### Fundamental Counting Principle

Lesson by Mike McGarry
Magoosh Expert

Summary
The Fundamental Counting Principle is a cornerstone concept for understanding how to calculate the number of ways tasks can be completed when broken into sequential stages.
• The principle posits that if a task can be divided into stages, with each stage having a distinct number of ways it can be completed, the total number of ways to complete the task is the product of the ways each stage can be completed.
• Examples provided include calculating the number of possible meals from a set menu and the number of ways books can be arranged on a shelf.
• The principle is extended to arranging items in order, highlighting that the total number of arrangements is the product of the number of items and every positive integer less than the number of items.
• A practice problem illustrates applying the principle to determine the number of possible steering committees from a pool of employees, emphasizing the principle's utility in solving combinatorial problems.
• The discussion foreshadows a more formal treatment of arranging items in order, introducing the concept of factorials to be covered in future lessons.
Chapters
00:00
Introduction to the Fundamental Counting Principle
02:15
Extending the Principle to Arrangements
04:57
Practice Problem: Steering Committee Selection

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