Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from gaurav, a student:

two girls have picked 10 roses,14 daffodils,15 sunflowers . what is the number of ways they can divide flower amongst themselves?

Hi Guarav.

Whatever one girl doesn't have, the other girl has. That means you can simplify the thinking by just considering how many different combinations one girl can choose.

A) she can choose 0, 1, 2 ... up to 10 of the roses. That's eleven possibilities.
B) she can choose 0 - 14 of the daffodils. That's fifteen possibilities.

If there were no sunflowers, we'd finish by just multiplying 11 times 15.

What would you do if the sunflowers also need to be divided up?

Hope this helps,
Stephen La Rocque.

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