Applied Math majors Brittney Johnson, Chris Villanueva, and Julian Cha are working on an independent research project this semester under the guidance of Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Benjamin Wilson. The group is researching connections between information theory and the word game Wordle. The goal of Wordle is to guess a secret 5-letter word in at most 6 attempts. After each attempt, the guesser is told if the letters in their guess are in the solution and in the correct place, in the solution but in the incorrect place, or not in the solution.
Some goals of the research group are to apply topics in information theory, like entropy, to code bots that will solve Wordle. Depending on the information a bot learns with each guess, it can make successive guesses to try to find the solution as quickly as possible.
In addition to creating a Wordle bots, the group is making different versions of Wordle by changing the dictionary of possible answers from common English words to words found in other corpora like the works of Shakespeare or other authors or Twitter. They are also using these corpora as the basis for the bot to make guesses to see how well Shakespeare or someone’s Twitter account could do if they were playing Wordle.