Last Math Monday: Make Your Own Bongard Problems
In this session we made up Bongard Problems — logic puzzles named for Russian computer scientist Bongard, who included many of these puzzles in his 1967 book Pattern Recognition.
- Here’s the slideshow from the event.
- Here are the 15 puzzles everyone invented last Monday.
- And if you want to make up your own Bongard problems, here’s a blank template you can use at home or with your class.
- And here’s a video replay of the event.
Here are a couple Bongard problems that participants invented during our session. The question for each picture below is what do the objects on the left have in common that makes them different from the objects on the right. Scroll to the end of this email for answers.
Math writer Alex Bellos presents several Bongard Problems
Gödel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter
The nature of consciousness, as explored through art, music, math, DNA and other lenses. By Indiana University cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter. Hofstadter uses Bongard problems to illustrate the immense subtlety of pattern recognition — human or otherwise. His graduate student Henry Fondalis took up the challenge of writing a computer program that attempts to solve Bongard problems — a challenge that was out of reach when Bongard first posed his problems, and remains difficult for computers.
Research on the Bongard Problems
Article by Henry Fondalis.
Index of 333 Bongard Problems, including all of Bongard’s original problems, and problems by Henry Fondalis, Doug Hofstadter, and many other people.
About Math Monday
Invite your friends! I started Math Monday as a weekly online event to give families a way to learn together at home by playing fun math games. Activities are aimed at kids aged 6-12, and are fun for adults as well as kids. Sign up to get weekly invites here: http://mathmonday.net
— Scott Kim, Chief Puzzle Officer
- One syllable vs. Two syllables
- Contains O vs. Contains A (and not O)
- Contains a doubled-letter vs. Does not contain a doubled letter
- Contains E vs. Does not contain E