An Algebraic Approach to the 15-Puzzle by Elvira Alonso-Rivera ’20, Mathematics Colloquium, Wednesday, February 12, 1 – 1:45 pm, Stetson Court Classroom 101
Abstract: Invented in the 1870s, the challenge of this puzzle is to rearrange its pieces in order from 1 to 15. The only allowed moves are sliding pieces into the empty slot.
In this talk, I will show how every configuration of the 15-puzzle can be written as a permutation and use properties of permutations to derive its solution. Professor Stoiciu has offered to give $1000 to anyone who can solve the following configuration using only allowed moves: