Technical Articles and Newsletters

The World's Simplest Impossible Problem

By Cleve Moler, MathWorks

If the average of two numbers is three, what are the numbers? The solution to this problem is not unique, and the problem is ill-defined, but that does not mean that MATLAB® cannot solve it.

In this article from 1990, Cleve Moler explores this simple yet impossible problem and others like it using MATLAB to find answers with the fewest nonzero components and other “nice” solutions.

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Published 1990 - 92036v00