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Pentominos are the twelve unique two-dimensional figures you can build from five equal squares, given that every sqare has to share at least one side with another one and none can be created by rotating or flipping another one.

Finding solutions for a special pentomino-puzzle

One day I heard about those figures and that one can take them and a bigger square made of four squares and put them into a field of eight by eight squares. I've been told that there are a lot of solutions to this problem (one is shown), but that the total number of solutions is not known yet.

So I sat down and wrote a program to find the number of solutions, but had to realize that it takes too much time to calculate it on my PC at home or at work. I wanted to solve the problem by distributed computing, but in the end managed to enhance the algorithm to be fast enough. Later I searched the internet for that puzzle and found that the figures are called pentominoes and that you can do lots of crazy things putting them together.

Letzte Änderung: 21.05.2002 00:00
Jens W. Wulf