CAT Coaching Online – Links across topics in Math

Some simple interesting patterns emerge when we look across topics. Very often, thinking about these patterns helps us wind our heads around one or the other topic. In this post, we discuss a few of those links. Nothing profound, but just an outline to help remember simple ideas

Simple Interest Compound Interest and Progressions.

The amounts at the end of each year form an AP if interest is calculated on a simple interest basis, and form a GP if interest is calculated on a compound interest basis.

For instance if amount invested is Rs. 1000 and interest rate were 10%, then amount at the end of yr 1, yr 2, yr 3,.. would be Rs. 1100, 1200, 1300,…Each year’s amount is previous year’s amount + Rs. 100

The same amount of Rs. 1000 invested at same 10% but on a compound interest basis would give us amounts at the end of yr 1, yr 2 of Rs. 1100, 1210, 1331…Each year’s amount is previous year’s amount * 1.1. This is the basis for the formula for amount on principal invested in Compound Interest basis

Combinatorics – This can be linked with almost any topic
See if you can spot some idea in some other topic that is ‘sitting inside’ the following combinatorics questions

1. Consider a shelf that has 4 copies of a book and 3 copies of a painting. In how many ways can we select at least one article from this shelf?

2. Consider a shelf that has 4 different books and three different paintings. In how many ways can we select at least one article from this shelf?

3. In how many ways can be place 5 different toys into 3 different boxes such that all 5 toys are allotted and no box is empty?

How else these can be interpreted is given below.

1. Consider a shelf that has 4 copies of a book and 3 copies of a painting. In how many ways can we select at least one article from this shelf?
How many factors greater than 1 does the number 2^4 & 3^3 have?

2. Consider a shelf that has 4 different books and three different paintings. In how many ways can we select at least one article from this shelf?
How many non-empty subsets does the set {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 7} have?

3. In how many ways can be place 5 different toys into 3 different boxes such that all 5 toys are allotted and no box is empty?
How many onto fucntions can be defined from the set {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} to the set {a, b, c}?

Weighted averages and Mixtures.
Class A has 40 students whose average mark is 40, class B has 60 students whose average mark is 50. What is the overall average? Class A has an average mark of 40 and class B has a an average mark of 50. If the overall average is 46, what is the ratio of students in class A and class B? These two questions are two sides of the same coin. Sometimes we teach one in weighted averages and the other in mixtures.

Mathematicians are supposed to love connections. There are far more powerful connections across topics than the ones I have mentioned above. It is instructive to observe even these simple connections.

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2 comments

  1. Hello
    As I am a pass out student of BE.
    I have a job in my hand too. I need u your advice how should i plan my daily routine with the job as well as. So that i can score good marks in cat this year.

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