Tuesday, 20 January 2009

functional => prizes #1

Ladies and Gentlemen, roll up, roll up for the first ever Functional Fun programming competition, where Functional => Prizes.

Many moons ago, at the Microsoft PDC, I won a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate; said software being superfluous to my requirements, I held an auction, and I now have a pot of dosh which I intend to distribute via this blog. And what better way to do that than to hold competitions? Hopefully the stash will stretch to cover a couple throughout the course of the year, so stay subscribed.

Almost a year ago, I launched this blog with a series of posts on solving Project Euler. This competition gives me a chance to turn the tables and try my hand at problem setting.

Thus without further ado:

The Puzzle

Which Mathematicians have found themselves prime positions in the grid below?

HiddenMathematiciansImage

You’ll probably want to download this grid in text form.

The Rules

  1. All solutions must be emailed to (samuel [dot] jack [at] gmail [dot] com) before Midday (GMT) February 4th 2009.
  2. Don’t just give the answer (I’ve already got a pretty good idea what it might be!): what I want to see is code - especially code that goes all the way from input to final answer.
  3. The prize will be awarded, not to the first correct answer, but to the solution which, in the opinion of the judge, is the most elegant.
  4. Competitors should be aware that C#, particularly in its Version 3 and 4 incarnations, tops the judge’s elegance rankings; this is not to dissuade them from making entries in other languages – merely to let them know that if they choose to enter using an inferior alternative language they’ll have to work harder to make the elegance apparent.
  5. The prize will be £25 in Amazon vouchers – but if you are lucky enough to win, and unfortunate enough to live in one of those foreign places (you know, the kind that get rid of their Head of State every few years, and have to choose a new one) then I’ll do my best to accommodate you with a prize in your local currency.
  6. If you submit a solution, but think you can better it, don’t hesitate to send another.

Your Choice

Now what are you going to do?

A. Keep quiet about the competition in the hope of increasing your chances of winning?

B. Tell as many of your closest friends as possible in order to increase the publicity and your standing in the community when you win the Inaugural Functional => Prizes challenge?

5 comments:

Dan Dumitru said...

uuuu... competition :)

I think the problem is not very well described, though.
As much as I can get from the single sentence, there are some mathematicians' names hidden in the grid, and their names' letters are in prime positions.
But what is position? 2nd row 3rd column is position 14?

I just wished you were a bit more clear with the problem.

Sam said...

Dan,
The description of the problem is deliberately cryptic - if I told you what to do it would reduce your sense of satisfaction on finding the answer!

Sam

Dan Dumitru said...

You do have a point :)

It was quite fun to crack the puzzle.
I'll write an elegant solution in the evening, when I'll get home.

Dan Dumitru said...

You do have a point :)

It was quite fun to crack the puzzle.
I'll write an elegant solution in the evening, when I'll get home.

Sam said...

Dan,
The description of the problem is deliberately cryptic - if I told you what to do it would reduce your sense of satisfaction on finding the answer!

Sam

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