6.046J / 18.410J / SMA5503
First prize for the contest is $100, plus a one-of-a-kind, custom-made puzzle. William Waite, a talented puzzle designer and craftsman living in Denmark, will translate a puzzle generated by the winning program into elegant physical form. You can see more of his puzzles here.
The challenge for this year's programming contest is to find interesting sliding-piece puzzles, based on specifications of the piece shapes you may use.
This handout (also available on the handouts page) contains the complete problem specifications.
We provide complete, working sample code, in Java, C++, and C. The only problem is it's not very efficient. All you need to do is pick your favorite language, download the source, and improve it. You can also write a solution from scratch in whatever language you want. Here is the sample code:
Good luck, and have fun!