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LEVEL 5 SESSION 1

SPECIAL SYMBOLS AND OPERATION

In this lecture, we learn how to solve the following types of problems using unconventional signs for the

written notation of mathematical notions and reasoning: additions, subtractions, multiplications, divisions,

exponents, and radicals.

All the rules of operations (addition, subtractions, multiplications, divisions, radicals, and exponents) we

learnt from arithmetic and algebra are still valid with these symbols.

Fundamental law of fractions:

a

a ac

.

For any fraction b and any number c 0, b b c

Division of fractions

To divide by a fraction, we simply multiply by its reciprocal.

a c a d ad

b d b c bc

Power rules of exponents

a m a n a mn

a mn a m a n

m n

a mn

a m a m

m

b

b

Properties of radicals

ab

a

b

a nbn

am

m

b

ab a b a 0, and b 0

a

a

b

b

n

am

a 0, and b 0

an

x x

x y yx

xy x y , and

x

x

y

y

y 0.

Square binomial

x y x 2 2 xy y 2

2

x y x 2 2 xy y 2

x2 y 2 x y x y

2

Number of divisors

a

b

c

m

For an integer n greater than 1, let the prime factorization of n be n p1 p2 p3 ... pk , where a, b, c,..., and

p , p , ..., pk

m are nonnegative integers, 1 2

are prime numbers.

d n a 1 b 1 c 1 ... m 1

The number of divisors is:

Sum of the positive divisors

The sum of divisors is:

pk m1 1

p a 1

p2b 1

n 1

...

p1 1 p2 1 pk 1

Or n p1a p1a 1 ... p10 p2b p2b 1 ... p20 ... pk m pk m 1 ... pk 0

n

Pattern of the last digit of a

n

The last digits of a have patterns shown in the table below.

n

1

2

3

4

Perio

d

n

2

4

8

6

4

2

n

3

9

7

1

4

3

n

4

6

2

4

n

5

1

5

n

6

1

6

n

7

9

3

1

4

7

n

8

4

2

6

4

8

n

9

1

2

9

For example, when a 2,

21 2

22 4,

23 8,

2 4 16,

25 32,

26 64,

27 128, 28 256,...

n

The last digits of 2 demonstrate a pattern: 2, 4, 8, 6, 4, 8, 6, etc

Pythagorean triples

2

2

2

A Pythagorean triple consists of three positive integers a ,b, and c, such that a b c .

There are 16 primitive Pythagorean triples with c 100 :

(3, 4, 5)

(5, 12, 13) (8, 15, 17) (7, 24, 25)

(20, 21, 29) (12, 35, 37) (9, 40, 41) (28, 45, 53)

(11, 60, 61) (16, 63, 65) (33, 56, 65) (28, 45, 53)

(13, 84, 85) (36, 77, 85) (39, 80, 89) (65, 72, 97)

Additions

Example

For any positive integer n, define (6) n to be the sum of the positive factors of n. For example,

6 1 2 3 6 12. Find 18 .

18 1 2 3 6 9 18 39.

39 1 3 13 39 56.

Method 1:

First calculate

Method 2:

18 32 2.

Solution:

3 3 3 2 2 13 3 39.

3 3 13 13 56.

The sum of the positive factors of 39 is

18 56.

2

Subtractions

3

2

h h h ?

Define x y x y . What is

Example:

h h h3 h 2 .

h h h h h 3 h 2 h3 h 3 h 2 h 2 .

Multiplications

4 3 2 1,

Example:

If 4! Means

5! 5 4 3!

5 4 20.

3!

3!

Solution:

5!

?

3!

what is the value of

Divisions

Example:

What is the value of

a b

a b

.

a b

1 2 4 ?

1 2

3.

1 2

First we have

1 2 4 3 4 33 44 17 .

Then

1 2

Solution:

Exponents

Example:

2

1

2

1

1

1

1 2 4 4 4 2 and

2

2

4

16

2

2

2

1

1 2 4 1 1 1 1.

1

4

a

.

b Determine 1 2 4 1 2 4 .

Solution:

We have

a b

1

15

1 2 4 1 2 4 1 .

16

16

Therefore

Radicals

Example:

Solution:

a b a 2 b2 .

It follows from the definition that

8 15 15 8

82 152

15

8 15 15 8 ?

8 17 17 17 2 17 2 17 2.

2

BRAIN EXERCISES

1. For the positive integer n, let n denote the sum of all the positive divisors of n with the exception of

n itself. For example, 4 1 2 3 and 12 1 2 3 4 6 16. What is 28 ?

x 8 8

x 12?

2.

Let

denote the sum of the digits of the positive integer x. For example,

123 1 2 3 6.

For how many two-digit values of x is

3.

2

2

3 2 13.

If a b a ab b , then find

a 2 b2

a b

.

b3

4.

5.

If

ab a b ab b,

what is

5 7 3?

1 2

.

2

2

3 2 5?

If ab a 2ab b , what is the value of

2 1

and

2

2

7. The operation is defined as m n m mn n , and the operation z is defined as

m z n 2 m n .

3 4 z 4 3 .

Compute

ab ab a b,

ab 6.

If for positive integers a and b,

find the value of a b in the equation

8.

x y to mean 2 x 3 y. Evaluate 4 3 5 3 .

. Define

9

3

2

4 2 1 ?

. Given that a b a b , what is the value of

10

1 1 1

n 1

!n n ! 1 1

1! 2! 3!

n !

