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One straight cut through a thick piece of cheese produces two pieces. Two straight cuts can produce a maximum of four pieces. Three straight cuts can produce a maximum of eight pieces. You might be inclined to think that every additional cut doubles the previous number of pieces. However, for four straight cuts, you will find that you get a maximum of 15 pieces. An nth term formula for the maximum number of pieces, P, that can be produced by n straight cuts is what?

 Jan 13, 2020
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P = (n^2 + 3n - 3)/2.

 Jan 17, 2020

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