“Project Euler exists to encourage, challenge, and develop the skills and enjoyment of anyone with an interest in the fascinating world of mathematics.”

We all know the importance of training our physical bodies every week, like working out at the gym or going for a run. Making our muscles sore, however, is only one part of the equation for living a happy and healthy life. The other three pillars are developing your mind, your spirit, and your social being.

I heard about Project Euler way back in college. Since then, it has given me a convenient, interesting, and useful outlet for making my brain hurt, the key to developing your mind; great for when I spend all day in meetings, for example, and get no tangible work done (of course, my brain hurts in different ways from being in meetings all day). I’ve completed 37 of the problems so far, the first 21 in R and subsequent ones in Python. Some reasons for why you should get started:

  • Learn a new coding language.
    I did the first 21 problems in R because I wanted to get familiar with the syntax and libraries. I find the best way to learn something is to just start using it in real projects.

  • Learn mathematical concepts.
    Know what the sieve of Eratosthenes is? Neither did I until a brute force solution took more than 3 minutes to run, and I needed a better algorithm for solving the problem. Good topics for cocktail parties.

  • Improve your algorithmic thinking.
    Your first approach to solving a problem will most likely be a brute force solution. Moore’s Law may have enabled beefy computers in our pockets, but O(n^2) implementations will still make your computer’s brain hurt. Help it out with your own problem-solving brain.

Already on Project Euler or about to sign up? Add me as a friend using my friend key 679799_48958cfaed617623bb7a6c4f9a3400a0. I am always open to talking number theory or code!