Solving Puzzles

June 5, 2011

I was reading ergodicity.net the other day and saw this post, where Anand put up a puzzle and received a solution within minutes.  This whole collective intelligence thing is really exploding, isn’t it?  Anyway, I thought I might also put up a puzzle and see if you or anyone else out there can provide a solution.  Alright, here we go.  I have a sequence of numbers and I want to find the next number in the sequence.

-2 + \pi\left(\frac{1}{2}\right)
-2 + \pi\left(\frac{2\sqrt{3}}{9}\right)
-4 + \pi\left(\sqrt{2}-\frac{1}{2}\right)
-4 + \pi\left(\frac{2}{5}\sqrt{5-\frac{2}{5}}\right)

Do let me know what you think the next number is. Of course anything would fit, but I have something particular in mind for the next number.  I don’t however know whether there is a simple general form for the whole sequence.



  1. I have to admit I am a bit stumped on this one. I think I’m getting tripped up on your not knowing if there is a simple general form…

  2. To be less mystic about it, I do know one general form for this sequence, but was hoping for one that doesn’t involve integration and somehow is more “number theoretic”.

    \int_0^1 \log\left[ x^n + (1-x)^n \right]dx

  3. Thanks for the puzzle. The good thing upon reading the solution is that I know that I wouldn’t have guessed it in any amount of time.

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