Sudoku Pioneer Wayne Gould Offers Puzzle Tips and Techniques at PSU

April 17th, 2006 by Adam

Are you one of the many people who has become mesmerized by Sudoku, the logic-based number placement puzzle that has gained international fame over the past year? Or maybe you’ve simply seen all those Sudoku books, magazines, games and Web sites and are curious to learn more.

On April 21 at 3:30 p.m., Wayne Gould of Puzzles by Pappocom will present “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sudoku”. Gould is famous for pioneering the worldwide success of the game, and is the developer of a computer program, known as Pappocom Sudoku, that mass produces the puzzle for the global market. Gould will speak about the history of Sudoku, which first became popular in Japan during the 1980s. He will also offer some techniques and methods for solving the toughest Sudoku puzzles.

Gould, who splits his time between homes in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Glen, N.H., is responsible for making Sudoku the international craze it is today. His wife, Gaye Gould, teaches linguistics at PSU. In a 2005 interview with The Boston Globe Magazine, Gould admitted that his wife – his official “puzzle tester” – can complete the puzzles faster than he can.

Gould was a judge in Hong Kong when he first discovered the puzzle during a trip to Tokyo. No one knows for sure the true origins of Sudoku, an extension of a mathematical puzzle called Magic Squares, created by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1783. A Sudoku puzzle first appeared in an American magazine in the late 1970s, and was brought to Japan shortly after. But it wasn’t until Gould got to work on the puzzle that Sudoku gained global acclaim.

Soon after he glimpsed his first Sudoku puzzle, Gould retired from his legal career and spent time writing a computer program that automatically generates puzzles of different levels. Gould began submitting the puzzles, free of charge, to newspapers, Web sites and other venues, beginning with the Conway Daily Sun, a newspaper published in New Hampshire’s White Mountains region.

Gould’s talk, held in Hyde Hall Room 327 at Plymouth State University, is presented by The Mathematics Association of Plymouth and PSU’s mathematics department. The talk is free and open to the public.

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.