# Age-Old Problem!

Never ask a mathematician his age or the age of any of his family members.

My friend, Ajit, did not take my advice and asked our mathematics teacher the ages of his three children. Before I tell you the whole incident, I must inform you that Ajit is good at mathematics himself.

One day Ajit went to the teacher's house. The teacher's three children were present there at that time.

"How old are they?" Ajit asked the teacher.

That was a mistake!

Without giving a straight answer, the teacher said, "The product of their ages is 72. The sum of their ages is the same as my house number."

Ajit, as I told you, is good at mathematics. He felt he had enough data to work out the ages of the three children. He stepped out to see what the house number was. After noting down the house number, he made some rapid calculations in his note-book but drew a blank.

"That is insufficient data," he told the teacher, "I still can't tell the ages."

"Okay, I will give you one more hint," the teacher said. "My oldest child likes adventure sports," he said.

Ajit scratched his head. How could a liking for adventure sports help him solve the problem? Can you help Ajit find the ages of the children?

Some useful links for

• Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
• IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
• Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
• Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
• Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
• Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
• IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
• Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
• Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
• Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
• Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
• Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
• Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu