Some random problems in algebra (part b) for RMO and INMO training

1) Solve in real numbers the system of equations:






Hints: do you see some quadratics ? Can we reduce the number of variables? …Try such thinking on your own…

2) Let a_{1}, a_{2}, a_{3}, a_{4}, a_{5} be real numbers such that a_{1}+a_{2}+a_{3}+a_{4}+a_{5}=0 and \max_{1 \leq i <j \leq 5} |a_{i}-a_{j}| \leq 1. Prove that a_{1}^{2}+a_{2}^{2}+a_{3}^{2}+a_{4}^{2}+a_{5}^{2} \leq 10.

3) Let a, b, c be positive real numbers. Prove that

\frac{1}{2a} + \frac{1}{2b} + \frac{1}{2d} \geq \frac{1}{a+b} + \frac{1}{b+c} + \frac{1}{c+a}

More later

Nalin Pithwa.

Some random assorted (part A) problems in algebra for RMO and INMO training

You might want to take a serious shot at each of these. In the first stage of attack, apportion 15 minutes of time for each problem. Do whatever you can, but write down your steps in minute detail. In the last 5 minutes, check why the method or approach does not work. You can even ask — or observe, for example, that if surds are there in an equation, the equation becomes inherently tough. So, as a child we are tempted to think — how to get rid of the surds ?…and so on, thinking in math requires patience and introversion…

So, here are the exercises for your math gym today:

1) Prove that if x, y, z are non-zero real numbers with x+y+z=0, then

\frac{x^{2}+y^{2}}{x+y} + \frac{y^{2}+z^{2}}{y+z} + \frac{z^{2}+x^{2}}{x+z} = \frac{x^{3}}{yz} + \frac{y^{3}}{zx} + \frac{z^{3}}{xy}

2) Let a b, c, d be complex numbers with a+b+c+d=0. Prove that


3) Let a, b, c, d be integers. Prove that a+b+c+d divides


4) Solve in complex numbers the equation:


5) Solve in real numbers the equation:

\sqrt{x} + \sqrt{y} + 2\sqrt{z-2} + \sqrt{u} + \sqrt{v} = x+y+z+u+v

6) Find the real solutions to the equation:


7) Solve the equation:

\sqrt{x + \sqrt{4x + \sqrt{16x + \sqrt{\ldots + \sqrt{4^{n}x+3}}}}} - \sqrt{x}=1

8) Prove that if x, y, z are real numbers such that x^{3}+y^{3}+z^{3} \neq 0, then the ratio \frac{2xyz - (x+y+z)}{x^{3}+y^{3}+z^{3}} equals 2/3 if and only if x+y+z=0.

9) Solve in real numbers the equation:

\sqrt{x_{1}-1} = 2\sqrt{x_{2}-4}+ \ldots + n\sqrt{x_{n}-n^{2}}=\frac{1}{2}(x_{1}+x_{2}+ \ldots + x_{n})

10) Find the real solutions to the system of equations:

\frac{1}{x} + \frac{1}{y} = 9

(\frac{1}{\sqrt[3]{x}} + \frac{1}{\sqrt[3]{y}})(1+\frac{1}{\sqrt[3]{x}})(1+\frac{1}{\sqrt[3]{y}})=18

More later,
Nalin Pithwa

PS: if you want hints, do let me know…but you need to let me know your approach/idea first…else it is spoon-feeding…

Another Romanian Mathematical Olympiad problem

Ref: Romanian Mathematical Olympiad — Final Round, 1994

Ref: Titu Andreescu


Let M, N, P, Q, R, S be the midpoints of the sides AB, BC, CD, DE, EF, FA of a hexagon. Prove that

RN^{2}=MQ^{2}+PS^{2} if and only if MQ is perpendicular to PS.


Let a, b, c, d, e, f be the coordinates of the vertices of the hexagon. The points M, N, P, Q, R, and S have the coordinates

m=\frac{a+b}{2}, n=\frac{b+c}{2}, =\frac{c+d}{2},

q=\frac{d+e}{2}, r=\frac{e+f}{2}, s=\frac{f+a}{2}, respectively.

Using the properties of the real product of complex numbers, (please fill in the gaps here), we have


if and only if

(e+f-b-c).(e+f-b-c) = (d+e-a-b).(d+e-a-b)+(f+a-c-d).(f+a-c-d)

That is,


hence, MQ is perpendicular to PS, as claimed. QED.

More later,

Nalin Pithwa

Practice problems involving moduli and conjugates

Problem 1.

Let z_{1}, z_{2}, \ldots, z_{2n} be complex numbers such that |z_{1}|=|z_{2}| = \ldots = |z_{2n}| and \arg {z_{1}}\leq \arg {z_{2}} \leq \ldots \leq \arg {z_{2n}} \leq \pi. Prove that

|z_{1}+z_{2n}| \leq |z_{2}+z_{2n-1}| \leq \ldots \leq |z_{n}+z_{n+1}|

Problem 2:

(Vietnamese Mathematical Olympiad, 1996)

Find all positive real numbers x and y satisfying the system of equations:



Problem 3:

Let z_{1}, z_{2}, z_{3} be complex numbers. Prove that z_{1}+z_{2}+z_{3}=0 if and only if |z_{1}|=|z_{2}+z_{3}|, |z_{2}|=|z_{3}+z_{1}| and z_{3}=|z_{1}+z_{2}|.

You are most welcome to send your comments, discuss, etc.

Nalin Pithwa.

Algebraic equations and polynomials


Consider the quadratic equation


where a, b, c \in C^{*} and denote by z_{1}, z_{2} its roots. Prove that if \frac{b}{c} is a real number then |z_{1}|=|z_{2}| or \frac{z_{1}}{z_{2}} \in \Re.


Let t = \frac{b}{c} \in \Re. Then, b=tc and

\delta = (ab)^{2}-4a^{2}.c^{2}=a^{2}c^{2}(t^{2}-4).

If |t| \geq 2, the roots of the equation are

z_{1,2}=-\frac{-tac \pm ac \sqrt{t^{2}-4}}{2a^{2}}=\frac{c}{2a}(-t \pm \sqrt{t^{2}-4}) and it is obvious that \frac{z_{1}}{z_{2}} is a real  number.

If |t|<2,, the roots of the equation are

z_{1,2}=\frac{c}{2a}(-t \pm i \sqrt{4-t^{2}})

hence, |z_{1}|=|z_{2}|=\frac{|c|}{|a|}, as claimed.


More later,

Nalin Pithwa