IBM Research | Ponder This | March 2015 challenges

Ponder This

March 2015

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Ponder This Challenge:

Punched tapes are roll of paper that can be written by punching holes.
All 26 letters of the English alphabet (A-Z) can be encoded using 5-bit wide tape.

How many bits do we need to be able to write twice?

Supply your answer as a 2**X long list of letters, such that using your encoding, one can punch some holes on a blank tape and encode any letter; and then add some more holes (one can not undo a punch) to write any other letter.

Bonus '*' for those who can fit an intelligible sentence into a correct answer.

Update (03/04): We have a translation function f from {0,1}^X to {A,B,...,Z} such that for every letter alpha (in A-Z) we can find X bits value x such that f(x)=alpha and for every other letter beta there exists another X bits value y_beta such that f(y_beta)=beta and y_beta>=x bitwise. I.e., every 1 (hole) in x remains a 1 in y_beta, while a 0 in x may be changed to 1 in y_beta ("adding hole"). Note that once you punch beta you are no longer required to remember alpha so y_beta encodes only beta.

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Challenge: 03/02/2015 @ 12:00 PM EST
Solution: 04/01/2015 @ 12:00 PM EST
List Updated: 03/02/2015 @ 12:00 PM EST

Aviv Nisgav (03/03/2015 05:03 AM EDT)
*Franciraldo Cavalcante (03/04/2015 03:01 AM EDT)
Kang Jin Cho (03/05/2015 05:42 AM EDT)
*James Dow Allen (03/06/2015 04:05 PM EDT)
Graham Hemsley (03/08/2015 08:16 AM EDT)
*Chuck Carroll (03/10/2015 08:43 AM EDT)
*Andreas Stiller (03/10/2015 11:39 AM EDT)
Radu-Alexandru Todor (03/10/2015 02:31 PM EDT)
Emilio Del Tessandoro (03/12/2015 08:42 AM EDT)
*Armin Krauss (03/12/2015 07:04 PM EDT)
Alex Fleischer (03/14/2015 05:13 PM EDT)
*Motty Porat (03/14/2015 06:44 PM EDT)
Vladimir Sedach (03/15/2015 10:55 AM EDT)
*David Dodson & Don Dodson (03/16/2015 05:01 PM EDT)
*Serge Batalov (03/19/2015 03:11 AM EDT)
Gyorgy Gyomai (03/22/2015 03:32 PM EDT)
Antoine Comeau (03/23/2015 01:10 PM EDT)
Mark Pervovskiy (03/24/2015 10:09 AM EDT)
*Daniel Bitin (03/25/2015 12:21 PM EDT)
Uoti Urpala (03/27/2015 11:40 PM EDT)
Shirish Chinchalkar (03/28/2015 10:01 PM EDT)
David Greer (03/30/2015 03:12 PM EDT)
Gregory Giecold (03/30/2015 03:52 PM EDT)
*Mark Pervovskiy (03/30/2015 06:21 PM EDT)
*Maximilian Hasler (03/31/2015 10:44 AM EDT)
Liubing Yu (03/31/2015 08:24 PM EDT)
*Alex Wagner (03/31/2015 09:44 PM EDT)

Attention: If your name is posted here and you wish it removed please send email to the ponder@il.ibm.com.