Australian Maths Test That Didn’t Quite Work

It’s not a new concept, instead of posting some bland advert in a newspaper sometimes organisations try and spice up their advertisements particularly when looking for specialist positions.  GCHQ, the UK Intelligence organisation used to advertise some positions in encrypted, with the advertisement and contact details hidden in a cipher that applicants needed to crack to apply.

This is what the Australian Air Force decided to do when looking for some new engineers.  They hid the phone number inside a complicated maths equation, meaning you had to solves the puzzle in order to ring up and get the application form.  Unfortunately the number of applicants was extremely low, in fact nobody applied.

The problem turned out not to be the attractiveness of the Air Force as an employer, rather the numerical application process. Unfortunately the puzzle that was published contained two typos that had been introduced inadvertantly, making the puzzle impossible to solve –

Here’s the puzzle with the errors highighted.  Fortunately for the airforce, some clever Reddit users spotted the mistake and informed them of the errors.  The formula incorrctly showed sin to the power of 2x when it should have read sin(2x).  The second error involved replacing the expression (2k-1)! with (2k+1)!.

The errors have now been fixed so if you fancy a job with the Australian Air Force as an engineer then get online and crack that code. For those who live outside Australia you better chck the entry requirements and remember to change your IP address if you get blocked forrm any of the sites – this web page shows how to  use a VPN on your iPAd – http://www.proxyusa.com/iplayer-ipad-us-vpn. In the example it’s for changing to a UK based address for watching the BBC but it works the same way for accessing Aussie sites too great little video here.

It may be too late to apply though as apparently all the Reddit users who fixed the mistake where exactly the sort of people who the Australian recruiters where looking for!

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