May 2 Day 55: Start Small

Who hasn’t attended a virtual meetings lately? I have wondered what the zoom algorithm is for placing faces in the photo grid. I know I could probably look it up but that would take all the fun out of the question.

As a first principle of puzzle solving, if you can’t see the general answer, start with small examples. So during the aftermath of Friday night’s MAA Happy Hour, all four participants took screen shots to compare placement.

Once you can identify whose screenshot is whose, the algorithm for the 2×2 case becomes clear. I won’t spoil it for you, but there are enough clues in the pictures to figure it out for yourself.

Update and hint: A quick clarification for those who have less Zoom experience, the framed box around one image indicates who was speaking last. It is not connected to who is responsible for the screen shot. There is a visual feature that will identify the owner of each screen shot for three of the participants but it is not the frame.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President-Elect of the Mathematical Association of America.

11 thoughts on “May 2 Day 55: Start Small

  1. A quick clarification for those who have less Zoom experience, the framed box around one image indicates who was speaking last. It is not connected to who is responsible for the screen shot. There is a feature that will identify the owner of each screen shot for three of the participants but it is not the frame.

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  2. The person who is taking the screenshot(ie who is looking at the screen), appears at the top right frame. Then the rest of the participants are arranged counter-clockwise by the time they joined in relation to the person who took the screenshot. Judging by the screenshots, it seems like Jeanette joined first, followed by Ash, then Nancy, then Jennifer. Would love to know if I am right! Thank you!

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