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Try to Turn the Lights Out

Monday's New York Times "Wordplay" blog featured a challenge created by Robert Torrence, a math major at The College of William and Mary. 

Torrence presents readers with a network of lighted buttons connected by wires. Buttons may be either on or off, and pushing a button reverses not only its state, but also the states of the buttons attached to it. Torrence asks:

 Given some initial condition, can you find a series of button presses that turns all buttons off?

Torrence, who presented "Lights Out Strategy for Petersen Graphs" at MAA MathFest 2013 in Hartford, will reveal on Friday a simple strategy he discovered for solving any initial state that can be solved.

Take the challenge (a Lights Out gizmo allows you to play the game in your browser).

Start Date: 
Wednesday, September 18, 2013