Problem #1973


Aaron the ant walks on the coordinate plane according to the following rules. He starts at the origin $p_0=(0,0)$ facing to the east and walks one unit, arriving at $p_1=(1,0)$. For $n=1,2,3,\dots$, right after arriving at the point $p_n$, if Aaron can turn $90^\circ$ left and walk one unit to an unvisited point $p_{n+1}$, he does that. Otherwise, he walks one unit straight ahead to reach $p_{n+1}$. Thus the sequence of points continues $p_2=(1,1), p_3=(0,1), p_4=(-1,1), p_5=(-1,0)$, and so on in a counterclockwise spiral pattern. What is $p_{2015}$?

$\textbf{(A) } (-22,-13)\qquad\textbf{(B) } (-13,-22)\qquad\textbf{(C) } (-13,22)\qquad\textbf{(D) } (13,-22)\qquad\textbf{(E) } (22,-13)$

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

Note: you aren't logged in. If you log in, we'll keep a record of which problems you've solved.

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).

For questions or comments, please email

Find out how your skills stack up!

Try our new, free contest math practice test. All new, never-seen-before problems.

AMC/AIME classes

I offer online AMC/AIME classes periodically. Join the mailing list to be informed next time they're offered.

Private coaching is also available.