Friday, April 10, 2015

[S2_20150402RLD] Fifty balls left behind

This problem can be solved with Primary School knowledge using ratios.  The famous Singapore bar diagramming method can be used to model the situation, but I prefer my own Distinguished Ratio Units.  The former method is good for visualisation for beginners, while the latter is faster if you want to solve it quickly without fussing around drawing the perfect diagram.  My DRU method is also visual in another way, and it works with big numbers as well as small numbers.  Alternatively, this can be solved using algebra via simultaneous equations.

Solution 1 (Using my Distinguished Ratio Units method) [H02]

Explanation: Since the number of white balls is a multiple of  3,  I let “triangle” 3 represent the number of white balls.  I let “heart” 1 represent the number of red balls.  There are 50 more white balls than red balls.  [H04]  When the white balls are removed three at a time, the number of groups of three would be one-third of the number of white balls, i.e. 1 triangle unit.  [H04]  This number is less than the number of red balls (1 heart unit) by 50.  So 1 triangle unit plus 50 gives 1 heart unit.  [H04]  Following on from the heart to the “triangle” 3, one realises that 2 “triangle” units is the same as  100.  [H05]  So one triangle unit is  50.  [H11]  From here we can solve the rest of the problem.

Solution 2 (using Algebra)  [H13, H05]
                     w = k + 50 = 3h             –––––––––– [1]
                     r  = k         =   h + 50     –––––––––– [2]
for some unknown  k  and  h.  And then [1] [2] gives  [H10]
                     w r = 50 = 2h 50
so                      2h = 50 + 50
                            h = 50
This quickly leads to
                           w = 150
and                       r = 100.

H02. Use a diagram / model
H04. Look for pattern(s)
H05. Work backwards
H09. Restate the problem in another way
H10. Simplify the problem
H11. Solve part of the problem
H13* Use Equation / write a Mathematical Sentence

Suitable Levels
Primary School Mathematics (“Ratio”)
Lower Secondary School (“Simultaneous Linear Equations”)
* other syllabuses that involve ratio or algebra

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