Problem of the Week at University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts has a very nice Problem of the Week service where they post a new math related problem every monday. At that time they report the percentage of people that correctly answered the question as well. To submit an answer, check the rules page. They’re usually very quick at answering if a given solution is correct or not.

This week’s problem is not specially challenging though. The problem name is Turn the page, and consists of the following question:

A novel has 527 pages (pages 1 – 527). How many digits will it take to number all 527 pages from 1 to 527?

How many people wouldn’t know how to solve that? Solving with eyes closed is kind of fun, but with help from a calculator or from any programming language it’s trivial. In python, that single line does the job:

sum([len(str(i)) for i in range(1,527+1)])

Let’s hope for a more interesting problem next week. There are some good problems from previous weeks available as well.

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