We have a new official integration partner! Except arguably not official, nor a partner. Project Euler is philosophically opposed to any kind of commercialization. So much so that the founder and all volunteers who contribute to it have committed to never profit financially from doing so. Pretty hard core! We like hard cores. And fortunately they were very encouraging of us making this integration on our own even though, philosophically, they can’t officially endorse it!
If you don’t love both math and programming then this announcement will be thoroughly uninteresting to you. This is me awkwardly waiting for the non-nerds to shuffle off to band practice or whatever non-nerds do.
Okay, excellent. Let’s first talk about Project Euler! It’s been around for 18 years and has published a new problem on average every 9.8 days. When you solve one you get let in to an exclusive forum for others who solved it and you can show off your solution and see others’ approaches. It’s super fun, if you’re into that kind of thing. To give you a sense, the very first problem is finding the sum of the multiples of 3 or 5 below 1000. (Some are a lot more involved, and sometimes highly beautiful.) Project Euler is a wonderful way to get your feet wet with a new programming language. Or in my case, gloat about how jaw-droppingly elegant Mathematica code can be.
How it works
Assuming you already understand Beeminder, it’s probably plenty self-explanatory so you can go ahead and dive in by creating a Project Euler goal:
If you’re still reading, we can tell you what to expect. You give us your Project Euler username (so we can double check that we can find you), and you commit to how many problems you want to solve per week. That can be less than one if you want to average, say, one per month.
Then all you’ve got to do is keep solving problems. Your Beeminder graph will start out looking like this one here, and you want each day’s datapoint to be on or above that yellow road.
The x-axis starts at 99 there because that happens to be how many Project Euler problems I’ve personally solved as of this writing.
We automatically check Project Euler periodically to get your score, and if you’ve got a problem due today, your goal will show up red and we’ll start emailing you reminders that you need to finish another problem. If you don’t get your datapoint on the road by your deadline then your goal derails, and you pay your pledge to Beeminder.
Forcing yourself to solve mathy programming (programmy math?) problems! What’s not to like?
Image credit: Portrait by Jakob Emanuel Handmann - Kunstmuseum Basel