Editors note: Yesterday we left Suprdewd and his teammates sweating over the remaining problems to solve, so lets pop our heads back in and lets see how this ends.We're given a list of moose. We know their strength and the year they first competed. We also know that Karl is the first moose in the list. After reading in the data, we looped through all the years, starting at 2011 and going up. Inside the loop we found the strongest moose which started competing not later than the current year in the loop. Then we removed that moose from the list. If that moose was Karl, we would output the current year and exit. If we got through all the years without Karl ever winning, we output “unknown”.

Continue reading...Monday, October 17, 2011

Editor note: We are coming back from the short break with a lot of exciting students ready to throw them self at 10 exciting problems that needs to be solve in a very short time. So lets get right into it.There are 10 problems, uniquely identified with a character from A to J. They are not ordered by difficulty, but in a competition like this you want to finish the easiest problems first. In this post I will talk about problem C and D.

Continue reading...Sunday, October 16, 2011

I don't remember how, but I found NCPC's website at the beginning of this year. I asked a teacher from Reykjavík University (I'll use RU here after), which had taught one of the classes I attended, about the competition. He talked to the guy who was hosting the local contest and told me that I was allowed to compete even though it is mainly for university students. My teammates and I were very excited and happy. Especially since only one of us is in a university yet.The competition was held at RU for Icelandic teams. There were only 4 teams from Iceland and we were all in the same classroom during the competition. All of us were having fun. All the teams were pretty even the whole time, and a live scoreboard was available online, so everyone was on their toes the whole competition. A lot of cheering was heard every time a problem was successfully submitted from any of the teams. The last hour the live online scoreboard was disabled to boost the excitement. I'll tell you how my team did later, but first I'm going to show you the problems.

Continue reading...Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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This is a rant over other people ranting about people's ignorance towards mathematics. Or an anti-rant since two negatives makes a positive (sometimes). Got your attention? Good, now read on. By now I have seen a fair share of bitter remarks over the theme that someone presents them self as a mathematician, and the answer they get is a blank stare and a comment in the ball park of "I can't even balance my own checkbook". Same theme of rant also cover someone stating that "Oh, mathematics is easy. It is just memorizing the formulas and plug in the numbers!".What I realized is that most things can be reduced to a statement of "Oh that's easy! Just..." So let me give you an example of a hobby of mine: Photography.

Continue reading...Monday, August 1, 2011

Samuel Hansen has come up with the great proposal of making an 8 part podcast called Relatively prime which he describes asRelatively Prime will be an 8 episode audio podcast featuring stories from the world of mathematics. Tackling questions like: is it true that you are only 7 seven handshakes from the President, what exactly is a micromort, and how did 39 people commenting on a blog manage to prove a deep theorem. Relatively Prime will feature interviews with leaders of mathematics, as well as the unsung foot soldiers that push the mathematical machine forward. With each episode structured around topics such as: The Shape of Things, Risk, and Calculus Wars, Relatively Prime will illuminate each area by delving into the history, applications, and people that underlie the subject that is the foundation of all science.

Continue reading...Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This post is shameless promotion of what I think is a great site - Khan Academy. If you don't like shameless promotions, you should stop reading now. The site features a whole set of instructional videos along with a good amount of exercises. All topics are what I consider to be some basic skills of mathematics. Not because they are simple or easy, but because they are fundamental for you to build upon.It brings you all the way from addition (yep, I am not kidding) through calculus, differential equations and probability. A total of more than 2400 videos, including videos on other topics such as chemistry and finance.

Continue reading...Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In my first post on my journey for improving my mathematical rigour I said that I would go through a few different techniques for conducting proofs.The first one I want to dabble into is direct proofs. This is the "simplest" method and sometimes it can seem that the proof isn't there at all.It will often go something like "if a then b". So using some definition of a, we can show that b follows as a direct consequence through an unbroken line of logical arguments

Continue reading...Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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I have reached a point in my mathematical journey where I feel the need to learn how to make sound arguments for the validity of a mathematical claim. Or in other words, I want to learn more on how to prove things.Ben Tilly pointed me through his blog – random observations – to a document he wrote on how to do proofs. It has a flow chart which you can also see to the below, which I think is a very thorough way to ensure that you get through the proof. It doesn’t say anything about how to actually make your arguments, but it helps you break down the problem.

Continue reading...Wednesday, May 4, 2011

At work I use many fairly advanced tools that can do a lot of things such as Matlab, which in all it’s glory is a very nice tool. However, for things such as Project Euler which does contain small problems, where I try to get a feeling for the problem in a whole other sense […]

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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