Twenty points/dots are given so that the three of them are never in a straight line. How many triangles can be formed with corners(as in vertex i think?) in the dots?

Printable View

- Aug 22nd 2010, 06:07 AMgrottvaldTriangles in 20 non-straight-line "dots"
Twenty points/dots are given so that the three of them are never in a straight line. How many triangles can be formed with corners(as in vertex i think?) in the dots?

- Aug 22nd 2010, 06:21 AMPlato
Calculate the number of ways to choose three points from twenty.

- Aug 22nd 2010, 09:36 AMgrottvald
C(20,3) ? But that results in a very big number that seems unlikely to be correct (Worried)

- Aug 22nd 2010, 09:57 AMPlato
- Aug 22nd 2010, 10:58 AMArchie Meade
You may be thinking of non-overlapping triangles in the picture with 20 dots.

That's a different situation.

Imagine the dots are placed apart from left to right, not on a straight line.

Pick the leftmost point.

To make a triangle, you can pick**any 2**of the remaining 19 dots.

The number of ways to do this is $\displaystyle \binom{19}{2}=171$

Therefore, there are 171 triangles that can be drawn which include the leftmost point.

If you move on to the next point to the right and exclude the point previously chosen,

then you can draw another $\displaystyle \binom{18}{2}=153$ triangles.

These triangles do not include any of the previous 171,

since these 153 omit the leftmost point.

Notice that these triangles typically share sides of other triangles,

but they are made of 3 distinct points, hence the triangles are being counted only once.

hence, there are $\displaystyle \binom{19}{2}+\binom{18}{2}+\binom{17}{2}+........ .+\binom{2}{2}=\binom{20}{3}$ triangles. - Aug 22nd 2010, 12:26 PMgrottvald