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
MAY 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
Male Garter Snakes Trick Others to Improve Own Mating Success
MAY 17, 2020
Male Garter Snakes Trick Others to Improve Own Mating Success
After spending several months in hibernation during the winter, male garter snakes emerge from the underground where the ...
MAY 26, 2020
Earth & The Environment
"Green Snow" Expected to Increase in Antarctica
MAY 26, 2020
"Green Snow" Expected to Increase in Antarctica
When Antarctica comes to mind, the imagery probably includes a vast, frozen, and barren landscape. However, red and gree ...
JUN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Launches First Rideshare Mission with Great Success
JUN 14, 2020
SpaceX Launches First Rideshare Mission with Great Success
If you’ve been following SpaceX, then you’d know that the commercial space company has been launching quite ...
JUN 25, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
JUN 25, 2020
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
An array of antennas in the US and Italy, known as the International LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, received some unusual rea ...
JUN 26, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Bacterial Virus May Treat and Prevent COVID-19 Infections
JUN 26, 2020
Bacterial Virus May Treat and Prevent COVID-19 Infections
Researchers say that a type of virus known to infect bacteria could be used to treat and prevent COVID-19 bacterial infe ...
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 ...
Loading Comments...