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Question: How do you calculate the number of combinations for a given total number of objects (n) and a number of objects chosen at one time (x)?

To calculate the number of combinations, often represented as \( C(n, x) \) or \( \binom{n}{x} \), you can use the formula: \[ C(n, x) = \frac{n!}{x!(n-x)!} \] where: - \( n \) is the total number of objects, - \( x \) is the number of objects chosen at one time, - \( ! \) denotes factorial, which is the product of all positive integers up to that number (e.g., \( 5! = 5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1 = 120 \)). Let's break down the steps to calculate \( C(n, x) \): 1. **Calculate the factorial of \( n \)**: \( n! \) 2. **Calculate the factorial of \( x \)**: \( x! \) 3. **Calculate the factorial of \( (n - x) \)**: \( (n - x)! \) 4. **Use the combination formula**: Divide the factorial of \( n \) by the product of the factorial of \( x \) and the factorial of \( (n - x) \): \[ C(n, x) = \frac{n!}{x!(n-x)!} \] ### Example Calculation Suppose you have 5 objects, and you want to choose 3 at a time (\( n = 5 \), \( x = 3 \)). 1. **Calculate \( 5! \)**: \[ 5! = 5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1 = 120 \] 2. **Calculate \( 3! \)**: \[ 3! = 3 \times 2 \times 1 = 6 \] 3. **Calculate \( (5 - 3)! = 2! \)**: \[ 2! = 2 \times 1 = 2 \] 4. **Plug in the values into the formula**: \[ C(5, 3) = \frac{5!}{3!(5-3)!} = \frac{120}{6 \times 2} = \frac{120}{12} = 10 \] So, there are 10 combinations of 5 objects taken 3 at a time. ### Tips - **Use a calculator for large numbers**: Calculating factorials for large numbers can be cumbersome manually, so a calculator or software tool can be very helpful. - **Symmetry property**: Note that \( C(n, x) = C(n, n-x) \). For example, \( C(5, 3) = C(5, 2) \). If you use software or programming languages like Python, you can calculate combinations using built-in functions. For example, in Python: ```python import math combinations = math.comb(5, 3) print(combinations) # Output will be 10 ``` I hope this helps! If you have any more questions or need further clarification, feel free to ask.

You can calculate the number of combinations using the formula for combinations in mathematics, which is also known as the binomial coefficient. This formula is: C(n, x) = n! / [x!(n-x)!] Here, "n" is the total number of objects, and "x" is the number of objects chosen at a time. "C(n, x)" is the number of combinations. The exclamation point signifies factorial, which means to multiply a series of descending natural numbers. To expand on what factorial means, "n!" denotes the product of all positive integers up to n. For example, 4! = 4*3*2*1 = 24. So, in order to calculate the number of combinations, you first calculate the factorials of n, x, and (n-x), and then plug those values into the formula. It's worth mentioning that in this context, combinations are sets where order doesn't matter. If the order does matter, then you are dealing with permutations, not combinations.

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