We love puzzles. When Erik was six years old, we designed and made puzzles as
the Erik and Dad Puzzle Company.
Now we do research on combinatorial games and
puzzles, in particular analyzing the computational complexity of
games and puzzles we like to play.
Below are folding puzzles that we designed for fun.
Each puzzle also represents a mathematical unsolved problem
that we have worked on, to illustrate what makes the problem so challenging.
You are free to print the puzzles out, play with them, and give them away as
individual puzzles, but any redistribution must name the puzzle designers
(Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine). Also, you need permission before
publishing these puzzles in any form.
MIT CSAIL Annual Meeting Puzzles
In what has become a regular event, we give out puzzles each year at our
lab's Annual Meeting. Over the years,
the lab's name has changed,
and the meeting changed briefly to semi-annual.
What polyominoes fold into a cube? This seemingly simple question is still
an unsolved mathematical problem. These puzzles illustrate some of the cases
we (only recently) understand.
These two puzzles appear in the book
organized by the 2005
Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA Conference
published by OrigamiUSA.
MathFest 2019 edition
Puzzle 1: Black and White Squares
Puzzle 2: Colored Squares