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Colloquia

Spring 2018 Colloquia

Check back soon for more information on the computer science seminar series. Unless otherwise noted, the seminars meet on Mondays at 3pm in Stanley Thomas 302. If you would like to receive notices about upcoming seminars, you can subscribe to the announcement listserv.

Jan 12

Pleaching Pencil-&-Paper Picture Puzzles

Maarten Löffler Utrecht University

This event will be held on Friday, 1/12/2018, from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in Stanley Thomas, Room 302. Please note the special weekday and time for this event.

Abstract: Pencil-and-paper puzzles (e.g., Sudoku) are a popular pastime for both children and adults. The main appeal lies in the logical solving process, but in some genres the puzzler is additionally rewarded when the solved puzzle reveals a picture (e.g., Nonograms). We introduce free-form variants of classic puzzle genres containing non-rectilinear or even curved elements. We study the underlying geometry: what constraints are there on the shapes and location of puzzle elements? How can we measure aspects of puzzles like solvability, difficulty, originality, fun, etc.? Finally, we use these geometric properties to develop automatic generators of puzzles: you draw a picture, and the system gives you a puzzle that solves to that picture.

About the Speaker: Maarten Löffler is an assistant professor at Utrecht University, working in computational geometry and graph drawing. He obtained his PhD in 2009 on geometric uncertainty, and afterwards spent two years at the University of California in Irvine. He has a passion for pencil-and-paper puzzles, participating in the World Championship in 2003 and 2006.
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303 Stanley Thomas Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5785 compsci@tulane.edu