?

(b) How many distinct arrangements exist for the letters in the word mammilliform?

(c) In the expansion of (a+c+e+g+i)^10, state:

(i) the number of uncollected terms

(ii) the coefficient R in the collected term Ra^3cg^2i^4.

(d) Determine the number of collected terms in the expansion of (x+y)^6.

(e) Replace r and s in C(10,5) &emdash; C(9,5) = C(r,s) to correctly illustrate Pascal's Formula, a fundamental relationship that exists in Pascal's Triangle.



Geovanna walks from her apartment to the library every day. Her apartment is 7 blocks north and 12 blocks east of the library. Geovanna walks along city streets that are laid out in a grid system.

(a) Given access to all the streets in the system, how many different 19-block routes could Geovanna use to get from home to the library? (3 points)

(b) The east/west street running outside Geovanna's apartment is under repair. She cannot walk west on that street for the first 3 blocks outside her apartment. Now how many different 19-block routes could Geovanna use to get from home to the library? (3 points)

(c) Again given access to all the streets in the system, how many different 21-block routes could Geovanna use to get from home to the library? (4 points)



Referring to the letters in the word ENTEROBACTERIACEAE, solve each of the following problems. Each problem is independent and separate from the others.

(a) How many arrangements are there for the letters in this word? (2 points)

(b) How many arrangements exist if each cannot begin nor end with E? (2 points)

(c) How many arrangements can be made if no two consonants can be adjacent to each other? (3 points)

(d) If the only distinction we can make is between vowels and consonants, how many arrangements can be made? (3 points)



Roger is taking a True/False test in his automobile mechanics class. There are 10 unique items on the test. Using a numbered answer sheet, students are requested to circle either True or False corresponding to each item.

(a) How many different responses could Roger submit on the 10-item answer sheet, assuming he responds either True or False to each item? (3 points)

(b) If we allow for the possibility that Roger might not circle either True or False on any or all items (i.e., he could leave items blank), how many different answer-sheet responses could he submit? (3 points)

(c) Roger's friend Howie took the True/False test before Roger did. Howie told Roger there were 5 True items and 5 False items. If Roger heeded Howie's advice and circled 5 True and 5 False on the answer sheet, how many different answer-sheet responses could he submit? (4 points)



Consider the expansion of the binomial (2a-b)^12.

(a) How many uncollected terms are in this expansion? (4 points)

(b) In the collected term Ha^5b^7, what is the numerical value of H? (6 points)



Choose one of the following problems and solve it in the space provided. If more than one solution appears, I will evaluate only the first one I encounter.

I. A shelf is to contain nine different books, six different paperback books and three different hardback books. If the paperback books must be shelved in pairs (that is, exactly two paperback books must be adjacent to each other), how many ways can the nine books be shelved?

II. In the expansion of (r + s + t + u + v)^15, determine the number of different ways a coefficient of 15 appears among the collected terms.


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