A t a party that I attended, the hosts gave their guests the Tower of Hanoi puzzle with alternating dark and light discs and a challenge to move the 7 discs to a new post. (I disqualified myself because I knew how to solve the challenge.) However, the hosts' son and daughter-in-law misunderstood the directions and moved the dark discs to one side post and the light discs to the other side post. I immediately wondered, “How many moves did they take, assuming that they made the most efficient moves? How can their interpretation of the problem be generalized to n discs?”

Footnotes

Edited by Maurice Burke, Maurice.Burke@utsa.edu University of Texas at San Antonio

J. Kevin Colligan, jkcolligan@verizon.net SRA International, Columbia, MD (retired)

Maria Fung, mfung@worcester.edu Worcester State College, Worcester, MA

Jeffrey J. Wanko, wankojj@muohio.edu Miami University, Oxford, OH

Contributor Notes

James Metz, metz@hawaii.edu, a retired mathematics instructor, has conducted mathematics workshops in south africa with teachers across Borders and has done similar work in Uganda; his most recent volunteer work was in Liberia with the Peace corps.

(Corresponding author is Metz metz@hawaii.edu)
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