Combinatorial Games & Puzzles
Games and puzzles with a combinatorial flair (based on counting and arrangement) have entertained and frustrated people for millennia. Mathematicians have developed new areas of research and discovered non-trivial mathematics upon examining these amusements. Students will play games (including nim, hex, dots-and-boxes, clobber, and Mastermind®) and be presented with puzzles (including instant insanity and mazes) in an attempt to develop strategy and mathematics during play. Basic notions in graph theory, design theory, combinatorics, and combinatorial game theory will be introduced. Despite the jargon, this course will be accessible to all regardless of background.