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04/04/2013

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1. Solve this cryptic equation, realizing of course that values for M and E could beinterchanged. No leading zeros are allowed.WWWDOT - GOOGLE = DOTCOMThis can be solved through systematicapplication of logic. For example, cannot beequal to 0, since . That would make , but ,which is not possible.Here is a slow brute-force method of solutionthat takes a few minutes on a relatively fastmachine:This gives the two solutions777589 - 188106 == 589483777589 - 188103 == 589486Here is another solution using Mathematica'sReduce command:A faster (but slightly more obscure) piece of code is the following:Faster still using the same approach (andrequiring ~300 MB of memory):
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Even faster using the same approach (thatdoes not exclude leading zeros in the solution,but that can easily be weeded out at the end):Here is an independent solution method thatuses branch-and-prune techniques:And the winner for overall fastest:2. Write a haiku describing possible methodsfor predicting search traffic seasonality.MathWorld'ssearch engineseemed slowed this May. Undergradsprepping for finals.3. 11 12 11 2 1 11 1 1 2 2 1What's the next line?312211. This is the "look and say" sequence inwhich each term after the first describes theprevious term: one 1 (11); two 1s (21); one 2and one 1 (1211); one 1, one 2, and two 1's(111221); and so on. See the look and saysequence entry on MathWorld for a completewrite-up and the algebraic form of a
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fascinating related quantity known as Conway'sconstant.4. You are in a maze of twisty little passages,all alike. There is a dusty laptop here with aweakwireless connection. There are dull,lifeless gnomes strolling around. What dostthou do?A) Wander aimlessly, bumping into obstaclesuntil you are eaten by a grue.B) Use the laptop as a digging device to tunnelto the next level.C) Play MPoRPG until the battery dies alongwith your hopes.D) Use the computer to map the nodes of themaze and discover an exit path.E) Email your resume to Google, tell the leadgnome you quit and find yourself in wholedifferent world [sic].In general, make a state diagram . However,this method would not work in certainpathological cases such as, say, a fractal maze.For an example of this and commentary, seeEd Pegg's column about state diagrams andmazes .5. What's broken withUnix?Their reproductive capabilities.
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