Monday, July 17, 2017

Sprouts 2017 Summaries, Session III

After lunch we had three more talks to wrap up Sprouts 2017.

Matt Ferland: Applying Heuristics in Combinatorial Games

My own student, Matt, explained some of the tactics used by AI to play Chess and Go.  He talked about all the different heuristics used to approximate the values of Chess boards (I had no idea how deep this really was) and then gave a good overview of just how far computer Go players have come.

I learned a ton from this!  It's been great to have a student really interested in exploring Artificial Intelligence.

Ethan Wester: Protect the King

Ethan presented a game similar to Crab & Gulls.  This game is partisan, with two kings (one per player).  The bishops, however, now threaten both kings.  A turn consists of first moving your own king (like a King does in Chess) to an unthreatened location, then placing a new bishop that threatens the opposing king.

Ethan found a bunch of values for this ruleset: all integers, all switches, *, *2, Up, Down, 1/2 and 1/4.  Wow!

Cameron Hodgdon: Analysis of a New All-Small Game: An Introduction to Kanye

Cameron created the game Kanye (I think he named his before Ashlee named "Also Kanye").  This is very similar to Also Kanye, except that all pieces are the same color, so the game is dicotic (all-small).  The is still partisan, though: Right chooses a column and moves that column North.  Left chooses a row and moves it West.

Cameron evaluated games for a bunch of different patterns of starting configurations.  Then he even found the atomic weights for these games!

As you can see, it was very easy to get excited about all of the great work these undergrads had done!

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