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Questions from the Google Labs Aptitude Test, recently circulated by the search-engine company as a sort of geek-recruiting device.

  • Write a haiku describing possible methods for predicting search-traffic predictability.
  • How many different ways can you color an icosahedron with one of three colors on each face? What colors would you choose?
  • This space intentionally left blank. Please fill it with something that improves upon emptiness.
  • On an infinite, two-dimensional, rectangular lattice of 1-ohm resistors, what is the resistance between two nodes that are a knight's move away?
  • It's 2 p.m. on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Bay Area. You're minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Redwood Forest hiking trails, and world-class cultural attractions. What do you do?
  • In your opinion what is the most beautiful math equation ever derived?
  • Consider a function which, for a given whole number n, returns the number of ones required when writing out all numbers between 0 and n. For example, f(13)=6. Notice that f(1)=1. What is the next largest n such that f(n)=n?
  • In 29 words or less, describe what you would strive to accomplish if you worked at Google Labs.

A version of this article appeared in the February 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.