Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

Home » Teaching a Course in Combinatorial Mathematical Games


Teaching a Course in Combinatorial Mathematical Games June 19, 2006 - June 21, 2006
Registration Deadline: June 21, 2006 almost 17 years ago
To apply for Funding you must register by: March 19, 2006 about 17 years ago
Parent Program: --
Location: This workshop will take place at MSRI in the Baker Board Room.
Organizers Morton Brown, University of Michigan
Play is a powerful teacher. It can be used effectively in the mathematics classroom. I've developed and have taught (three times at Michigan) a course in "mathematical games" for students who have had a year of undergraduate mathematics and might be interested in a possible minor or major in math. Its goal is to attract into math, students who like math but may believe, unfortunately, that math consists only of calculus or calculus/linear algebra. The course consists of analyses of a variety of two person combinatorial games (NOT classical matrix game theory), that is, two person, finite 0-sum games of perfect information. The goal of the course is to introduce students to basic generic ideas of mathematics: searching for patterns, thinking logically and systematically, problem solving (modifying problems, breaking down problems into smaller easier problems, generalizing and abstracting), choosing effective notation, careful attention to the logic of arguments including argument by contradiction, generalizing, abstracting (ex. recognizing 'isomorphism'), and finally, seeing how "real mathematics" enters into ordinary problems. The course fits comfortably with a cooperative learning environment. Participants will receive an overview of this Michigan course, strategies for teaching it, student solutions to the games, and student reaction to the concepts and the mathematics. Interested participants should apply by the beginning of May using the form on the Cal Chautauqua webpage: http://www.calchautauqua.net/Course%20Pages/Course5.html Please note: you must register to attend. This workshop is not open to the public. For more information on the series of Chautauqua short courses, consult http://www.calchautauqua.net Lodging and Directions Lodging Transportation from Oakland or San Francisco airports Directions to MSRI
Keywords and Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC)
Primary Mathematics Subject Classification No Primary AMS MSC
Secondary Mathematics Subject Classification No Secondary AMS MSC