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Puzzles for Programmers and Pros

  • ID: 2251248
  • Book
  • May 2007
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Puzzles for Programmers and Pros

Solving puzzles demands a mindset that starts with a vulnerable openness followed by a rigorous drive to find a solution. Whether you′re preparing for a programming job interview or just like a challenge, this book takes you on a tour of problem–solving techniques so you can dramatically improve your skills. You′ll learn how to conquer simple elimination puzzles like Sudoku and how to apply heuristic techniques to far more complex problems.

Dr. Shasha provides you with the tools to solve several classes of puzzles by handand computer. These include scheduling,strategic, geometric, and probabilistic puzzles. You′ll also find a mystery involving codes, bank accounts, and geography that you can solve for the chance to win a prize. The approaches and techniques in this book will help you solve the kind of application puzzles the real world may throw at you.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to expand your puzzle–solving abilities and tackle new challenges
  • Proven steps that will help you quickly progress from basic puzzles to a more advanced level

  • How to prepare for various types of puzzles presented during a programming interview

  • Techniques for determining the best solution to a puzzle

  • Methods for solving puzzles using decryption and combinatorics

Who this book is for
This book is for programmers who need to brush up on their puzzle–solving skills as they prepare for the programming job interview. It is also for anyone who love puzzles and challenges.

Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

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Acknowledgments v

Introduction xi

Part I: Mind Games 1

We can′t all be winners. 3

Sweet Tooth 4

Byzantine Bettors 6

A Touch of Luck 8

Information Gain 10

Reach for the Sky! 12

Pork Politics 14

Social Games 15

Escape Management 19

Flu Math 21

Imagination rules... 23

Whipping Ice 24

Optimal Jargon 29

Using Your Marbles 31

Flipping Colors 33

Scheduling Tradition 34

Fractal Biology 35

As Easy as Pie 37

Getting on the right side of luck 41

Lucky Roulette 42

Legal Logic 44

The Box Chip Game 47

Feedback Dividends 49

What are you thinking? 53

Number Clues 54

Mind Games 56

Refuse and Reveal 59

A Biting Maze 61

Mad Mix 63

Doing more with less 65

Dig That! 66

Preferential Romance 68

No Change for the Holidays 71

Quiet in the Depths 73

Solutions 74

Solution to Sweet Tooth 74

Solution to Byzantine Bettors 74

Solution to A Touch of Luck 76

Solution to Information Gain 78

Solution to Reach for the Sky! 78

Solution to Pork Politics 79

Solution to Social Games 80

Solution to Escape Management 81

Solution to Flu Math 83

Solution to Whipping Ice 84

Solution to Optimal Jargon 86

Solution to Using Your Marbles 88

Solution to Flipping Colors 89

Solution to Scheduling Tradition 90

Solution to Fractal Biology 91

Solution to As Easy as Pie 94

Solution to Lucky Roulette 96

Solution to Legal Logic 96

Solution to The Box Chip Game 97

Solution to Feedback Dividends 102

Solution to Number Clues 103

Solution to Mind Games 104

Solution to Refuse and Reveal 108

Solution to A Biting Maze 110

Solution to Mad Mix 112

Solution to Dig That! 113

Solution to Preferential Romance 116

Solution to No Change for the Holidays 117

Solution to Quiet in the Depths 118

Part II: The Secret of the Puzzle 121

Order the Ages 126

Urban Planning 128

Solution to Urban Planning 129

Finding a Schedule That Works 131

Solution to Finding a Schedule That Works 132

Picturing the Treasure 133

Solution to Picturing the Treasure 135

Sudoku 138

Solution to Sudoku 146

Number Encoding 147

Solution to Number Encoding 149

Selective Greed 150

Solution to Selective Greed 155

Sweet Packs 156

Solution to Sweet Packs 158

Revisiting a Traveling Salesman 159

Solution to Revisiting a Traveling Salesman 163

Overloaded Scheduling and Freezing Crystals 164

Solution to Overloaded Scheduling and Freezing Crystals 170

Wordsnakes 171

Solution to Wordsnakes 173

Maximal Friends 174

Solution to Maximal Friends 176

Winning at the Slots 177

Solution to Winning at the Slots 179

Understanding Dice 181

Solution to Understanding Dice 183

Bait and Switch 184

Solution to Bait and Switch 186

Part III: Faithful Foes 189

Index 221

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Dr. Dennis Shasha is a professor of Mathematical Sciences in the Department of Computer Science at NYU. Along with research and teaching in biological computing, pattern recognition, database tuning , cryptographic file systems, and the like, Dennis is well–known for his mathematical puzzle column for Dr. Dobbs whose readers are very sharp and his Puzzling Adventures Column for the Scientific American. His puzzle writing has given birth to fictional books about a mathematical detective named Dr. Ecco. Dr. Shasha has also co–authored numerous highly technical books. Dennis speaks often at conferences and is a tireless self–promoter in the world of “mensa–like” puzzles.
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