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Lessons in Play: An Introduction to Combinatorial Game Theory [Hardcover]

Michael Albert , Richard Nowakowski , David Wolfe

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Book Description

July 2 2007 1568812779 978-1568812779 1
Combinatorial games are games of pure strategy involving two players, with perfect information and no element of chance. Starting from the very basics of gameplay and strategy, the authors cover a wide range of topics, from game algebra to special classes of games. Classic techniques are introduced and applied in novel ways to analyze both old and new games, several appearing for the first time in this book.

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This is an excellent introductory book to beginning game theory, written in an easily understandable manner yet advanced enough not to be considered trivial.
—Books Online, July 2007

The first book to present combinatorial game theory in the form of a textbook suitable for students at the advanced undergraduate level … The authors state and prove theorems in a rigorous fashion [and] the presentation is enlivened with many concrete examples … an outstanding textbook … It will also be of interest to more advanced readers who want an introduction to combinatorial game theory.
—Brian Borchers, June 2007

The theory is accessible to any student who has a smattering of general algebra and discrete math. Generally, a third year college student, but any good high school student should be able to follow the development with a little help.
—Sir Read a Lot, May 2007

Lessons in Play is an enticing introduction to the wonderful world of combinatorial games. Using a rich collection of cleverly captivating examples and problems, the authors lead the reader through the basic concepts and on to several innovative extensions. I highly recommend this book.
—Elwyn R. Berlekamp

A neat machine, converting novices into enthusiastic experts in modern combinatorial game theory.
—Aviezri Fraenkel

Combinatorial games are intriguing, challenging, and often counter-intuitive, and are rapidly being recognized as an important mathematical discipline. Now that we have the attractive and friendly text Lessons in Play in hand, we can look forward to the appearance of many popular upper-division undergraduate courses, which encourage instructors to learn alongside their students.
—Richard K. Guy

… If you have Winning Ways, you must have this book.
—Andy Liu

About the Author

Michael H. Albert is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Previously he held positions at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Waterloo. He has authored many papers in game theory. Richard J. Nowakowski was born in Barnsley, England on March 29, 1952. He has been a professor at Dalhousie University since 1992. He has published over 75 papers in combinatorial game theory and graph theory as well as editing the proceedings of five combinatorial game theory conferences. David Wolfe received his Ph.D. in computer science from University of California, Berkeley in 1991 and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in 1985. Since 1996 he has been an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Gustavus Adolphus College.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearer exposition than Winning Ways Dec 18 2013
By Alexandre Sierra Ballarin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
More like a textbook for use in a course than the seminal work Winning Ways. The best option is to have both, but I'd start with this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Approachable alternative to On Numbers and Games Oct. 19 2013
By Frog Bomb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book gives the reader a first look at a mathematical field known as "combinatorical game theory," which is (in short) the mathematical theory of board games and paper-pencil games. The field is surprisingly deep, and this book is very good at introducing the reader to it. No real mathematical knowledge is needed to understand the theory other than basic arithmetic, however it does help to know proof techniques and have some mathematical skills. If you do not like math, do not get this book! Although this text is approachable, this doesn't mean that it's for everyone! However, I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it to anyone who wants a bit of a challenge but not something that is incomprehensible.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great textbook. Oct. 8 2012
By Eplus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this as my class textbook. Got it at a lower price than usual to. Great book on combinatorial games.

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