Special PIMS Speaker - A History of Combinatorial Games
- Date: 02/24/2009
University of Victoria
Combinatorial Game Theory---games of pure strategy where there are no chance devices---had its beginnings in 1902 and a major breakthrough in the theory was enunciated in the books "On Numbers and Games", Conway, 1978, and "Winning Ways", Berlekamp, Conway & Guy, 1980. This part of the theory works well when the games break up into components. This talk will look at the players in the area over the last 100 years---some who got it right, some who got it wrong, and some who just missed. At the same time, I will introduce some of the main concepts of Combinatorial Game Theory. Only High School level math is required to understand most of the talk, although having played a few games of (any of) Chess, Checkers, Go, Amazons or Nim will help.