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Playtime with Pentominoes and Python

by David Radcliffe

Pentominoes are shapes made by connecting five squares edge to edge. They are like Tetris shapes, but with an extra square attached. There are 12 different pentominoes (or 18 if you don't allow them to be flipped over).


These shapes can be arranged to create many fun and interesting shapes. In my presentation, I will show how Python can be used to solve pentomino puzzles, using only a few lines of code. I will also show that the same code can be used to solve other puzzles, such as Sudoku and the Soma cube.

I will bring several sets of pentominoes for participants to play with, and I will leave plenty of time for creative exploration. Children are welcome to attend!

All levels

David Radcliffe

I am a cofounder and software developer for GogyUp, an educational technology startup. Pronounced ( go - gee - up ), we build never-ending opportunities for every adult to achieve economic security through connecting what they learn to the work they want and with the employers who need them. I am also a Ph.D. mathematician who taught college mathematics at various places, including the University of Minnesota.