Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Playing Games *

Difficulty
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

Almost all of the games we play are based on math in some way or another. Card games, board games, and computer games are designed using statistics, probabilities, and algorithms. Begin by reading about games and game theory. Then you can choose your favorite game and investigate the mathematical principles behind how it works. Can combinatorial game theory help you to win two-player games of perfect knowledge such as go, chess, or checkers? (Weisstein, 2006; Watkins, 2004) In a multi-player game like Dots and Boxes, does the first player have an advantage? Can you formulate a winning strategy against an opponent? In single-player games can you beat the game with an algorithm? Can you invent your own game using mathematical concepts? Can you describe the math behind traditional or cultural games? (McCoy, 2004) Artificial Intelligence: Teaching the Computer to Play Tic-Tac-Toe

Cite This Page

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Playing Games" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 30 June 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p033.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 30). Playing Games. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p033.shtml

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.


Last edit date: 2014-06-30

Bibliography

  • McCoy, L. P., 2004. "Project Potpourri: Implementing Standards-Based Instruction," Wake Forest University. [accessed: 5/1/06] http://www.wfu.edu/~mccoy/mprojects.pdf
  • Watkins, J., 2004. Across the Board: The Mathematics of Chessboard Problems. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Weisstein, E.W., 2006 "Games." From MathWorld—A Wolfram Web Resource. [accessed: 5/1/06] http://mathworld.wolfram.com/topics/Games.html

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

Ask an Expert

The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

Ask an Expert

Related Links

If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:

person graphing data on computer screen

Statistician

Statisticians use the power of math and probability theory to answer questions that affect the lives of millions of people. They tell educators which teaching method works best, tell policy-makers what levels of pesticides are acceptable in fresh fruit, tell doctors which treatment works best, and tell builders which type of paint is the most durable. They are employed in virtually every type of industry imaginable, from engineering, manufacturing, and medicine to animal science, food production, transportation, and education. Everybody needs a statistician! Read more
Mathematician at work

Mathematician

Mathematicians are part of an ancient tradition of searching for patterns, conjecturing, and figuring out truths based on rigorous deduction. Some mathematicians focus on purely theoretical problems, with no obvious or immediate applications, except to advance our understanding of mathematics, while others focus on applied mathematics, where they try to solve problems in economics, business, science, physics, or engineering. Read more
Computer programmer typing on a keyboard

Computer Programmer

Computers are essential tools in the modern world, handling everything from traffic control, car welding, movie animation, shipping, aircraft design, and social networking to book publishing, business management, music mixing, health care, agriculture, and online shopping. Computer programmers are the people who write the instructions that tell computers what to do. Read more

Looking for more science fun?

Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.

Find an Activity