Linear Algebra and a Lightbulb Game

If you give one of your friends a puzzle to solve, they will often dive right into a trial-and-error approach to finding a solution.  For instance, if we have a line of lightbulbs, each of which with a switch that affects its state along with the state of its immediate neighbor bulbs, we can ask if it's possible to turn off all of the bulbs from some starting configuration of on/off.  The trial-and-error approach may work for four bulbs, but what if there were 20 bulbs?  Luckily for us, some simple linear algebra tools can give us clarity for all possible cases.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 12:00 to 13:00

Thackeray 703

Speaker Information
Tom Everest