Friday, March 5, 2010

Undergrad CGT Course

I have good news for next semester! The CGT course has been approved and I am already preparing material. The course will be cross-listed in math and computer science. The broad goal of this course is to explore combinatorial game theory as deep as is feasible with extra attention paid to programming and algorithm design.

Some games, even if they defy the proper definition of "combinatorial", may have special purpose here. One of these is RoboRally.

About a month ago, I played RoboRally for the first time. It was advertised to me as a game that "used programming". I did not believe this at all (I was hoping to play a game of Kingsburg that night) but then after playing for a just a few minutes, I was hooked. In the game, you have a robot to move around the board. Each round, everyone is dealt a hand of cards, each of which is an atomic command for your robot (move or turn a certain direction) and you immediately choose a subset of those cards, then order them. Your robot then makes those moves in that order, but might interact with the orders of other robots. It's great because you have to think very carefully about the "program" you give your robot.

Additionally, I do want to be able to get into some of the details of complexity classes, but without going through an entire algorithms/complexity course. The only prereqs for this course are Programming I and Discrete Math. Somehow I will have to convince the students that you "probably can't" solve some of these games.

If anyone has any good suggestions for games or other resources, I would love to hear them!

Also, has anybody played this game? I can't seem to find any information about it anywhere, but it looks like it could be cool!

Updates to the game table have been slow, but I continue to make them!

No comments:

Post a Comment