The New York Times "Numberplay" blog editor, Gary Antonick, recently posed to his readers a puzzle suggested by Tim Chartier, associate professor of mathematics and computer science at Davidson. "The Touching Puzzle" seeks the highest and lowest scores possible through rearrangements of the numbers one through nine when they each are drawn on side-by-side grids that are three squares by five squares. Rearranging the numbers results in changes in the number of squares touching a neighboring number.
The puzzle is just one of many included in Chartier's recent book, "Math Bytes." Editor Antonick also conducted an interview with Chartier, offering him an opportunity to talk about his fascination with not only the beauty and creativity of math and computers, but also mime, which he employs in presentations around the world to illustrate mathematical concepts.