Sunday Morning Math Games!

This Spring (2021) the SMMG will stand for Sunday Morning Math Games! Every other Sunday, we'll post a super fun math game and ask questions about it! If you have an answer to any of the questions we ask, you can either make a video of yourself explaining the answer and send it to us, or you can email us your answer at smmg@math.utexas.edu.

We will also have an SMMG Discord where, every other Sunday at noon, you will be able to ask volunteers questions about math and the games! If you want to join the SMMG Discord, or you can email us at smmg@math.utexas.edu with your first name and what school you go to and we will send you an invite link!

TBD

SMMG – Game 1

Title: Two-pile Nim

Volunteer Office Hours: February 7, 2021, 12-2pm on Discord!

Intro Video/ Video Transcript

Game Link

Questions:

  1. Is it better to go first, second, or does it not matter?
  2. Does it matter how many objects are in the piles at the start?
  3. Is there a strategy you can follow such that you will never lose?

Hint Video--don't watch this until you've tried hard to answer the questions on your own--you'll be amazed what you can figure out without the hint!

Feel free to email me if you're still stumped and want another hint!

TBD

SMMG – Game 2

Title: One-rook chess

Volunteer Office Hours: February 21, 2021, 12-2pm on Discord!

Intro Video/ Video Transcript

Questions:

  1. Are there starting squares from which there is a winning strategy for the player who goes first?
  2. Are there starting square from which there is a winning strategy for the player who goes second?
  3. Are there starting squares from which both players have a winning strategy?
  4. Are there starting squares from which neither player has a winning strategy?
  5. If you answered ``no" to any of these, why do you think it might be impossible?

TBD

SMMG – Game 3

Title: Bridg-it

Volunteer Office Hours: March 7, 2021, 12-2pm on Discord!

Intro Video/ Video Transcript

Game Link

Questions:

  1. It is possible to tie?
  2. Does a winning strategy for player two exist?
    Click here for hints!
    • Imagine you are player one, and player two does have a winning strategy. What can you do?
    • If you assume that something is true, and use that to prove something that you already know is false (like 1=0), then you have shown that the original thing you assumed is actually false. This is called a proof by contradiction! Check out the beginning of this video to learn more!
  3. (Challenge) What is an explicit winning strategy for player one?

TBD

SMMG – Game 4

Title: Game-related puzzles!

Volunteer Office Hours: March 21, 2021, 12-2pm on Discord!

Click here for the list of puzzles!

We will discuss the puzzles at the office hours, so start thinking about them in the meantime!

If you get stuck then just send an email to smmg@math.utexas.edu and you will receive a hint!

TBD

SMMG – Game 5

Title: Cat and mouse!

Volunteer Office Hours: April 11, 2021, 12-2pm on Discord!

Intro video / Video Transcript

Questions:

  1. Try playing a few rounds of "cat and mouse" on each of the graphs here.
  2. For each of them, does the cat or mouse always win?
  3. What features of a graph allow the mouse to win?
  4. What features of a graph allow the cat to win?