Discovering Project Euler

December 14, 2008

A colleague of mine recently introduced me to Project Euler, and I am slowly becoming hooked.

Project Euler is a collection of mathematical challenges that usually require some programming to be solved. Some are relatively simple (eg. “Find the 10001st prime”) while others are complex (“Using up to one million tiles how many different “hollow” square laminae can be formed?”).

Since I did not study mathematics, most of these problems seem intimidating to me at first. However, a lot of them can be solved with programming skills, simply by doing a more or less brute force search for the answer.

Solving the problems in order, they become progressively harder. But the beauty of it is that a problem often builds on the skills acquired while working on a previous problem.

So if you’re a programmer and you like puzzles involving maths, I highly recommend that you check it out. You can use any programming language you like, only the answer matters, always expressed as some big number.

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