Math Professor Craig Tennenhouse organizes combinatorial game theory conference at UNE

Participants in the Sprouts conference

May 05, 2017

Treasure game

Craig Tennenhouse, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, co-created and organized a conference for undergraduate research in combinatorial game theory, the mathematical study of turn-based games with perfect information, such as go and chess, contrasting them with simultaneous-play games of imperfect information that are often studied under the umbrella of classical or economic game theory.

Named Sprouts, the conference, developed by Tennenhouse and Kyle Bruke, Ph.D., of Plymouth State University’s Department of Computer Science, hosted students for a day of presentations of original student research and working groups. Eight of the nine presentations were made by undergraduates, with seven of them outlining results of original ongoing research projects by UNE students working under Tennenhouse’s direction. Nearly 20 people from UNE and Plymouth State University attended the conference, which was held in Decary Hall on the Biddeford Campus.

According to Tennenhouse, the students developed their own games, which they then analyzed using the mathematical principles and methods of combinatorial game theory. They utilized resources in UNE's Makerspace Lab to physically construct their game boards.

The conference was supported by UNE's Office of Research and Scholarship and the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Faculty and students plan to reconvene for Sprouts 2 in the spring of 2018 at Plymouth State University.

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