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[Solutions] William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition 2008

  1. Let $ f: \mathbb{R}^2\to\mathbb{R}$ be a function such that $$ f(x,y)+f(y,z)+f(z,x)=0$$ for real numbers $ x,y,$ and $ z.$ Prove that there exists a function $ g: \mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that $$ f(x,y)=g(x)-g(y)$$ for all real numbers $ x$ and $ y.$
  2. Alan and Barbara play a game in which they take turns filling entries of an initially empty $ 2008\times 2008$ array. Alan plays first. At each turn, a player chooses a real number and places it in a vacant entry. The game ends when all entries are filled. Alan wins if the determinant of the resulting matrix is nonzero; Barbara wins if it is zero. Which player has a winning strategy?
  3. Start with a finite sequence $ a_1,a_2,\dots,a_n$ of positive integers. If possible, choose two indices $ j < k$ such that $ a_j$ does not divide $ a_k$ and replace $ a_j$ and $ a_k$ by $ \gcd(a_j,a_k)$ and $ \text{lcm}\,(a_j,a_k),$ respectively. Prove that if this process is repeated, it must eventually stop and the final sequence does not depend on the choices made. (Note: $ \gcd$ means greatest common divisor and lcm means least common multiple.)
  4. Define $ f: \mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ by \[ f(x)=\begin{cases}x&\text{if }x\le e\\ xf(\ln x)&\text{if }x>e\end{cases}\] Does $ \displaystyle\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac1{f(n)}$ converge?
  5. Let $ n\ge 3$ be an integer. Let $ f(x)$ and $ g(x)$ be polynomials with real coefficients such that the points $ (f(1),g(1)),(f(2),g(2)),\dots,(f(n),g(n))$ in $ \mathbb{R}^2$ are the vertices of a regular $ n$-gon in counterclockwise order. Prove that at least one of $ f(x)$ and $ g(x)$ has degree greater than or equal to $ n-1.$
  6. Prove that there exists a constant $ c>0$ such that in every nontrivial finite group $ G$ there exists a sequence of length at most $ c\ln |G|$ with the property that each element of $ G$ equals the product of some subsequence. (The elements of $ G$ in the sequence are not required to be distinct. A subsequence of a sequence is obtained by selecting some of the terms, not necessarily consecutive, without reordering them; for example, $ 4,4,2$ is a subesequence of $ 2,4,6,4,2,$ but $ 2,2,4$ is not.)
  7. What is the maximum number of rational points that can lie on a circle in $ \mathbb{R}^2$ whose center is not a rational point? (A rational point is a point both of whose coordinates are rational numbers.)
  8. Let $ F_0=\ln x.$ For $ n\ge 0$ and $ x>0,$ let $ \displaystyle F_{n+1}(x)=\int_0^xF_n(t)\,dt.$ Evaluate $$\lim_{n\to\infty}\frac{n!F_n(1)}{\ln n}.$$
  9. What is the largest possible radius of a circle contained in a 4-dimensional hypercube of side length 1?
  10. Let $ p$ be a prime number. Let $ h(x)$ be a polynomial with integer coefficients such that $ h(0),h(1),\dots, h(p^2-1)$ are distinct modulo $ p^2.$ Show that $ h(0),h(1),\dots, h(p^3-1)$ are distinct modulo $ p^3.$
  11. Find all continuously differentiable functions $ f: \mathbb{R}\to\mathbb{R}$ such that for every rational number $ q,$ the number $ f(q)$ is rational and has the same denominator as $ q.$ (The denominator of a rational number $ q$ is the unique positive integer $ b$ such that $ q=a/b$ for some integer $ a$ with $ \gcd(a,b)=1.$) (Note: $ \gcd$ means greatest common divisor.)
  12. Let $ n$ and $ k$ be positive integers. Say that a permutation $ \sigma$ of $ \{1,2,\dots n\}$ is $ k$-limited if $ |\sigma(i)-i|\le k$ for all $ i.$ Prove that the number of $ k$-limited permutations of $ \{1,2,\dots n\}$ is odd if and only if $ n\equiv 0$ or $ 1\pmod{2k+1}.$

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MOlympiad: [Solutions] William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition 2008
[Solutions] William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition 2008
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