CSEE Monthly Student Puzzle – September Winner

In the SCE September newsletter, the Computer Science Electrical Engineering (CSEE) Department introduced a new monthly contest for CSEE students. Students in the CSEE department are encouraged to send in their answer to puzzles published in each newsletter. The first undergraduate CSEE student to send in the correct answer will receive a gift and be featured on the SCE website.

KJ Behler is the winner of the September puzzle contest. KJ is a junior in the BIT program. KJ’s Fun Fact: He is an avid pistol shooter. He was the first student to send in the correct answer to the September puzzle:  

“Suppose you are in a field in the shape of an equilateral triangle, each side of which is 150 feet. At one of the corners, there is a steel pipe of 14 feet, at another corner a steel pipe of 22 feet, and at the last corner, a wooden pole of 35 feet. Your task is to cut the wooden pole into two pieces: one piece of 30 feet, and the other 5 feet. You can use only the steel pipes to make measurements. You are not allowed to cut the steel pipes, but are allowed to make one or more pencil marks on the wooden pole.  The steel pipes are too heavy to be moved. The wooden pole is too heavy for one person to move, but your friend is willing to help out as long as you promise to buy him a meal for every time the pole is carried across the field. Describe a method that will accomplish the assigned task. Calculate the number of scratch marks you make and the number of meals you will need to buy your friend.”

Answer: The trick is to figure how the sum or difference of the lengths of the steel poles can be used to equal the desired length of 30 or 5. One of the correct answers for the number of meals owed is 3.

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