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- anonymous

You have checked out b books from the library, where b is a number greater than 5. You plan to read three of the books and return them at the end of this week. In how many ways can you pick the books you will read first, second, and third?

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- anonymous

- katieb

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- jim_thompson5910

Hint:
you have 'b' choices for the first book, b-1 choices for the second book and b-2 choices for the third book

- anonymous

i don't get it

- jim_thompson5910

Look up the counting principle and that may help you out

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- jim_thompson5910

It's not counting as in (1, 2, 3, 4...), it's counting as counting a very large number of items
http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/math/ALGEBRA/APR1/Lcount.htm

- anonymous

b1*b2?

- jim_thompson5910

close, but not quite

- jim_thompson5910

Say you pick out 10 books, you would have
10 books for the first choice, 9 for the second, and 8 for third
So you would have 10*9*8 = 720 choices possible

- anonymous

b^3 ?

- jim_thompson5910

no

- jim_thompson5910

multiply out b, b-1 and b-2

- anonymous

(5b-3)?

- jim_thompson5910

no

- jim_thompson5910

b(b-1)(b-2) = ???

- anonymous

b^3-3b^2+2b

- jim_thompson5910

you got it

- anonymous

thank you!

- jim_thompson5910

yw

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