Due to the Corona virus education methods or examination can deviate. For the latest news please check the course page in Brightspace.


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Combinatorial Game Theory (BM)


The field of combinatorial game theory analyzes deterministic, perfect information games for two players. The key question is: given a state of a game, who wins if both players perform optimally? In order to answer this question, we develop a theory that allows us to assign values to games, order the games by value and decompose larger games into smaller ones.

Course Objectives
Being able to analyze a combinatorial game using the theory provided, situationally aided by a computer.

Mode of instruction
Weekly (possibly digital) lectures (2 hours) and compulsory weekly hand-in assignments.

Assessment method
The final grade will be composed of the following:

  • 12 or 13 homework assignments (25%)

  • Written exam (75%)
    The lowest two homework grades will not be incorporated when computing the average. To pass the course, both the homework average (discarding the lowest two scores) and the grade for the written exam need to be at least 5.0.
    Sufficient results for only the homework part or only the exam are not transferrable to another year.

The course will be based on Lessons in Play (2nd edition) by Albert, Nowakowski and Wolfe. Some additional material (papers, parts of other books, ...) might be provided along the way.

Brighstpace/course website
The course will use Brightspace, and perhaps a Google site.

Floske Spieksma: spieksma at math dot leidenuniv dot nl, room 228.
Mark van den Bergh: m dot j dot h dot van dot den dot bergh at math dot leidenuniv dot nl, room 217.
Teaching assistants: tba