Feeds

Minesweeper could explode hard maths problem

And win $1m prize

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Minesweeper, the Windows OS game accused of wasting almost as much office time as Solitaire, could hold the key to one of the trickiest problems in mathematics research that has baffled all the brainiest boffins for about 30 years.

A one million dollar prize has been offered by the Clay Mathematics Institute to anyone who can find an algorithm that checks the consistancy of a minesweeper board in polynomial time.

It is all a bit clever for us but the general gist of it seems to be that to find such an algorithm would solve the P vs. NP problem - which if you are a Mathematician, you would certainly know about and probably understand.

Richard Kaye, a maths professor at Birmingham University in England, noticed the potential of the game. He said that while he realised there was probably some nice maths behind the game, he had no idea what he was looking for: "I'm always interested in games with maths elements. Maths and games go together brilliantly."

Kaye suggested that the if the game were to be solved it would also have implications for code breaking. ®

For those who actually understand these things and want to know more, there is a bundle of information about the problem and the prize at Clay Mathematics Institute's web site.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.