Monday, November 9, 2009

mastermind

My game suggestion from last class was Mastermind, and the interactive version available from NLVM: http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_179_g_2_t_1.html?open=instructions. We didn't have much time to consider it, but perhaps a next step is to consider a book, MASTERMIND® Mathematics Logic, Strategies, and Proofs that teases out the higher level thinking skills.

3 comments:

  1. I've started reading a great book about Mastermind: http://www.keypress.com/x6031.xml. The author advocates using a game like Mastermind to teach fundamentals of problem solving and deductive reasoning.

    One of his first hints is to separate the task of searching for the colors of the pegs in play, and their positions. His reasoning is the following:

    since there are 6 colors of pegs and 4 positions, that means that there are 6^4=1296 different possible starting arrangements. If all we want to do is find the colors, then there are 126 answers. Doing the colors later means filling in the positions in one of 24 ways. We reduce the problem enormously!

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