Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Problems solved by Don & Cori

On November 12 Math Club met to tackle a selection of puzzles brought to us by Les Shader, UW Mathematics Professor Emeritus. As always, the puzzles were great, but unlike other times:

1. Les left a "Christmas challenge" that I mailed out to the Math Majors' mailing list. Within hours I heard from math major Don Brockus with a correct solution. Kudos Don. The picture to the right shows the "magic tree" and presents the challenge: place the numbers 0-9 in the circles so that all sums of all segments and the sum of the lower "red" triangle are all equal. Here is Don's solution

8 7
4 5 6
3 1 9 2

2. Les shared with us an inadvertent puzzle that he had not solved, and he's thought about it off and on for some 2 years. He showed a "box" from a Japanese puzzler, clearly made from two separate pieces of paper folded into one. The challenge for Les? Unfold the box without tearing anything. Math major Cori Davis is a visual sort, and she had the idea this was up her alley. Les encouraged her, and Cori left the Math Club gathering with box in hand. Shortly, Cori was back. She had stood in the cold as she solved the puzzle and returned to show Les and the rest of us that she had indeed unfolded the box without a tear. Kudos Cori!!

Since then, Cori has made a template of the two pieces. Scanned copy of those pieces will be posted soon :-)

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