Ian Short

Blog

Category: Graph theory

Graph theory and game theory

Some months ago I discussed the following problem with Steve Hewson and Mike Pearson after an NRICH meeting. Two people play a game with a finite graph. They take turns in colouring the uncoloured vertices of the graph, one vertex at a time. One player colours vertices red, and the other player colours vertices green. […]

How to button as badly as possible

The following problem was suggested by Bernard Murphy at Jenny Piggott’s retirement meeting in Cambridge on Tuesday 13 July. Problem Consider eight jacket buttons in a column, as shown on the left hand side of the image below. We can unbutton the eight buttons in various orders; one such order is shown on the right […]

Candle lighting

How quickly can a number of people, each with an unlit candle, light their candles from a single lit candle? This problem presented itself during a service in St. Mary’s Church in Maynooth, Ireland, to which I was kindly invited on Holy Saturday (3 April 2010). The congregation were seated in a block, and each […]

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