Project Euler

You’ve probably heard of Project Euler (http://projecteuler.net/). If you haven’t, I suggest you check it out. It’s an amazing collection of interesting mathematical and programming problems. Nowhere else have I seen such a quality collection of problems.

I had known of Project Euler for a long time, but never found a good reason to actually try it out. Recently (3 days back) I thought of getting comfortable with F#. I believe that the best way to learn a language is to use it to solve some real problems. That’s when I remembered Project Euler.

Some of the problems over there can be answered with just pen and paper. But most of them require you to write some code in order to get to the solution. That’s not to say you can ignore the math behind it (hmm.. of course you can, but I wouldn’t suggest it :D )  Understanding the underlying math concepts for a problem helps you devise better solutions (instead of going the brute-force way).

I’ve been sorta doing it the other way around. I look at a problem, chart out a quick solution. Google if needed to understand some background, but try to arrive at the solution by some means. Once I have the answer, I go thru solution thread which generally has some good insights into the problem.

I was almost scared when I spent 2 evenings to solve the just the first two problems. But that was mostly getting to know the language than getting to the solution itself. Now that I know F# a little better, I’m going much faster. Today I solved 4 of them ( :) ) and I definitely feel good about it (and that’s why this post :D )

One interesting thing is that there arent a lot of members in Project Euler who’re using F#. The count (as of today) is just around 160. And from India, I am the only member using F# :D

Btw, my handle on Project Euler is CodeMangler (my standard online handle, except in games)

Some of the later problems sound pretty interesting. Can’t wait to get to them. Nope, they arent locked or anything. I’m just forcing myself to solve them in order 😀  Anyways, I just hope to solve the remaining 220ish problems asap and get to the top of the list soon :) (overambitious.. I know)

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