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Playing Games

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Areas of Science
Time Required
Average (6-10 days)
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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? Artificial Intelligence: Teaching the Computer to Play Tic-Tac-Toe


  • 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. Retrieved 5/1/06.
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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Playing Games." Science Buddies, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Math_p033/pure-mathematics/playing-games. Accessed 7 June 2023.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, November 20). Playing Games. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Math_p033/pure-mathematics/playing-games

Last edit date: 2020-11-20
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