I’ve really been enjoying watching Dara O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums. Recently there was a problem that involves computer science, so I thought I would present that to all of you. It could come in useful on a night out too!

Four shots – which one is poisoned?

Here one of these shot glass is poisoned. You have a method that you can use to test for the presence of poison, which is to shine a special light over two test tubes. The light will only work once though. You have to determine which glass contains the poison and drink the other three.

Answers on a postcard…

I think I’m enjoying this show for two reasons. The first is because I like a good old challenge that makes you think. The second reason is that this program adds real (kind of) context to mathematical and logical problems. Although the problems tend to be a bit contrived and aren’t what I would call real world problems they do show that if you want to solve many problems (real or not) you often have to fall back to an element of maths.