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Statement Clarification for Dummies

This is a problem I often face. Sometimes I don't even understand what the problem statements say. It becomes frustrating when I see that many people have solved the problem already while I'm still struggling to understand what to prove or what to find.

I associate this inability of mine with my unfamiliarity with many topics. However, I think I need to learn the art of understanding problems. Therefore, I seek guidance from fellow Brilliants. And, thus comes the real question!

Should we make a thread where people can post links to the problems they find ambiguous so that others can help?

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Note by Atomsky Jahid
1 month, 2 weeks ago

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There is a report feature that you can request for more clarification. Christopher Boo · 1 month, 2 weeks ago

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@Christopher Boo Sometimes I don't think reporting is an option. For example, take a look at this problem. I don't understand what this expression means. However, there are 29 solvers of the problem at this moment. So, I assumed the problem setter used some convention that I don't know of. The problem also doesn't have any link to a relevant wiki. I even tried to google this format to no avail. Is it really a good idea to report a problem which is not wrong (assumption, of course) in any way? Atomsky Jahid · 1 month, 2 weeks ago

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@Atomsky Jahid The question reads

"For 0<= y<= 1, find the maximum value of the absolute value of (y^2-xy) for constant x. Now, this maximum value should be a function with respect to x. Find the minimum value of this function for real x" Pi Han Goh · 1 month, 2 weeks ago

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@Pi Han Goh Thanks! I have solved the problem after understanding it. :) Atomsky Jahid · 1 month, 2 weeks ago

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@Atomsky Jahid The author seems to assume that readers are familiar with that expression. You can post a note like this to ask for clarification. Brilliant users will answer your query. In addition, if the moderators think that such clarification is necessary, they will add it to the problem statement, so other users can benefit from it as well.

For your problem, you want to minimise a function \(f(x)\) for \(x\in R\), and the function is \(f(x) = \max_{0\leq y \leq 1} |y^2-xy|\). For example, when \(x=0\), \(f(x) = \max_{0\leq y \leq 1} |y^2-xy| = 1\). Christopher Boo · 1 month, 2 weeks ago

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@Christopher Boo Thanks for your clarification! I have solved it afterward. Atomsky Jahid · 1 month, 2 weeks ago

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