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General Remark for all assignments - always remember the following statement by Blaise Pascal: "I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it shorter."

Assignment 5

Due: Wed, February 6, 2002

The Mutilated "8x8" Matrix

The Problem: The figure below shows you a mutilated "8x8" matrix (the two opposing corners cut out) and a domino block. One domino block covers exactly two fields of the "8x8" matrix.

Note: It is straightforward that one can use 32 domino blocks to cover a complete "8x8" matrix.

Question: Can one cover the mutilated "8x8" matrix with 31 domino blocks?

Remark: the major objective of this assignment is that you spend some effort solving this problem and answering the questions below – it is not so important that you will succeed solving the problem!

Also: engage in some collaborative efforts solving it


Please do the following (please structure your answer accordingly – thanks):
  1. try to find an answer to this problem!
  2. document briefly your thinking – including all the important intermediate steps and failing attempts (i.e., create a "think-aloud protocol")
  3. which resources did you use to solve the problem?
  4. which process did you use?
  5. which practice (of you or others) did you use?
  6. could computers be useful to solve this problem?
  7. what have you learned solving the problem: in general and for our course?
  8. what have you learned not being able to solve the problem: in general and for our course?

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