27 posts
Optimized Wordle solver

In case you’re not so good with the words, but feel the social pressure to play Wordle bearing down on you, Jonathan Olson made an optimized solver: The game Wordle has a lot of speculation online about what is the “best” first word. If we are exploring optimal strategies to solve the original game in the least number of guesses, most of it is wrong. For humans, almost all of...

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Optimizing retail spaces

Patrick Sisson for The New York Times reports on the growing popularity of tracking customer movement in stores: Complicating efforts to address privacy concerns is a lack of regulatory clarity. Without an overarching federal privacy law or even a shared definition of personal data, retailers must sort through layers of state and municipal rules, such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act, said Gary Kibel, a partner at the law firm Davis+Gilbert...

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Repulsive curves

Chris Yu, Henrik Schumacher, and Keenan Crane from Carnegie Mellon University are working on repulsive curves, which is a method to efficiently unravel curves so that they don’t overlap: Curves play a fundamental role across computer graphics, physical simulation, and mathematical visualization, yet most tools for curve design do nothing to prevent crossings or self-intersections. This paper develops efficient algorithms for (self-)repulsion of plane and space curves that are well-suited...

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Optimizing a peanut butter and banana sandwich

How do you assemble a banana and peanut butter sandwich that maximizes the number of bites with the perfect ratio of bread, peanut butter, and banana? Ethan Rosenthal, in a quest to work on something truly meaningless, solved the problem over several months with a truly roundabout solution: So, how do we make optimal peanut butter and banana sandwiches? It’s really quite simple. You take a picture of your banana...

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