Friday, August 25th, 2017

The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel

Previously I wrote about a board game our daughter enjoys playing, Hi Ho! Cherry-O. One of the things that makes it somewhat uninteresting to adults is the lack of any applicable strategy; luck completely determines the outcome. Another game she enjoys is The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel. While luck determines much of the outcome, there are […]

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Hi Ho! Cherry-O

As our daughter approaches 3 years old she has begun to play some simple board games, one of which is Hi Ho! Cherry-O. While playing it recently my wife lamented that the game was taking forever to end. The analysis in the Wikipedia page is for a single player, but the majority of the time […]

Monday, January 9th, 2012

AI Class

Towards the end of last year I signed up for the “basic” track of the Stanford Engineering Introduction To Artificial Intelligence class, mainly out of curiosity, but also because the instructors (Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig) and I share the same employer. I intended to follow along at a leisurely pace, unsure if I would […]

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Big Double Cheddar Mac Beef Down

Every now and then it’s useful to challenge oneself, to grow, to stretch. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine noticed a McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Arby’s within spitting distance of each other, a trifecta of sorts. Then came the eureka moment, where he envisioned combining a Big Mac, Double Down and […]

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011


A some point last year I became infatuated with a game commonly known as Flood-It by a company called LabPixies. My obsession resulted in the creation of a clone I call C O L O R F L O W which addresses the major faults I found with the game, namely there was no way […]

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Project Euler Problems #18, #19, #20 and #67

Problem #18, find the greatest sum of numbers along a path in a triangle of numbers, looks like a standard tree search problem. However, there’s a note at the bottom stating a brute force method won’t work for a harder/bigger version in problem #67. So I decided to skip the exercise of writing the tree […]

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


About a month ago, I came across a post from Jon McLoone on the Wolfram Blog where he detailed his method for finding the 25 best Hangman words. His metric was the percentage of games his computer algorithm would fail to guess a given word. His results make sense; short words with low frequency characters […]

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

GPX Elevation Profile Plotting With The Google Chart API

Last month I went on a few training hikes for an upcoming backpacking trip, and on the final two, I took along my GPS. Google Earth provides a wealth of options for visualizing GPS data, but I wanted to get a better understanding of what was going on under the hood. So I exported my […]

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Project Euler Problems #15, #16, #17

Problem #15 Starting in the top left corner in a 20 by 20 grid, how many routes are there to the bottom right corner? I often used this question during interviews and suprisingly, very few candidates were able to make much progress with it. I wasn’t looking for a candidate to code it 100% correctly […]

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Project Euler Problems #12, #13, #14

Problem #12 Find the first triangle number to have over 500 divisors. As I’m progressing through these problems, certain types/sequences of numbers keep popping up. I’ve started a library of functions called The first thing I did was add a triangle number generator to my library: def triangleNumber(): num = 1 add = 2 […]