Speaker Deck

Impartial achievement and avoidance games for generating finite groups

by Dana Ernst

Published September 15, 2017 in Research

In this talk, we will explore two impartial combinatorial games introduced by Anderson and Harary. Both games are played by two players who alternately select previously-unselected elements of a finite group. The first player who builds a generating set from the jointly-selected elements wins the first game (GEN) while the first player who cannot select an element without building a generating set loses the second game (DNG). After the development of some general theory, we will discuss the strategy and corresponding nim-numbers of both games for several families of groups, including cyclic, abelian, dihedral, generalized dihedral, symmetric, alternating, and nilpotent. This is joint work with Bret Benesh and Nandor Sieben.

This talk was given on September 15, 2017 in the Mathematical Sciences Department Colloquium at DePaul University.