1011.6: Admissions Efficiency



In our last puzzle you were asked to find the most efficient way to move three applicants through the admissions office, given a receptionist, and two interviewer/tour guides. Each applicant needed 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. The receptionist can prepare and receive an applicant for an interview or tour, and give an information session. Every tour and every interview has to be immediately preceded and immediately followed by three minutes with the receptionist. I also asked if you could speed the process by splitting one interview into two fifteen-minute segments.

Putting my ego aside, I am pleased to report that five submissions were better than my own. Furthermore, the solution to the first question was so good that the answer to the second question is negative. What follows is the best solution, 99 minutes, shared except for minor variations by Cooper Creagan ‘13, Andrew Harris ‘11, and Chris Smith ‘11. Other impressive solutions were submitted by Amelia Mattern ‘12 and Brandon Wilson ‘14. Cooper won the contest by a random drawing among the three best solvers. Congratulations!




Time Interviewer/

Tour Guide #1

Time Interviewer/

Tour Guide #2

0-3 Preparing Applicant A for Interview
3-6 Preparing Applicant B for interview 3-33 Interviewing Applicant A
6-18 Information Session for Applicant C 6-36 Interviewing Applicant B
30-33 Preparing Applicant C for Interview
33-36 Transitioning Applicant A from Interview to Tour 33-63 Interviewing Applicant C
36-39 Receiving Applicant B from Interview 36-66 Tour for Applicant A
39-51 Information Session for Applicant B
60-63 Preparing Applicant B for Tour
63-66 Transitioning Applicant C from Interview to Tour 63-93 Tour for Applicant B
66-69 Receiving Applicant A from Tour 66-96 Tour for Applicant C
69-81 Information Session for Applicant A
93-96 Receiving Applicant B from Tour
96-99 Receiving Applicant C from Tour