Puzzles, Art, and Magic with Algorithms

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Puzzles, Art, and Magic with Algorithms
Solving and designing puzzles, creating sculpture and architecture, and inventing magic tricks all lead to fun and interesting algorithmic problems. This paper describes some of our explorations into these areas. 1 Puzzles Solving a puzzle is like solving a research problem. Both require the right cleverness to see the problem from the right angle, and then the careful execution of that idea until you find a solution. (The main difference is that the puzzle poser usually guarantees that the puzzle is solvable.) Puzzles also lead to research problems which form a sort of metapuzzle: to analyze a family of puzzles and their solutions algorithmically. Solutions to these metapuzzles in turn influence puzzle design, often leading to interesting puzzles that can be appreciated without mathematics.
Erik D. Demaine
Added 02 Jul 2010
Updated 02 Jul 2010
Type Conference
Year 2004
Authors Erik D. Demaine
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