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Fundamental Counting Principle

The fundamental counting principle is a cornerstone concept in combinatorics, essential for solving various types of counting problems encountered in the GRE exam preparation.
  • 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 entire 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, the number of ways books can be arranged on a shelf, and the number of possible steering committees from a group of employees.
  • The principle is foundational for understanding permutations and will be further explored with the introduction of factorials in subsequent lessons.
  • Real-world applications of the principle demonstrate its utility in solving complex problems by breaking them down into simpler, sequential stages.
  • The practice problem illustrates how quickly numbers can grow in combinatorial problems, highlighting the importance of mastering this principle for efficient problem-solving.
Introduction to the Fundamental Counting Principle
Applying the Principle to Real-World Problems
Expanding the Principle to Permutations
Practical Application: Forming a Steering Committee

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