I can program and like games

## Tag: problem solving

### Sudoku Variants as Playful Proof Practice

Doing mathematical proofs is kinda fun. Unfortunately they only make you do a few fun ones in school, then they get frustrating and tedious. So I have long been looking for a game that is about doing mathematical proofs. Euclidea was good, but eventually runs into the same problem as the hard proofs you do in school, so I never finished the game. But recently a lot of hard Sudoku variants have come along that feel exactly like doing a mathematical proof, but are designed to be fun.

The Sudoku world is currently going through an explosion of creativity and innovation, something which I have called a “Treasure Hunting System” before. It’s quite joyful to watch, especially since I never really got into Sudokus before. I found that when Sudokus get hard, they get more tedious instead of getting more interesting. They’re only fun until you get good enough to attempt the tedious ones. At least that’s what I thought until Youtube kept on recommending the Cracking the Cryptic channel, which currently features mostly Sudoku variants, and those are much more interesting.

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### Collected Advice for Doing Scientific Research

I’ve been collecting advice from various sources about how to do research. I can’t find a good place that collects this, so let’s see if I can create one.

The idea is that this should be something similar as George Polya’s “How to Solve It” but for doing research instead of solving problems. There is a lot of overlap between those two ideas, so I will quote a lot from Polya, but I will also add ideas from other sources. I should say though that my sources are mostly from Computer Science, Math and Physics. So this list will be biased towards those fields.

My other background here is that I work in video game AI so I’ve read a lot of AI literature and have found parallels between solving AI problems and solving research problems. So I will try to generalize patterns that AI research has found about how to solve hard problems.

A lot of practical advice will be for getting you unstuck. But there will also be advice for the general approach to doing research.