Games Without Chance: Combinatorial Game Theory

Massive Open Online Course
  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Requirements & Materials

Games Without Chance: Combinatorial Game Theory

Course Description

This course explores the mathematical theory of two-player games without chance moves. You will cover simplifying games, determining when games are equivalent to numbers, and impartial games. Many of the examples of simple games may be new to you, such as Hackenbush, Nim, Push, Toads and Frogs, and others. While this course probably won’t make you a better chess or Go player, it will give you a better insight into the structure of games.

Course Content

Review the current course content on the Coursera registration page.

Requirements & Materials

This is a university level mathematics course. While there are no specific mathematics prerequisites, it is highly recommended that students have taken rigorous college level mathematics courses (AP calculus counts as such).

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for those who want a glimpse of combinatorial game theory.

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What You Will Learn

  • The definition of a combinatorial game
  • How to add simple games and analyze them
  • The outcome of simple sums of games using inequalities
  • How to decide which games are numbers and what numbers they are
  • How to play and analyze impartial games

How You Will Benefit

  • Know the definition of game inequalities in terms of who does better.
  • Find the problem and solution.
  • Understand simplicity and numbers.
  • Play winning numbers.
  • Discover how to simplify games using dominating moves and reversible moves.
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