One of my friends suggested I check out this interesting site, Project Euler, to keep my brain teased and concurrently challenged in coding up solutions. It is somewhat similar to CodeGolf but different.
What Project Euler aims to do is to maintain a repository of member-contributed mathematical problems in ascending order of difficulty. A problem is considered solved when you submit a correct answer into the answer text box. Upon completion of a problem, you gain access to problem notes (if available, written by the author) and a special forum thread which discusses or exhibits solutions to the problem.
The fun part is that syntax and schematics of how you arrive at the answer doesn’t matter. You can cheat all you want but it defeats the purpose of even solving the problem—you’ll be better off doing penmanship. What’s different about Project Euler is that you can use any method, software, or language to arrive at the answer; the degree of difficulty completely lies in your hands. You can choose to come up with clean algorithms, copy algorithms off the net, or recursively brute-force your way through, Project Euler doesn’t care. As long as you submit a correct answer, the treasure box opens and you get to see different perspectives to solving that particular problem.
The best part of solving a problem is to see geniuses coming up with artistically sparse, concise and elegant solutions in a language of their choice. Trying to understand what goes on in that few lines of powerful code really challenges and changes your ability to think.
With 266 problems (as of this writing) waiting for you to chew, you’ll have no shortage of brain exercises, providing you with ample fun for your otherwise idling time, perfectly suitable for boring meetings too!