Problem #232

232.

During a recent campaign for office, a candidate made a tour of a country which we assume lies in a plane. On the first day of the tour he went east, on the second day he went north, on the third day west, on the fourth day south, on the fifth day east, etc. If the candidate went $\frac{n^{2}}{2}$ miles on the $n^{\mbox{th}}_{}$ day of this tour, how many miles was he from his starting point at the end of the $40^{\mbox{th}}_{}$ day?

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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