Los Angeles Math Circle

4/8 -- High School I: Take-away games and Nim

Nim, an example of a take-away game, is very old indeed. Since time immemorial those who know how to win at Nim have confounded friends, baffled enemies, and won numerous bar bets. Today we will letting you in on the secret, so that you too might be able to exercise that same power, if not entertain your friends for a little while. Although we will motivate the discussion with Nim, we will continue to talk about other mathematical games, and find and prove some surprising results.