What is the problem of Kirkman’s schoolgirls that for 172 years has seduced mathematicians

  • Daisy Rodriguez*
  • BBC News World

drawing of schoolgirls

image source, Getty Images

Imagine that the raise you’ve been waiting for for years depends on you doing just one thing.

Your boss is organizing a conference and has confirmed seven top experts to discuss with each other in round tables and asks that each have only three panelists.

So far so good, right? Are you already viewing your bank account?

But there is a detail that you discover when you talk to each panelist: in addition to being the best in their fields, they don’t get along with each other at all and each one, in their own way, places a condition on you:

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