Facebook has decided to hold a programming competition, I guess. They should definitely hire the winner, and get her to *rewrite their damn programming competition interface*. But more on that later. Continue reading Facebook Hacker Cup Qualification Round: Double Squares

# Righteous hack: getting 2^{63} - 1 points in a silly Facebook game

Security through obscurity doesn't work. Every once in a while I like to prove this fact, by getting worldwide high scores on vulnerable leaderboards. The first time I did this was to Area Flat 3 (which was an awesome game when I was in elementary school, and is still pretty fun). Check the all-time top 100 scores for H4X0R (I know, not very original; I was 13, sue me). But that hack was child's play compared to this one. Continue reading Righteous hack: getting 2^{63} - 1 points in a silly Facebook game

# Solving Cubic Polynomials

Although a closed form solution exists for the roots of polynomials of degree ≤ 4, the general formulae for cubics (and quartics) is ugly. Various simplifications can be made; commonly, the cubic \(a_3\,x^3+a_2\,x^2+a_1\,x+a_0\) is transformed by substituting \(x = t-a_2/3a_3\), giving Continue reading Solving Cubic Polynomials

# Solving Polynomials

A well known (if not by name) theorem is the Abelâ€“Ruffini theorem, which states that there is no algebraic expression for the roots of polynomials with degree higher than 4.

A not-so-well-known fact is that for any polynomial \(P(x)\), it is possible to find (with exact arithmetic) a set of ranges each containing exactly one root of \(P(x)\). One such algorithm is due to James Victor Uspensky in 1948. Continue reading Solving Polynomials

# .com

Hell is freezing over. Or something. This month I've created a twitter and now a blog-type thing here. Welcome to 2006, I know.