# Message #760

From: Melinda Green <melinda@superliminal.com>

Subject: Re: [MC4D] MC4D 4.0 is really fantastic!

Date: Mon, 02 Nov 2009 16:03:49 -0800

David,

Yes, you’re quite valuable to this community. In fact I have another

task that I’d love to put into your queue just after Roice’s request,

and this one will be quite interesting to our power-solvers. What I need

is a formula for the minimum number of random twists needed to fully

scramble a given puzzle. It’s similar to the well-known question of how

many shuffles it takes to fully mix a deck of cards

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuffle#Randomization>. (The answer is six

or seven.) I’ve implemented a function that seems to work reasonably

well but I’m not at all convinced that it’s good enough. It’s important

to not overestimate too much because that fills the log files rather

quickly for large puzzles. It’s also important to not underestimate

because that could bring into question the validity of some people’s

solutions. I need a really good Goldilocks function, and you seem like

just the person to produce one! :-)

Thanks!

-Melinda

David Smith wrote:

> Note: Melinda sent me a message similar to Roice’s that I did not realize was off of the group until this moment. But I would like to thank both Melinda and Roice for their support, so I think I’ll leave the message as-is. Thanks!

>

> Thank you Melinda and Roice for your assurance that my math results

> have a place in this group! Melinda, I especially appreciate that you

> want to see my work continue. :) After reading that, it hit me that I

> can find formulas for all of the polytopes in MC4D 4.0! Perhaps I can

> even categorize all of the possible polychora that can exist as a

> Rubik-like puzzle and find formulas for all of them, which would take

> care of the Create Your Own option. The n^d simplex and {m}x{n}

> duoprisms of any size would be a good place to start. Thanks again to

> both of you for helping me realize that my projects are important to

> those other than myself. :) Roice, I’ll get started on formulas to count pieces of

> the puzzles as soon as possible; that’s the first step in finding permutation counts anyway.

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> Thanks again, and I look forward to continuing my work!

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> All the best,

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> David

>

> — On Mon, 11/2/09, Roice Nelson <roice3@gmail.com> wrote:

>

> From: Roice Nelson <roice3@gmail.com>

> Subject: Re: [MC4D] MC4D 4.0 is really fantastic!

> To: 4D_Cubing@yahoogroups.com

> Date: Monday, November 2, 2009, 11:32 AM

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> For the record, I think the permutation count formulas have been some of the richest contributions to the group :D They are definitely as helpful and important as the many other ways people have chosen to help out. Like Melinda said, it definitely takes a village!

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> I haven’t heard back from anyone on piece counting yet, so I think those problems are still open if you’d like to play with any of them. I bet a general formula for the number of pieces on any {n}x{m} duoprism would be fun to work through, and it would cover a great many of the puzzles in the list! There is also a known problem for large n or m on even length duoprism puzzles, and so having such a formula would help us be able to know what exactly that cutoff is that people shouldn’t go past.

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> All the best,

> Roice

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> On 11/2/09, David Smith <djs314djs314@ yahoo.com> wrote:

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> Hi everyone,

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> Sorry I haven’t chimed in until now! I would like to thank and congratulate Melinda, Don, Jay, and Roice for their hard work and efforts in getting the beta out to us! As a novice programmer (and I mean extremely novice), I can appreciate how much work you all put into this. I would also like to congratulate Chris, Remi, Anthony, Roice, and Melinda for their solving accomplishments. I’m not the type of person to offer suggestions or improvements to others’ work, which is probably a bad thing. But I would be happy to help with the piece-counting efforts if that is still needed.

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> Also, thanks to Roice for your wonderful essay! It has been a lot of fun to be a member of this community and read about all of your experiences and contributions. I know I have not been much of an active member, only presenting my obscure mathematical results here and there, and for that I apologize. Such results are not of much use to the community, and definitely not as helpful or important as everyone else’s contributions regarding MC4D 4.0.

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> Anyway, sorry I can’t provide any experiences with the new program, as I have not tried to solve the puzzles. I respect everyone else very much for their efforts in supporting the new program. Congratulations again to Melinda, Don, Jay, and Roice, and to everyone else who has successfully solved the puzzles.

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> Best wishes,

> David

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