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MIT Whitaker Building 21 Ames St (Bldg 56), room 180, Cambridge, MA

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  • Let's meet up and take a crack at one or more of the awesome math/computer science puzzles from the Project Euler website!

    We'll start with a problem with a difficulty rating in the 25% - 30% range, which turns out to be just right (usually!) for solving in an hour or two. Possibilities to start with include 297: Zeckendorf Representation, 473: Phigital number base, or 323: Bitwise-OR operations on random integers . After finishing off an "easy" one, we'll try to wrestle with a more difficult problem, like 596: Number of lattice points in a hyperball, or 353: Risky Moon.

    Last time we spent all our time on problem 153: Gaussian Integers, which has a high difficulty rating of 65%! Unsurprisingly, we did not get too close to solving it, but we had a lot of fun and definitely made some progress. Will someone solve it before the next meetup?

    Note that everyone is most definitely welcome to arrive after the fun begins, but members who come on time get to vote on what problem we choose to work on!


    General description of Project Euler meetups...

    If you are not familiar with Project Euler, it's a site that posts one problem per week (currently there are 609), with the idea being that a combination of theoretical math and computer programming are necessary to solve the problem. A brute force algorithm will usually take years to run, but a clever algorithm should return the answer in under a minute on a basic laptop. Generally, the program itself won't be very complex, just CLEVER!

    Depending on how many people come (and how many laptops), we could split into groups of two or three, and maybe all work on the same problem, or different groups could work on different problems. Here is a sampling of possibilities:

    "Starters" (Difficulty rating ~ 25% - 30%):

    297: Zeckendorf Representation

    473: Phigital number base

    555: McCarthy 91 function

    323: Bitwise-OR operations on random integers

    More Challenging:

    153: Investigating Gaussian Integers

    182: RSA encryption

    300: Protein folding

    353: Risky moon

    397: Triangle on parabola

    585: Nested square roots

    596: Number of lattice points in a hyperball

    All are welcome, neither programming skills nor advanced mathematical knowledge is required. If you look at the problems, you'll see that their statements almost never rely on knowledge of any type of math beyond the high school level.


    A NOTE ON THE LOCATION: For first-timers, getting into the building can be a bit tricky. See this page for a map and explanation.

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MIT Whitaker Building 21 Ames St (Bldg 56), room 180, Cambridge, MA

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