Ponder This — August’s Challenge!

Are you a professional problem solver? If so, we invite you to submit your ‘Ponder This’ solution for this month’s challenge.

Ponder This Challenge:

We are trying to solve an optimization problem,

Let’s assume that correct answer is defined as an integer number between 51 to 150 cm (inclusive).

You can use a black box solver to answer the question: “is the correct answer at least X?”
If the answer is positive – it costs you one cent, but if not – it costs you 10 cents.
Assuming that the answer is uniformly distributed (i.e., every number has the same probability) and using the most efficient strategy, how much will it cost, on average, to solve the problem?


IBM Research will post the names of those who submit a correct, original solution to their website! If you don’t want your name posted then please include such a statement in your submission. Send your submission to the webmaster.

If you have any problems you think we might enjoy, please send them in. All replies should be sent to: webmster@us.ibm.com


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