Sunday, July 30, 2017

Elwyn's CG Videos

Elwyn Berlekamp's video-talk at Fundy and Games, "A Program of Introductory Videos on Combinatorial Games", alerted me to something I didn't realize: Elwyn's been creating a bunch of videos to introduce CGT.  Since the meta-video presentation, I've been watching the videos.

He's using some good philosophy towards introducing concepts:
  • Examples come before the abstractions.  It's easier to motivate the abstract notions once you've seen some concrete examples.
  • Delay notation as long as possible.  The non-standard notation used while still showing the initial concepts works just fine.  For example, instead of using N and P (outcome classes), the impartial videos start off with just checkmarks (for N-positions) and circles (P).
Here's the sequence of videos on impartial games.  They use an impartial version of chess where each piece occupies it's own board and each piece can only move towards the southwest corner.  The first video describes what happens with one King, and the following videos show what happens as other pieces get added, each time adding a new concept to the theory of games.

Here's the sequence on partisan games.  I haven't watched as many of these yet.

These are a great resource for introducing CGT.  I'd really like to know how effective these are in a classroom setting (at any level).


  1. And today I just found out about this video about Elwyn's career:

  2. I think that thanks for the valuabe information and insights you have so provided here.

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