1011.6: Admissions Efficiency



The Hamilton College Admissions Office will have three people working on weekends over the summer. One is a receptionist who also provides information sessions. The other two workers give interviews and tours. Each applicant coming to the Admissions Office will have an information session, a tour, and an interview. Tours and interviews last thirty minutes. Information sessions last twelve minutes. All other interactions between the receptionist and the applicants last three minutes each.


1. The order of tour, interview, and information session does not matter.


2. The receptionist can do four kinds of things, all with only one applicant at a time:

a. Prepare an applicant for an interview or tour

b. Receive an applicant from an interview or tour

c. Transition an applicant between an interview and a tour, in either order; transitioning combines preparing and receiving into one three-minute session

d. Give an information session to an applicant


3. Interviewer/tour guides also work with only one applicant at a time.


4. Every tour and every interview must be immediately preceded and immediately followed by three minutes with the receptionist.


5. Applicants and workers may have times with no activity scheduled.





1. What is the most efficient way to move three applicants through the process? Hint: I have a solution which takes under two and a half hours.


2. If you were allowed to split one interview into two fifteen-minute segments, could you reduce the time? (Each segment would require meetings with the receptionist before and after.)





Solutions to Puzzle #1011.6: Admissions Efficiency, with precise details of both schedules, may be sent to puzzle@hamilton.edu, or, via campus mail, to Russell Marcus, Philosophy Department. The fastest solution to meet the given constraints will win the context. In the case of ties, a winner will be chosen at random. Make sure to include your contact information with your solution. Any one may play the puzzle, but only current Hamilton College students may win prizes.



Prize winners receive a t-shirt or mug from Lulasail, home of the best philosophy t-shirts on the web.

The Deadline for Puzzle #1011.6: Admissions Efficiency is Monday, April 4, at 4pm.