Buddy solver

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macfreek
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:17 pm
Location: Netherlands
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Buddy solver

Post by macfreek »

After a little hiatus (inactive since 2008), I came back to PE. Mostly to reset my password, but since I fondly remember solving some problems, I couldn't help taking a peek again. Solved one problem, abandoned another one, and was nerd-sniped by problem 761 (the last published one, and hard one, though I didn't realise that when I started).

Sadly, I got stuck on 761. I love to continue to learn more about it, but don't seem to able to accomplish that on my own. I contemplated on asking for a nudge in the right direction, but opted not to do that -- while I prefer asking for a hint over abandoning a problem, I do realise that the policy at PE is the later, especially for these recent problems ("If you can't solve it, you can't solve it" was an old adagium).

This got me thinking if there is a way to solve this issue. Getting stuck is not bad. In fact, the core of PE is to get stuck, persevere, get a epifany and solve it. Learn by doing. Getting stuck and abandoning a problem is bad, and can be seen as collateral damage.

It seems that the epifany escaped me this time, so the options I had are to ask for hints (a no-no for recent problems), try to find the solution somewhere (not my cup of tea), search more online to learn more about the problem (perhaps best, successful at first, but unsuccessful after getting halfway through the problem), or abandon the problem and either work on other problems or find other sources to learn (for example online courses, study books or puzzles books and websites that do give hints).

And then it struck me, the most enjoyable (and thus memorable) times solving a PE problem were when I did it together with someone else. I only had the opportunity to do that twice, but at those occasions, we did crack a 70% difficulty problem, and we both learned a lot.

So, would this be a way to help people that are stuck? I am not going to ask for hints, I'm not offering hints to others for problems I already solved, but I do hope to find people who happen to be interesting in solving the same problem, and see if we can do it together.

The first question is if you confer. Is this a way to help people who get stuck avoid abandoning a problem? If so, the next question is how to match up. Can we do that int his forum (how?), or does it require some new functionality on the PE website?
DeKlod
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:55 am

Re: Buddy solver

Post by DeKlod »

I would second that idea - I've a whole list of problems which are 'nearly solved' or at least I think they are but I clearly get the wrong answer.
Also, I've recently restarted my account because I am trying to learn Fortran and so I know many of the answers. Yet in some cases, my Fortran code is off and I've no idea why.
So a 'buddy' would be a brilliant thing - after all, it is all about learning and getting better, and not just being able to do it from the go :-)
Anyway, back to completing my low-50 in Fortran
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euler
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Re: Buddy solver

Post by euler »

It's a really good idea. I've shared it with the team and we'll discuss ways in which something like this could be best implemented for those who want to take advantage of such a system.

Privacy is always a priority for us, so we'd need to ensure that any system allowing the sharing of contact details is done in the safest way possible and only with member's express consent.

If anyone has any ideas that they'd like to throw into the mix, then please share them here.
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