Category Archives: games

Straightedge and compass construction challenges

I haven’t written here in quite a while—I’ve switched into “work on research for my dissertation really hard so that I can actually graduate” mode, and with a 21-month old in the mix that leaves very little time for blogging. … Continue reading

Posted in challenges, games, geometry, links, meta | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Visualizing nim-like games

Inspired by the comments on this post, I’ve had some ideas brewing for a while—I’m just only now getting around to writing them up. The topic is visualizing winning strategies for "nim-like" games. What do I mean by that? By … Continue reading

Posted in games, pattern, pictures | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Wythoff’s game at Three-Cornered Things

I’ve really been enjoying Zachary Abel’s series of posts on Wythoff’s game [Wythoff’s Game: Red or Blue?; A Golden Observation; The “Fibonacci”est String; Wythoff’s Formula], over on his blog Three-Cornered Things. The Fibonacci numbers show up in the strangest places! … Continue reading

Posted in fibonacci, games, links | Tagged | 7 Comments

The wonderful world of Mike Reilly

The other day I received an email from Mike Reilly, who introduced himself as a professional game and puzzle inventor, and suggested that I might be interested in taking a look at a few of his web sites. I wasn’t … Continue reading

Posted in games, links, people, puzzles | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vi Hart's math doodles

Vi Hart’s math doodle videos have been making the rounds of the math blogosphere (I heard of them from Denise at Let’s Play Math!). There are four videos so far and they are well worth watching — inspirational, creative, full … Continue reading

Posted in games, humor, links, people, video | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The mathematics of human knots

Have you ever played “human knot”? It seems to be a common icebreaker/team-building sort of exercise (just do a Google search for “human knot” and you’ll find quite a few pages discussing it). Everyone stands in a circle, then reaches … Continue reading

Posted in games, people, probability | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments


A friend of mine just pointed me to a most excellent puzzle game, Manufactoria, wherein you build little machines to test robots. For now I won’t give away the secret of what real math/computer science topic the game teaches you, … Continue reading

Posted in games, links, logic, programming, puzzles | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Divisor nim

Yesterday in math club I had the students play a game which I dimly remember seeing somewhere but forget where. Since I don’t know what it is really called, I’m calling it “divisor nim”. Here’s how it works: The players … Continue reading

Posted in games, number theory, pattern | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

I recently received an email suggesting that I check out the website, which has interactive math-based games for elementary through high school students. Now, I am generally pretty skeptical of such things. For one, they are usually of relatively … Continue reading

Posted in games, links, teaching | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Christmas Price Index

I’ve written before about the mathematics of the traditional song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. For a different angle, check out PNC Bank’s “Christmas Price Index”: apparently, every year they compute the total cost of all the gifts in the … Continue reading

Posted in games, links, video | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment