August 5, 2013

Anti-Pattern Recognition

Math is largely about recognizing and creating patterns. But sometimes the best way to practice something is doing the opposite. Hmmm. Is avoiding a pattern another way of creating a pattern?
Take from a deck of cards all the Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks.

Arrange them in a 4 × 4 square so that every row, column and diagonal contains one card of each value (A,J,Q,K) and one card of each suit (Heart, Spade, Diamond, Club). source
It's really tough not to have cards of the same value or suit in any row, column, or diagonal, but look at the sense of accomplishment on the faces of these ten-year-olds who stuck with it and solved the puzzle.

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