Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

Can you answer hedge fund Millennium's olympiad-inspired brainteaser?

Knowing your way around some tricky mathematical conundrums is essential when applying for jobs at hedge funds. Hedge fund Millennium has released a new brainteaser of its own via social media, and senior mathematicians in the industry seem to think the answer should be common knowledge.

The question can be read below:

One Goldman Sachs analyst described this as a "classic Math Olympiad" question. Credit Suisse alum and Morningstar DBRS executive Chen Zou solved the puzzle in her "relax time" said, "my daughter in middle school can understand my solution." 

Think you know it? Tell us your answer in the comments. (No peeking at the solution below 😡)

Click here to sign up to our technology newsletter 🔧

The answer, as revealed by Millennium, was 3^2025. There are a number of ways respondents were able to reach that.

One of the briefer answers comes from Goldman Sachs engineering apprentice Jabir Haque. He said that if T(n) is equal to 3n digits, then the largest power of three that divides it is 3^(n+1). Thus, with 2024 digits, the answer is 3^2025.

PhD physicist Aneesh Sivasankaran took a slightly different and approach. He would divide by three, then "just group three of the results to divide by three again." He found that 3^(answer-1) was equal to the number of digits.

If math isn't your strong suit (like myself), don't expect AI chatbots to help you too much with questions like these. Bard gave an answer of 2024 (which a minority of respondents gave also), while ChatGPT said the answer was 27. 😬

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: +44 7537 182250 (SMS, Whatsapp or voicemail). Telegram: @SarahButcher. Click here to fill in our anonymous form, or email editortips@efinancialcareers.com. Signal also available.

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

Photo by Aaron Lefler on Unsplash

author-card-avatar
AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • je
    jengel7210
    10 May 2024

    3

  • je
    jengel7210
    10 May 2024

    If the question is what is the highest number that is divisible by three that can evenly divide the number that has 2024 digits all of which are 3, then I believe the answer is 3. If you are asking what is the highest number divisible by three that divides 3^2024 evenly, I believe the answer is 3^2023

  • Al
    Alias_1
    10 May 2024

    Wow, thats a hard qn… the guy that comes up first with the correct solution must be a genius…. i wonder who is he

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Recommended Articles
Recommended Jobs
Metis Search
Analyst - Private Equity Placement
Metis Search
London, United Kingdom
Caxton Associates
Associate Portfolio Manager Program - Dubai
Caxton Associates
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
DTG Capital Markets
Proprietary Trader (US, remote)
DTG Capital Markets
New York, United States
Man Group plc
Portfolio Manager (Macro)
Man Group plc
London, United Kingdom

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.