Week 7: Continuing C And Starting To Write
This week I continued learning C, and I worked on an interesting problem. The goal is to find the number of different paths you can take to travel from the top left to the bottom right of a 20×20 grid, if you only travel rightward and downward. (Here’s the link if you’re interested: https://projecteuler.net/problem=15.) Brute force (endless for loops) doesn’t work on this one because of the sheer computing power and time needed. This is an interesting thought problem, because there are many ways to solve this problem and break it down, to make it interpretable to computers, and I have tried multiple approaches both by hand and through coding. One way is to assign numbers to moves, and have the sum of these moves add up to the grid length + height, and the even terms sum to the length, odd terms to the height. This way a path is represented by [number of steps right], [number of steps down], [number of steps right], and so on, and the program iterates through the numbers of steps possible in each direction. This works for small grids, but a 20×20 grid needs a far more efficient solution. I then moved to pencil and paper, working on formulas for the number of solutions based on the length of the right-down-etc. sequence. It was fun to sit down with a good math problem and work it out on paper.
As for my independent research, I began writing. I worked on my introduction and the background sections–overviews of runoff control efforts, specifically riparian buffers, and the Chesapeake Bay region, specifically near the Featherstone Refuge–incorporating general knowledge and past research. It wasn’t a real exciting week. I’ll start writing about others’ research into riparian buffers and runoff control this coming week, and then writing my own analysis of the Featherstone region from there. See you next week,