!x

x 6:

.

! x 1

Express the following where for

n{ n 2 1. 12. The operation { is defined by

What is the value of the following:

10 3{ 5 4{ ?

2 3 4.

find

3

a b a 3 b3 and a b a b .

14. Two binary operations are defined by the rules

What is the value

4 6 8 3 5 .

2 3 9?

of

a b ab 1,

15. Given

evaluate:

4 6 8 3 5 ?

a b ab 1 and a b a b 1,

16. If

what is the value of

a b 13. If

is defined as

a 1 b 1 ,

6@ 3

?

17. Define a @ b ab b and a # b a b ab . What is 6 #3

abc

.

a, b, c

a b c Find 2, 5, 8 .

18. For the nonzero numbers a, b, c, define

ab

a b

.

3 4 5

a b

19. Express

as a common fraction given

3 1 2.

a b ,

a b

b

20. If

compare

1 1

b a

a b

,

a b

21. If

express 5 7 as a common fraction.

a b

a b

, find 5 6 1.

a b

22. Given

a b

,

6 3 5 ?

. If a b is defined as 2

what is the value of

23

2

x y xy ,

x

b

4 2 3 ?

. If a b means 3a 2 , then what value is associated with

24. If

25

b

a

4 3 3 4 ?

. If a b a b , what is

26

a

2 3 3 2 .

27. For natural numbers a and b, a b b 2ab. Find the value of

y

y

4 V 2 3 V 1 .

28. If x V y = x x y , find the value of

x y xy ,

x

29. If

30.

3a b

a2

a Wb

,

ab= a,

2 3 W 2 1 .

ab

b and

Given

find the common fraction equivalent to

s a, b a 2 b 2 ,

31. Let s be defined as

for all real numbers a and b. Find

a, b a 2 b 2 ,

16,63 , 33,56

32. Let be defined as

for all real numbers a and b. Find

and

express in simplest radical form.

2 3

x y xy ,

x 2 find the value of 4 4 3. Express your answer as a common fraction.

33. If

MIND STRAINERS

1. Let the operations and be defined for all real numbers a and b as follows:

a b a 3b

a b a 4b

4 5 y 5 y 4,

If

what is the value of y?

.

For

the

positive

integer

n,

let n denote the sum of all the positive divisors of n with the exception of

2

n itself. For example, 4 = 1 2 3 and 12 = 1 2 3 4 6 16. What is 18 ?

A B

AV B ,

B A what is the value of 3 V 2 2 V 3 ?

. If

3

3

1 2 3

4. If represents an operation defined by a b a b, find

.

a b

5.

If

6.

Given that

8.

9.

10.

11.

1 1

,

a b for what decimal value of a is a 0.2 10?

a V b a 2 b 2.

2

4 3 18.

If a b a b, evaluate

3

h h h ?

Define x y x y. What is

2

2

3 2 4?

If x y x y , what is

If

ab ab a b,

3b 5.

3 2 ?

12. Suppose that a b ab b for all integers a and b. What is the value of

A B 3 A2 2 B3 , find 7 3.

13. If

2

9 < <.

. If y < y 1, find

14

2

2 q 3 q 1 .

If aq b 3a b , find

15.

8!

16. If 4! means 4 3 2 1, express 6!2!2! in simplest form.

9 7. 17.

Given

a b a a b b a b ,

find

a c

5

x

ab cd .

8,

d

b

2

6

a

,

b

,

c

,

and

d

,

18. For all values

If

what is x?

2

3 2 2 3 .

If a b a b, find

19.

x

3 3

x y xy,

y

20. If

express 8 4 as a common fraction.

23.

24.

25.

b2

a b

a b

,

b evaluate: 6 3 9 .

Given the operations: a b 2 a b and

a 2 b2

a b

.

a b Express your answer as a common fraction.

Evaluate 3 4 if

8a 2b

a b

.

2ab Express 3 3 3 as a common fraction.

The operation is defined to be

ab

,

abc

c what is the value of 123 231 312?

If

21. Given

22.

a

b

26. If

A B

a b

a b

,

2

ab

2A B

,

3 4 5? Express your answer as a common fraction.

2

what is the value of

27. If

7 9 3017 ?

ab

,

2 find 7 9 12.

a b

28. Given

a

a b ab ,

29. If

find 5 2. Express the answer as a whole number.

a

a b a b , then what value is associated with 2 3?

30. If

BRAIN PROVOKERS

1.

2.

3.

4.

a

5 2 3 2 ?

If a b is defined as 2a b , what value is associated with

a

b

2 { 3 3 { 2 .

Given a { b b ba a , find

a

4 T 2 2 T 4 .

For natural numbers, a and b a T b b a b. Find the value of

b

a

a b a b a b ,

a a b a 3 and b 2?

Given the a b a b , and

what is the value of

if

a b a b a b b a , find

3 5.

5.

If

6.

1 1

a b ,

a b

If

find 2 3.

7.

1

2 6

and express the result as a common fraction.

8.

9.

10.

Let be defined as

a, b a 2 b 2 ,

8,5 ,144 .

2

2

13 84 36 77 .

Given a b a b , find

6 10 5.

Given that x y x y , find

11. The symbols and represent different operations, either

x if 17 x 54* x.

Prepared by

NOTE: All publications are protected by copyright. It is unlawful to make copies without the prior written

permission of the Mathematics Trainers Guild, Philippines.

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