Project Euler (Nic)

[Since this didn’t go as an intensive, but there seemed to be interest in it, I’m offering it as a class! The class pitch is reproduced below.]

This is a programming class for people who enjoy math. It’s also a math class for people who enjoy programming.

Project Euler is a website with a collection of simple but challenging math problems, most of which need a bit of computing power to solve easily.

Here’s the first one:

If we list all the natural numbers below 10 that are multiples of 3 or 5, we get 3, 5, 6, and 9.  The sum of these multiples is 23.  Find the sum of all the multiples of 3 or 5 below 1000.

You could solve that problem by writing out all the numbers and adding them up — but that will take a long time!

In this class, we will spend some time writing a simple program to solve this problem—and some of the other 400+ problems on the site—elegantly. We’ll teach each other, learn from each other, and play with math and programming.

Prerequisites:

  • Some programming skills. Which language you know isn’t that relevant—I can imagine using Python, Javascript, C, even PHP to do this work… though maybe not Scratch—but having some familiarity with basic concepts like variables, data and control structures, functions, etc. is essential.
  • If you’re really interested in joining but have zero programming background, talk to me. I could help you identify and complete an online tutorial in Python before the end of spring break.
  • You should also have some general affinity for math. Having some experience with algebra would be an asset.

There are good tools for collaborating on this kind of thing remotely—think Google Docs for code—so we’ll still be able to work together, even from our own homes.

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