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HealthEdge Software Technical Support Engineer Interview Question

I interviewed in Burlington, MA and was asked:
"If you had 9 marbles, all the same size. One is heavier than the rest. You have a balance scale. How do you determine the heavy marble in the least number of moves."
Tags: logic, problem solving
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Answer

Part of a Technical Support Engineer Interview Review - one of 2 HealthEdge Software Interview Reviews

Answers & Comments

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I suggested going in half.. 4 marbles each. The heavier group then divided 2 and 2, then 1 and 1. If it balanced, the extra is the heaviest. The answer was using 3 each. That would identify the set of marbles faster by one move.

- Interview Candidate on May 29, 2012
4
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The answer is 2.
Group them into 3 marbles each.
1. Weigh any 2 groups first
          - Find the heaviest group. If both are equal then the 3rd group is heaviest.
2. Now follow step 1 with 1 marble and you can find the heaviest.

- Shakthi, Amazon on Jun 5, 2012

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