One of the more intriguing sites on the World Wide Web to Casio fans is the Ole Miss problems of the week page. This site has five weekly mathematical puzzles. There is a puzzle intended for elementary school students, one intended for middle school students, and two intended for high school students. One puzzle, the “Problem of the Week,” apparently is intended for everyone.
Until recently, Casio sponsored this site, and provided prizes. The prize awarded to a random solver of each puzzle was a Casio calculator. However, times change and Casio has ceased providing calculators as prizes.
This section of Brian’s Casio Calculator Corner is devoted to the “Problem of the Week” problems. For selected past puzzles I will provide a computational solution (a program), and frequently an analytic solution.
I recommend that you attempt to solve the puzzles yourself before going on to my solutions. Despite their appearances, the calculator is fully capable of solving all the puzzles — well, all the puzzles except one! While the CFX-9850G and FX-7400G are nice little calculators, they are certainly no supercomputers: a typical desktop PC is about 100,000 times as fast. Although some amount of searching for a solution may be required, a programmable calculator is simply incapable of overwhelming these puzzles with computational brute force. Frequently the puzzles require some amount of thought in the area of setting up the problem, to limit the computation to something feasible for a calculator. One of the purposes of this section of the site is to encourage and demonstrate the sort of analysis that makes these sorts of problems tractable.
This site organizes the puzzles based on the year in which they appeared. You can browse through the puzzles using the navigation pane on the left of the pages, or with the navigation buttons at the top and bottom of each page.
Additionally, one puzzle appears in honor of Edsger W. Dijkstra, a computer science luminary. This puzzle is solved in detail in its own section.
Copyright © 2001 Brian Hetrick
Page last updated 18 August 2002.