Friday, September 11, 2009

A CGT course for undergrads

I am again curious to hear from people who have taught CGT courses. After starting this blog, I got a lot of comments about potential topics, tools and plans for teaching a graduate-level course in combinatorial games.

At Wittenberg University, however, we do not have graduate students in Math and CS (the "University" comes from our graduate education program, I believe). Also, we sadly do not have enough upper-level CS majors right now to effectively teach a separate course aimed at that audience. We do have two senior-level majors who might be able to take such a course, but it's unclear whether we would actually have any students in it.

It turns out that I have two real options for the near future:

A) I could teach a mid-level combinatorial game theory course aimed at Math and CS students who have completed some form of discrete-math-ish course. This would at least let me assume the students have been exposed to induction and partial ordering and would let me get somewhat deep into the subject.

B) I could teach a freshman-only board game course as a part of our "WittSem" series here. This would be some sort of combination of a class and an introduction tool along with defining an initial advising group. Incoming students have to take exactly one WittSem the fall of their freshman year. Here I think I would be able to have a lot of fun and perhaps draw people into the Math/CS department, but we likely wouldn't be able to get deep into the actual material. I would have to be cautious to avoid a course where we just play a lot of board games and don't do anything academic.

Are there any suggestions out there? I would love to hear experienced and inexperienced advice on these two, or perhaps some completely different options that I haven't considered.

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