Merlin's Magic Squares
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http://www.cuttheknot.org/ctk/Merlin.shtml  


Cut the Knot!, Alexander Bogomolny  
The toy game of Merlin is not quite trivial and the mathematics is simple enough to provide an entertaining exercise in a Linear Algebra class. The original game is played on a 3x3 array of buttons that toggle between two states. The goal of the game is to achieve a target configuration of button states by pressing the buttons. The difficulty lies in that pressing a button alters its state but also toggles states of some neighboring buttons. The applet provided generalizes the game in three ways. An interactive column for MAA Online that uses a Java applet to simulate a puzzle or mathematical problem, one not stated directly since the applet is intended to be such that the right answer to an as yet unstated problem should be easy to surmise.  


Levels:  High School (912), College 
Languages:  English 
Resource Types:  Games, Problems/Puzzles, Articles, Web Interactive/Java 
Math Topics:  Matrices, Number Theory 
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