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Le Monde puzzle [#937]

November 11, 2015

A combinatoric Le Monde mathematical puzzle that resembles many earlier ones: Given a pool of 30 interns allocated to three person night-shifts, is it possible to see 31 consecutive nights such that (a) all the shifts differ and (b) there are no pair of shifts with a single common intern? In fact, the constraint there […]

Le Monde puzzle [#934]

October 25, 2015

Another Le Monde mathematical puzzle with no R code: Given a collection of 2€ coins and 5€ bills that sum up to 120€, find the number of 5€ bills such that the collection cannot be divided into 5 even parts. Indeed, as soon as one starts formalising the problem, it falls apart: if there are […]

Le Monde sans puzzle #933

October 17, 2015

While Le Monde mathematical puzzle is purely geometric this week If twelve points in a plane are such that, for any 5-uplet of those, at least 4 are on the same circle, and if M is the largest number of those points on the same circle, what is the minimal value of M? and not […]

Le Monde puzzle [#932]

October 15, 2015

A Sudoku-like Le Monde mathematical puzzle: A 12×8 grid contains the first 96 integers, as in R matrix(1:96,ncol=12). If one picks 24 of those integers including 3 for each row and 2 for each column, what are the extreme values of the sum of the selected integers? I obviously rephrased quite strongly the question (and […]

Le Monde on the “dangers” of mathematics

October 12, 2015

“La responsabilité des mathématiciens semble engagée.” This post is presumably aiming at a very small (French speaking) audience, but Le Monde published a central Science leaflet this week on the dangers of using uncontrolled mathematical modelling. Resulting in a mismatch of platitudes and absurdities. Blaming mathematicians for about every misappropriate use of mathematics and even […]


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