JUL 07, 2015 1:11 PM PDT

So You're a Problem Solver? Great. Solve This!

WRITTEN BY: Robert Woodard

A Sudoku First!

Without really thinking about it, millions of people around the world are tackling some of the hardest problems in computer science such as scheduling, network routing, and gene sequencing in a vast laboratory for algorithm design. That laboratory is the world of Sudoku.

A Sudoku puzzle consists of a 9-by-9 grid made up of nine 3-by-3 subgrids. Starting with clues provided by digits prepopulated in some of the squares, and based on these starting clues, a player completes the grid so that each row, column, and subgrid contains the digits 1 through 9 exactly once. An easy puzzle requires only simple logical techniques. A harder puzzle requires more complex pattern recognition skills. For example, if a player computes all possible digits for each cell in a subgrid and notices that two cells have exactly the same two choices, those two digits can be eliminated from all other cells in the subgrid. Whatever the difficulty, with some dedication, a Soduku player can eventually solve a 9x9 Sudoku game. Of course, a computer can do it much faster.

Hidato, for those of you who are familiar with it, is a Sudoku-like puzzle invented by computer scientist Gyora Benedek. It's usually laid out on a grid, like Sudoku, but for the first time, here it is in beehive form! Try it out, knowing your are helping to advance computer science!
About the Author
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2020
Health & Medicine
Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Children's Postsurgical Outcomes
JUL 23, 2020
Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Children's Postsurgical Outcomes
A study published this week in Pediatrics revealed racial disparities in postsurgical mortality and complicati ...
AUG 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
AUG 10, 2020
Earth's Magnetic Field Changing Faster than Previously Thought
The Earth's magnetic field is crucial for life on Earth. Generated by the molten iron core 3000 km beneath our plane ...
AUG 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What Will the End of the Universe Look Like?
AUG 16, 2020
What Will the End of the Universe Look Like?
Matt Caplan, a theoretical physicist at Illinois State University, has calculated when the last supernova will happen in ...
AUG 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Earth's Outer Core, in the Middle of a Laboratory
AUG 21, 2020
Earth's Outer Core, in the Middle of a Laboratory
Deep underneath our feet lies Earth's outer core, a fluid layer over two thousand kilometers (1,500 mi) in thickness ...
SEP 24, 2020
Health & Medicine
Extreme Isolation can Cause Physical Brain Changes
SEP 24, 2020
Extreme Isolation can Cause Physical Brain Changes
By this point in the year, you’ve either heard or uttered the phrase “quarantine brain.” While the act ...
NOV 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
NOV 27, 2020
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
A common entity that connects everything from majestically looking galaxies and nebula to the enormously diversified bio ...
Loading Comments...