If you want to understand
the math, I fully agree
with your use of the formula. Furthermore for more complex
combinatorial problems, understand how to get those
formulas is extremely important.
That said, tye is right as well. While in theory that
calculation gets the right answer, in practice it starts
to be inaccurate for fairly small numbers. You can get
around this by using a big integer package. (Or a language
that understands integers of arbitrary size.) But that
will be somewhat slow.
If you want to understand this, go with the formula. If
you want to calculate it, go with the tricks. If you want
to calculate answers to arbitrary problems, be prepared to
manipulate big integers and hope that performance doesn't
And if you want an even better example some day, bug me
about why you should always use row-reduction to find the
inverses of matrices rather than Cramer's formula. (Hint:
Think numerically unstable and exponential running time,
vs n**3 and much better behaved.)
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