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Designing Puzzles with a Computer
(Using a Computer to Design a Puzzle that Can't be Solved with a Computer)

Bill Cutler
Bill Cutler Puzzles Inc.

Friday October 5th
CII 3051 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


In this talk, Bill Cutler will discuss mechanical puzzles he has designed over the last 45 years. Computer programs were used to assist in many of the designs. He was the first person to write a program to disassemble interlocking puzzles built from pieces made of cubes. From 1987 to 1990, he enlisted the aid of puzzle collectors around the world to run this program on the 35.5 billion different 6-piece burrs. He has also written a very general box-packing puzzle. He used this program to create the Splitting Headache, an aptly named puzzle that will defeat you unless you use both sides of your brain. If you attempt to solve this puzzle with a computer program, you may be in for a surprise.


Bill Cutler is a mathematician and systems analyst who has had a life-long interest in mechanical puzzles, particularly 3-d interlocking 'burr' puzzles and 2-d and 3-d packing puzzles. He received a BS in Applied Mathematics from Brown in 1966 and a PhD in Mathematics from Cornell in 1970. He is currently employed by EDS.

Hosted by: Barb Cutler (x-3274)

For more information:

Bill Cutler Puzzles

Last updated: October 4th, 2007