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The Impartial Game of Nim and the Sprague Grundy Theorem

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Have you ever wanted to win a game just by choosing whether to start first or second? It turns out that you can, if you are playing the right game. This presentation will introduce the concept of impartial games, studied in Combinatorial Game Theory. I will first state the rules and winning strategy of the Nim game, fundamental for the analysis of every impartial game. Next I will present the statement and proof of the Sprague-Grundy Theorem, which enables us to form an equivalence relation between any impartial game and a Nim heap.

This talk is part of the Churchill CompSci Talks series.

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