Dr. Black Has Been Murdered

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.

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” WeUseMath.org is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.



Figures represent salary potential.


Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

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