Detective Jill must determine the murderer, crime scene, and weapon. There are six possible murderers, 10 locations, and six weapons. Detective Jill tries to guess the correct combination then asks her assistant, Jack, to confirm or refute each theory.
"Detective Jill" is each of 315 teen computer prodigies, "Jack" is a computer program that each competitor must write on the spot, and this word problem was the first challenge at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
At IOI, high-school-age students solve problems that baffle graduate students, sometimes inventing algorithms in a matter of minutes. Dozens of countries from Kazakhstan to Venezuela are represented, and each team member has beaten thousands of countrymen to make their country's team. At the "Math Olympics," even the losers are brilliant. What teen genius will come out on top this year? Follow the competition here.