Problem #168


Let $w_1, w_2, \dots, w_n$ be complex numbers. A line $L$ in the complex plane is called a mean line for the points $w_1, w_2, \dots, w_n$ if $L$ contains points (complex numbers) $z_1, z_2, \dots, z_n$ such that

$\sum_{k = 1}^n (z_k - w_k) = 0.$

For the numbers $w_1 = 32 + 170i$, $w_2 = -7 + 64i$, $w_3 = -9 +200i$, $w_4 = 1 + 27i$, and $w_5 = -14 + 43i$, there is a unique mean line with y-intercept $3$. Find the slope of this mean line.

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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