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In this section, you will:
  • Solve counting problems using the Addition Principle.
  • Solve counting problems using the Multiplication Principle.
  • Solve counting problems using permutations involving n distinct objects.
  • Solve counting problems using combinations.
  • Find the number of subsets of a given set.
  • Solve counting problems using permutations involving n non-distinct objects.

A new company sells customizable cases for tablets and smartphones. Each case comes in a variety of colors and can be personalized for an additional fee with images or a monogram. A customer can choose not to personalize or could choose to have one, two, or three images or a monogram. The customer can choose the order of the images and the letters in the monogram. The company is working with an agency to develop a marketing campaign with a focus on the huge number of options they offer. Counting the possibilities is challenging!

We encounter a wide variety of counting problems every day. There is a branch of mathematics devoted to the study of counting problems such as this one. Other applications of counting include secure passwords, horse racing outcomes, and college scheduling choices. We will examine this type of mathematics in this section.

Using the addition principle

The company that sells customizable cases offers cases for tablets and smartphones. There are 3 supported tablet models and 5 supported smartphone models. The Addition Principle tells us that we can add the number of tablet options to the number of smartphone options to find the total number of options. By the Addition Principle, there are 8 total options, as we can see in [link] .

The addition of 3 iPods and 4 iPhones.

The addition principle

According to the Addition Principle    , if one event can occur in m ways and a second event with no common outcomes can occur in n ways, then the first or second event can occur in m + n ways.

Using the addition principle

There are 2 vegetarian entrée options and 5 meat entrée options on a dinner menu. What is the total number of entrée options?

We can add the number of vegetarian options to the number of meat options to find the total number of entrée options.

The addition of the type of options for an entree.

There are 7 total options.

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A student is shopping for a new computer. He is deciding among 3 desktop computers and 4 laptop computers. What is the total number of computer options?

7

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Using the multiplication principle

The Multiplication Principle applies when we are making more than one selection. Suppose we are choosing an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert. If there are 2 appetizer options, 3 entrée options, and 2 dessert options on a fixed-price dinner menu, there are a total of 12 possible choices of one each as shown in the tree diagram in [link] .

A tree diagram of the different menu combinations.

The possible choices are:

  1. soup, chicken, cake
  2. soup, chicken, pudding
  3. soup, fish, cake
  4. soup, fish, pudding
  5. soup, steak, cake
  6. soup, steak, pudding
  7. salad, chicken, cake
  8. salad, chicken, pudding
  9. salad, fish, cake
  10. salad, fish, pudding
  11. salad, steak, cake
  12. salad, steak, pudding We can also find the total number of possible dinners by multiplying.

We could also conclude that there are 12 possible dinner choices simply by applying the Multiplication Principle.

Questions & Answers

a colony of bacteria is growing exponentially doubling in size every 100 minutes. how much minutes will it take for the colony of bacteria to triple in size
Divya Reply
I got 300 minutes. is it right?
Patience
no. should be about 150 minutes.
Jason
It should be 158.5 minutes.
Mr
ok, thanks
Patience
what is the importance knowing the graph of circular functions?
Arabella Reply
can get some help basic precalculus
ismail Reply
What do you need help with?
Andrew
how to convert general to standard form with not perfect trinomial
Camalia Reply
can get some help inverse function
ismail
Rectangle coordinate
Asma Reply
how to find for x
Jhon Reply
it depends on the equation
Robert
whats a domain
mike Reply
The domain of a function is the set of all input on which the function is defined. For example all real numbers are the Domain of any Polynomial function.
Spiro
foci (–7,–17) and (–7,17), the absolute value of the differenceof the distances of any point from the foci is 24.
Churlene Reply
difference between calculus and pre calculus?
Asma Reply
give me an example of a problem so that I can practice answering
Jenefa Reply
x³+y³+z³=42
Robert
dont forget the cube in each variable ;)
Robert
of she solves that, well ... then she has a lot of computational force under her command ....
Walter
what is a function?
CJ Reply
I want to learn about the law of exponent
Quera Reply
explain this
Hinderson Reply
what is functions?
Angel Reply
A mathematical relation such that every input has only one out.
Spiro
yes..it is a relationo of orders pairs of sets one or more input that leads to a exactly one output.
Mubita
Is a rule that assigns to each element X in a set A exactly one element, called F(x), in a set B.
RichieRich
If the plane intersects the cone (either above or below) horizontally, what figure will be created?
Feemark Reply
Practice Key Terms 5

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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