Using Puzzles for Interactive Scientific Outreach

Our lab is developing activities centered around puzzles, namely Soduku, to engage younger audiences in scientific outreach around abstract concepts such as mathematical modeling and computational optimization. Briefly:

  1. We teach children and their parents about the rules of Soduko and invite them to solve easy 3x3 and 9x9 puzzles.
  2. Next, we show how computer algorithms can effectively analyze the rules of Sudoku and solve the puzzle in less than 1 second.
  3. Finally, we share - mainly with parents and teenagers - how our lab creates computer algorithms that solve energy puzzles such as how to optimize interconnect energy systems.

The first iteration of this activity debuted in February 2019 and was one of the most popular exhibits at Science Alive! in South Bend.

Bridgette and Kanishka at Science Alive! in Februrary 2019:

Science Alive1 Web

Science Alive2 Web

Elvis, Bridgette, and Kanishka next to our poster at Science Alive!:

Science Alive! 2019

Bridgette, Jialu, Kanishka, and Prof. Dowling at ND Explores STEM:

ND Explores Stem